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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Association of Ethiopians Educated in Norway held its general assembly at Hawassa University on 20 and21 September 2013, in the presence of the guest of honor Mrs Tove Stub, Minister Counselor, Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy of Ethiopia.
President of the association Dr. Ayele Taye in his welcoming speech stated “The association is working hard to facilitate networking and communication among its members and enhance their contributions to the country’s development plans mainly with higher education and problem solving researches both individually and jointly.” He added, “We are expected to further strengthen the existing collaborations between the people of Ethiopia and Norway.”
Dr. Ayele underlined that the association appreciates the supports of the people of Norway to Ethiopia in the area of capacity building through higher level education and research. Many Ethiopians have been educated in Norway and Ethiopia with the help of Norwegians based projects. Some of these projects include NORAD, NUFU, NOMA and NORHED. Of 46 projects that win the recently established NORHED’s grant worldwide,  8 are from Ethiopia.
Mrs Tove Stub in her opening speech mentioned, “The two countries, Ethiopia and Norway have a long history of collaboration on various areas including climate change, governance and projects focusing on developments and trainings for capacity building.” She added “The embassy therefore, is keen to support the association on behalf of the government of Norway especially, the activities on Ethiopian green economy policy.” It is believed that the association can contribute to the sustainable development of Ethiopia which changes the livelihood of the community to the grass root level, and enhances people to people relations.
The association has about 70 members all over the country in which most of them serve in universities and others in national and international organizations. During the assembly, trainings were given to members on project proposal development for large findings and problem areas of research and development vis-à-vis the country’s policy.

Children triggering in their community, Sidama, Ethiopia

Photo by Berhanu Tunsisa, Plan Ethiopia
Countries of East Africa are making significant progress in reducing preventable child deaths, according to a new report by Save the Children that shows how Ethiopia and Tanzania have already met their targets set out under the Millennium Development Goals and Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda are not far behind.
In a new evaluation of countries' progress in tackling preventable child deaths developed by Save the Children, the NGO warns that globally, four million more lives could have been saved if governments had focused equally on the poorest children as they have done on the 'low-hanging fruit': the less-poor children in less-remote areas.
The report, Lives on the Line, looks at how countries are progressing towards meeting their Millennium Development Goal of reducing preventable child deaths by two-thirds. However, in contrast with many progress reports, the research focuses not just on the speed of progress, but on the quality of that progress: whether it is equitable (reaches all income groups) and whether it is sustainable; measured as political will, regardless of national wealth.
In this measure of quality of progress, one of the world's poorest countries, Niger, ranks top of the global table for reducing preventable deaths. Despite having scarce resources and recurring droughts, Niger has cut the number of under-fives dying unnecessarily by nearly two thirds since 1990 and is on track to achieve the UN's global goal on child mortality.
The country's progress is striking because - unlike others - it has managed to do better across all income groups, and in the countryside as well as urban areas.
Save the Children's regional director for East Africa, Hussein Halane, said, "Niger's political leadership and investments have made them the country to watch for continued dramatic progress in ending preventable child deaths for good. But in East Africa we are also making historic gains in the fight against child deaths. Rwanda comes in at number 3 on the global index and this is to be applauded – we are getting there. But we must be aware that in many parts of the region, the poorest children are being left behind. In Kenya, in particular, the poorest children's chances of surviving are lagging further and further behind those of the richest children. Across the region, our leaders must work to ensure that children of all backgrounds have an equal chance to survive."
The report shows how countries in the region are taking different paths, but there have been some common features of each success story. Countries that provide better access to quality health care; improved nutrition; a concerted effort to address inequities - especially those faced by women and girls - and improved governance and accountability, have all seen successes.
Mr Halane continued, "Bold political leadership at the highest levels often delivers a leap forward in efforts to save children's lives. In our own region, initiatives such as Kenya's announcement of free maternity services in government health facilities and Ethiopia's health extension programme, which was launched in 2004 and employs 40,000 health extension workers, have been an important factor in those countries' success in expanding health care coverage and are already paying dividends in reducing child mortality."
Other areas that have garnered positive developments include delivering health care at the community level and investing in training and equipping frontline health workers.
Kenya is the country in the region struggling most to meet its commitments to Millennium Development Goal 4. According to the report, although the new government has made positive strides, malnutrition remains a "significant obstacle" to reducing child mortality with more than a third of all Kenyan children suffering stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition. The report acknowledges that government initiatives relating to breastfeeding and fortified nutrition should be welcomed.
Ethiopia has achieved MDG 4, but many sections of the population continue to experience very high rates of child mortality. Children in the poorest 40 percent of the population are twice as likely to die than children in the top 10 percent; girls are 25 percent more likely to die than boys; and children living in rural areas are 37 percent more likely to die than children living in urban areas.
Tanzania has also already reached its target under MDG4, although with an estimated 179,000 children who die every year before their fifth birthdays, the country has among the highest numbers of preventable child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Although public health sector financing more than doubled between 2006 and 2012, only about 10% of the government budget is dedicated to health, far below the 15% recommended under the Abuja Declaration. Like other similar African countries, Tanzania's child survival indicators show huge inequities with some regions like Lindi having much poorer survival rates.
Uganda ranks amongst the 15 low-income countries that have achieved reductions in under-five mortality of more than 10% since 1990 – but this rate is still below the required pace to meet the MDG 4 target. Public health sector spending on health has stagnated at 8-9%.
Rwanda is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa on track to meet most of the Millennium Development Goals. The number of annual child deaths has fallen by 63 percent. Progress in child survival has come thanks to a variety of efforts, notably improved access to strengthened primary health care, high national health insurance coverage and high and sustained immunization coverage. But 154,000 children (mainly in rural areas) continue to die each year before their fifth birthday, mostly from preventable causes, and chronic childhood malnutrition remains high at 44.2%. Disparities in quality of care exist between urban and rural areas.
South Sudan has managed to reduce the under five mortality rate by 59% since 1990 but basic health coverage remains extremely poor. Child survival rates are hampered by one of the lowest levels of immunization in the world, persistent rates of extreme poverty – more than 90% of South Sudanese live on less than a dollar a day – and malnutrition, with 18% of the population suffering from chronic hunger.
  • Save the Children is calling upon the governments of East Africa to:
  • Commit to ending preventable child deaths;
  • Publish and implement fully-costed national healthcare plans that reach every child, including newborns, with the objective of reaching full coverage by 2030;
  • Launch national campaigns to reduce malnutrition so that every child has the nutrition they need to survive and thrive;
  • Increase public spending on health.
Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie smiles before Ethiopia's fist-ever marathon in Hawassa. Photo - AFP
Hawassa: For anyone looking for the secret to staying fit into middle age, who better to ask than Haile Gebrselassie — the Ethiopian running legend who's still giving much younger men a run for their money. 

