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Thursday, May 22, 2014

የጽሁፉ ምንጭ፦ The guardian

Western backers of the Ethiopian education system should not ignore reports of violent clashes on university campuses

Over the past 15 years, Ethiopia has become home to one of the world's fastest-growing higher education systems. Increasing the number of graduates in the country is a key component of the government's industrialisation strategy and part of its ambitious plan to become a middle-income country by 2025. Since the 1990s, when there were just two public universities, almost 30 new institutions have sprung up.
On the face of it, this is good news for ordinary Ethiopians. But dig a little deeper and tales abound of students required to join one of the three government parties, with reports of restricted curricula, classroom spies and crackdowns on student protests commonplace at universities.
Nowhere has this been more evident than in Ambo in Oromia state. On 25 April, protests against government plans to bring parts the town under the administrative jurisdiction of the capital, Addis Ababa, began at Ambo University. By the following Tuesday, as protests spread to the town and other areas of Oromia, dozens of demonstrators had been killed in clashes with government forces, according to witnesses.
As Ethiopia experiences rapid economic expansion, its government plans to grow the capital out rather than up, and this involves annexing parts of the surrounding Oromia state. An official communique from the government absolved it of all responsibility for the clashes, claiming that just eight people had been killed and alleging that the violence had been coordinated by a few rogue anti-peace forces. The government maintains that it is attempting to extend Addis Ababa's services to Oromia through its expansion of the city limits.
However, Oromia opposition figures tell a different story. On 2 May, the nationalist organisation the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) issued a press release that condemned the "barbaric and egregious killing of innocent Oromo university students who have peacefully demanded the regime to halt the displacement of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land, and the inclusion of Oromo cities and surrounding localities under Finfinnee [Addis Ababa] administration under the pretext of development". The Addis Ababa regime dismisses the OLA as a terrorist organisation.
While news of the killing of unarmed protesters has caused great concern among many Ethiopians, there has been little coverage overseas. The government maintains strict control over the domestic media; indeed, it frequently ranks as one of the world's chief jailers of journalists, and it is not easy to come by independent reporting of events in the country.
Nevertheless, the government's communique does run contrary to reports by the few international media that did cover the attacks in Ambo, which placed the blame firmly on government forces.
The BBC reported that a witness in Ambo saw more than 20 bodies on the street, while Voice of America (VOA) reported that at least 17 protesters were killed by "elite security forces" on three campuses in Oromia. Local residents maintain that the figure [of those killed] was much higher.
These reports, while difficult to corroborate, have been backed up by Human Rights Watch, which issued a statement saying that "security forces have responded [to the protests] by shooting at and beating peaceful protesters in Ambo, Nekemte, Jimma, and other towns with unconfirmed reports from witnesses of dozens of casualties". One university lecturer said he had been "rescued from the live ammunition", and that it was the "vampires – the so-called federal police" who fired on the crowds.
The Ethiopian government likes to trumpet its higher education system to its western aid backers as a crowning success of its development policy. As billions in foreign aid are spent annually on Ethiopia, the west must be more cognisant of the fact that this money helps reinforce a government which cuts down those who dare to speak out against it.
Inevitably, continued support for such an oppressive regime justifies its brutal silencing of dissent. Yes, the higher education system has grown exponentially over the past 15 years but the oppression and killing of innocent students cannot be considered an achievement. Any system which crushes its brightest should not be considered a success.
Paul O'Keeffe is a doctoral fellow at La Sapienza University of Rome, where he focuses on the higher education system in Ethiopia
የጽሁፉ ምንጭ፦ Addis standard
Kiram Tadesse
A new survey conducted by Selam Development Consultants, assisted by JGAM Donors in collaboration with the Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, revealed Ethiopia’s Customs and Revenue Authority as the most corrupt government office followed by the construction permit and land administration offices.
Entitled “Perception of the Level of Corruption by Foreign Investors in Ethiopia”, the study, which also aimed at identifying public sector institutions that are more prone to corruption according to foreign investors operating in Ethiopia, states corruption in Ethiopia has generally decreased.
However, according to the survey, in institutions dealing with customs, import & export, foreign currency, taxes and tax collection, land acquisition for business purposes and other public utilities such as electricity and telecom, corruption has shown an increase.  
 “Even if there were no documented and study based focus areas so far in the commission, the findings of the survey are not new,” Ali Suleman, Commissioner of the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission toldAddis Standard. “Customs and Revenue, and public financial institutions have been the focus areas of the commission and will continue to be,” he added.
The survey stated that government contracts still need to be further improved as some respondents perceived that at least half of the government contracts involve unofficial payment averaging 24% of the value of contracts.
“This implies that the government still needs to work on the reform processes and reviewing the salary of civil servants,” says the survey.
The survey result also showed that lack of evidence, actions against those who commit corruption and clarity about corruption proceedings as the three top reasons why people would not report corruption to the relevant authorities.
More than 400 foreign investors, who are currently investing in Ethiopia, were included in the survey.
ሲዳማ፦ ሕዝብና ባሕሉ ዳግም እትም በኣማዞን  ድረገጽ በመሽጥ ላይ ነው