Aged 40 but barely slowing down, Gebrselassie says his enduring presence in international athletics has nothing to do with fancy foods or the latest gizmos. 

The key ingredient, he said, is in the mind. 

"You have to have three things: discipline, commitment and hard work," said Gebrselassie, a double Olympic gold medallist in the 10,000 metres, four-time World Champion over the same distance and two-time world record-breaker in the marathon. 

It is this discipline which drives Gebrselassie to train twice a day and clock a daily average of 35 kilometres. Preparing for a race provides a goal to commit to, and he said some of his best training comes ahead of a big event. 

He admits that the workload is not getting any easier, with middle-aged aches and pains ever-present. So fighting through physical pain and mental laziness is important too, he said. 

"One of the secrets, thank you for reminding me, is to accept the pain. Without pain, no gain," he said. 

Despite his relative wealth — built up from his illustrious running career plus his expanding business empire — he insisted he still eats "what the people eat" and shuns Western, processed foods. 

The "Haile diet" is no fad, being made up of Ethiopia's staple injera — an iron-rich, fermented pancake — plus lots of lean, raw meat. His home country also provides him with an ideal location to train, he said, with its temperate weather and high altitude. 

"The best place for training of course is Ethiopia, for me I don't see any place like Ethiopia, I'm serious," said Gebrselassie, who still starts most mornings by running in the lush green hills surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa. 

'Age is just a number' Gebrselassie is widely considered one of the world's greatest-ever athletes, and back home his legendary status is rivalled only by Abebe Bikila, the "barefoot runner" who won gold in the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics. 

In his storied career that has spanned over two decades, Gebrselassie has won multiple Olympic and World Championship medals, setting 27 world records along the way. 

Like scores of other Ethiopian champions, he started running as a child when he travelled barefoot from his humble rural home to school, a 20-kilometre round-trip. He said the 10,000-metre race is still his favourite, because it reminds him of his daily journeys to school. 

Despite nearing retirement age, he continues to run competitively, racing alongside much younger competitors, including last month when he finished a close third behind his compatriot Kenenisa Bekele and Britain's Mo Farah in the Great North Run, a half marathon in northern England. 

Continuing to break masters records in the over-40's category, Gebrselassie is showing no signs of wanting to hang up his shoes: he will run the "seven hills" 15-kilometre race in the Netherlands in November followed by a half marathon in the coming months. 

"It's very hard to break the world record (now), but we'll see, I don't want to be very far from the others," he said. 

"I want to show the youngsters what running means, I want to tell them 'age is just a number'. If you think you're old, if you tell to yourself you're old, if you're old mentally, then you're old automatically physically," he said, flashing his characteristic wide grin. 

As for the years ahead, Gebrselassie said he is eyeing running for parliament in 2015 as an independent candidate as a chance for him "to give back" to his country. 

Although Ethiopia is developing rapidly, he said growth is not happening fast enough and that he would like to see progress at "Usain Bolt" speed. 

"I'd like to see my country like Europe and America. We're doing good, but it's just the pace, the pace is not good enough," he said. 

But regardless of what the future holds, he said he won't be sitting back and gaining a middle-aged spread. 

"I cannot stop running, running is just a part of my life," he said.
ከሃምሳ ዓመት በላይ ያስቆጠረችው የደቡብ ክልል መዲና ሐዋሳ ከኢትዮጵያ ከተሞች በቁንጅናዋ፣ በዕቅድ ከመከተሟም ጋር ተዛምዶ ለብዙ ነገር ትመረጣለች፡፡
ከቱሪስት ከተማነት እስከ ታላላቅ የስፖርት ውድድሮች መናኸሪያነት ትታጫለች፡፡ 
አትሌት ኃይሌ ገብረ ሥላሴ በሐዋሳ ስሙን መትከል የፈለገው በቢዝነስ ሥራ ብቻ አይደለም፡፡ በታላቁ ሩጫ ዓመት ጠብቆ የሚጐበኛትን የደቡብ መናገሻ፣ አሁን ደግሞ ለአገሪቱ የመጀመሪያ የሆነውን ማራቶን መሽቀዳደሚያ አውራና ተመራጭ አድርጓታል፡፡ 
ኃይሌ በሐዋሳ ያልተለመደውንና በስሙ የተሰየመውን የማራቶን ውድድር በከፍተኛ የገንዘብ ሽልማት አንበሽብሾታል፡፡ በሁለቱም ጾታ አሸናፊዎቹ እያንዳንዳቸው የ100 ሺሕ ብር ሽልማት ተበርክቶላቸዋል፡፡ 
የመጀመሪያው ‹‹ኃይሌ ማራቶን›› ጥቅምት 10 ቀን 2006 ዓ.ም. በደቡቧ መናገሻ ሐዋሳ እንደሚደረግ ይፋ በሆነ በጥቂት ወራት ከ16 አገሮች ከ200 በላይ ተሳታፊዎች በውድድሩ ለመሳተፍ ቅድመ ምዝገባ ማከናወናቸውን የገለፀው ዝግጅት ክፍሉ፣ በሚቀጥለው ዓመት ከተወዳዳሪ ቁጥር ጀምሮ የተሻለና ዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃውን የጠበቀ ለማድረግ አበረታች ተሞክሮ ተገኝቷል ብሏል፡፡ 
በአገሪቱ ለታላላቅ አትሌቶች መገናኛ እንደሆነ የሚነገርለት ታላቁ ሩጫ በኢትዮጵያ፣ በ10 ሺሕ ተሳታፊዎች ጀምሮ በአሁኑ ወቅት በተመሳሳይ የሩጫ ውድድሮች ከዓለም ምርጥ አሥሩ አንዱ ለመሆን በቅቷል፡፡ ዘንድሮም 37 ሺሕ ተሳታፊዎች ለማወዳደር ዝግጅቱን አጠናቆ እንደሚገኝ መገለጹ ይታወሳል፡፡ ውድድሩ ከአዲስ አበባ አልፎ በመላ አገሪቱ የተለያዩ ከተሞች ተወዳጅና ተናፋቂ እስከመሆን ደርሷል፡፡ 
42 ኪሎ ሜትር 195 ሜትር የሚሸፍነው ማራቶን በአውሮፓና በሌሎች ታላላቅ አገሮች ካልሆነ እንዲህ እንደ አሁኑ በኢትዮጵያ ይደረጋል ተብሎ በማይታመንበት በዚህ ወቅት፣ በአገሪቱ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በሐዋሳ የተደረገው ‹‹ኃይሌ ማራቶን›› አቅም የሌላቸው ነገር ግን በምኞት ብቻ አውሮፓን ለሚያልሙ ተስፈኛ ኢትዮጵያውያን አትሌቶች ትልቅ የምሥራች ስለመሆኑ በወንዶች የኃይሌ ማራቶን አሸናፊ ጉዲሳ ሸንተማ ተናግሯል፡፡
በዚሁ መሠረት ባለፈው እሑድ ጥቅምት 11 ቀን 2006 ዓ.ም. በሐዋሳ በተከናወነው ማራቶን በወንዶች የውድድሩ አሸናፊ ጉዲሳ ሸንተማ ከመከላከያ ርቀቱን ለማጠናቀቅ 2 ሰዓት 15 ደቂቃ 23 ሰከንድ ፈጅቶበታል፡፡ ሁለተኛ ሆኖ ያጠናቀቀው ደግሞ ተካልኝ ጠበሉ ከኢትዮጵያ ራነር ማኔጅመንት ሲሆን 2 ሰዓት 15 ደቂቃ 24 ሰከንድ ወስዶበታል፡፡ ሦስተኛ የወጣው ከኤችአይቪ ክለብ ተስፋዬ በቀለ ደግሞ 2 ሰዓት 17 ደቂቃ 25 ሰኮንድ አጠናቋል፡፡
በሴቶች መካከል በተደረገው ተመሳሳይ ውድድር አልማዝ ነገደ ከኢትዮጵያ ተገን 2 ሰዓት፣ 39 ደቂቃ፣ 50 ሰኮንድ አጠናቃ ስታሸንፍ፣ ሁለተኛ የወጣችው ዓባይነሽ ፀጋዬ በግል 2 ሰዓት፣ 40 ደቂቃ፣ 30 ሰኮንድ እንዲሁም ስንታዬሁ ጌታቸው በግል 2 ሰዓት 47 ደቂቃ 22 ሰኮንድ አጠናቃ ሦስተኛ ሆናለች፡፡ 
ሽልማቱን በተመለከተ በሁለቱም ጾታ አንደኛ ለወጡ አትሌቶች 100 ሺሕ ብር፣ ሁለተኛ ለወጡ ደግሞ 40 ሺሕ ብር፣ እንዲሁም ሦስተኛ ለወጣው 15 ሺሕ ብር መሆኑም ታውቋል፡፡ እንደ ዝግጅት ክፍሉ በኢትዮጵያ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በተከናወነው ‹‹ኃይሌ ማራቶን›› ርቀቱን ከሁለት ሰዓት፣ ከ12 ደቂቃ በታች የገባ አትሌት ቢኖር በሚል ተጨማሪ 100 ሺሕ ብር ሽልማት እንደሚሰጠው ጭምር ቀደም ብሎ ተነግሮ ነበር፡፡
ይህንኑ የሰሙ አንዳንድ ታዋቂና ታላላቅ አትሌቶች ጉዳዩ ቀደም ተብሎ መረጃው ደርሶ ቢሆን፣ በውድድሩ ከመሳተፍ ወደ ኋላ እንደማይሉ በቁጭት ሲናገሩ ተደምጠዋል፡፡ በመጨረሻም ከ16 አገሮች ከመጡት የውጭ አገር ዜጐች ውስጥ 56 ተወዳዳሪዎች በማራቶን የተሳተፉ ሲሆን፣ ከአገር ውስጥ 37 አትሌቶች ተካፍለዋል፡፡ በዕለቱ በተደረገው የአምስት ኪሎ ሜትር የሩጫ ውድድር 2500 ተሳታፊዎች እንዲሮጡ ተደርጓል፡፡ 750 ሕፃናትም በተመሳሳይ የተሳተፉበት የሩጫ ውድድር ተከናውኗል፡፡