በሲዳማ ህዝብ እና ባህል ላይ የመጀመሪያው እና ብቸኛውን መጽሃፍ በኣማርኛ ቋንቋ በመጻፍ እና በማሳተማቸው የሚታወቁት ካላ ቤታና ሆጤሶ፤ የመጀመሪያውን እትም ሲያሳትሙ በጊዜው በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የነበረው መንግስት ይከተለው በነበረው ሰንሶርሽፕ(censorship) ተቆርጠው እንድወጡ የተደረጉትን መረጃዎችን ጨምሮ በኣዲስ መልክ ያዘጋጁትን ዳግም እትም በታዋቂው ኣማዞን ድረገጽ ላይ ለገበያ ኣቅርበዋል።

የወራንቻ ኢንፎርሜሽን ኔትዎርክ ሲዳማውያን እና የሲዳማ ወዳጆች መጽሃፉን በመግዛት ከፖለቲካ ኣመለካከታዊ ኣድሎ ነጻ የሆነውን እውነተኛ የብሄሩን ታሪክ እንዲያነቡ ይጋብዛል። 

Sidama, People and Culture(Amharic Edition) (Amharic) Paperback 

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Book Empire; 2nd edition (2013)
  • Language: Amharic
  • ISBN-10: 9090932186
  • ISBN-13: 978-9090932187
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,528,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

PRODUCTION ON FOOD SECURITY IN SNNP REGION ------- Summary ------- 1. Late, uneven, and generally poor 2008 seasonal rains resulted in poor coffee production and expected decreases in sweet potato cultivation, negatively affecting food security in eastern Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) Region. Humanitarian agencies expect food insecurity in coffee-producing and sweet potato- dependent areas of SNNP Region to continue until the usual green maize harvest in June, negatively affecting more than 600,000 individuals in coffee- producing areas in the coming months. 2. In response, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID/Ethiopia continue to provide assistance through non- governmental organization (NGO) partners and report on humanitarian conditions. In Sidama and Wolayta zones, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia multi-donor Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) protects approximately 553,000 chronically food insecure individuals' assets and livelihoods through predictable transfers of cash and/or food from January to June 2009. USAID provides approximately one third of all transfers in the PSNP. With USAID/OFDA funds, GOAL is also providing nutritional support to vulnerable populations in SNNP Region. End Summary. ------------------------------- Coffee: An Important Cash Crop ------------------------------- 3. In Gedeo and Sidama zones, SNNP Region, coffee production and associated casual labor represent important sources of income generation. According to the 2003/2004 household economy analysis, 60 percent of poor coffee farmers in Gedeo Zone and nearly 75 percent of poor individuals in Sidama Zone earn a substantial proportion of income either from coffee sales or associated casual labor. For many coffee farmers, coffee production is the only means of acquiring cash revenue, which farmers use to purchase supplementary food items and agricultural inputs and pay for school fees and health care. 4. Most coffee-producing parts of SNNP Region are vulnerable to food insecurity. Even in non-coffee crisis years, children are often underweight for age and mothers are underweight for height due to low average crop yields and limited saved crops, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) staff. Therefore, the impact of low coffee production on nutrition is often immediate and widespread. ---------------------------------------- Decreased Coffee Production in 2008/2009 ---------------------------------------- 5. In 2008, long dry periods and uneven rains caused poor coffee seed formation in SNNP Region, resulting in nearly 60 percent failed coffee production in Sidama and Gedeo zones. According to preliminary findings from the 2008 meher multi- agency assessment team, decreased production is threatening food security for more than 600,000 individuals during the next six months, as families have less available income to purchase supplementary food items. In addition to reduced coffee production, decreased coffee and wage labor prices, reduced casual labor opportunities, and increased cereal prices are negatively affecting coffee farmers and laborers, according to the assessment team. 6. Up to 40 percent decreases in domestic coffee prices and more than 50 percent increases in cereal prices compared to 2007 have created adverse terms of trade between coffee and major cereal crops, according to OCHA staff. Coffee farmers typically purchase cereal crops to meet food requirements until the green maize harvest in June. The combination of adverse terms of trade and reduced coffee production have resulted in a shorter length of time that income from coffee sales will cover food needs. 7. Due to coffee production shortfalls and price reductions, coffee processing plants are not employing as many workers as in previous years and are paying workers reduced salaries. According to OCHA staff observations, only 32 of 85 wet coffee processing plants are currently operating in Gedeo, employing 60 casual labors per day compared to 600 last year. In Sidama, 132 of 288 wet coffee stations had initiated operations as of mid- December. In addition, the price of casual labor in coffee processing plants has decreased by up to 38 percent compared to December 2007. OCHA staff expressed concern that significant numbers of coffee workers in production, processing, marketing, and transportation are also unemployed or underemployed. --------------------------------------------- Sweet Potato: An Essential Transitional Crop --------------------------------------------- 8. For many farmers in Wolayta Zone, SNNP Region, sweet potatoes are a reliable food security crop, providing critical food supplies between the cereal harvest in December and the green maize harvest in June. The sweet potato plant has the advantage of having a late planting season--typically from September to October--making the crop valuable to farmers when rains are delayed. In addition, sweet potatoes are short-cycle crops, enabling farmers to harvest crops much earlier than cereals. -------------------------------- Sweet Potato Production Concerns -------------------------------- 9. Late and uneven 2008 rains resulted in poor sweet potato production, leading to an estimated 50 percent reduction in cuttings available for planting in September, according to USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). Although sweet potato plants are currently forming normally, FEWS NET estimates a 50 percent decline in sweet potato production in 2009 compared to previous years due to the reduction in cuttings for planting. ---------------------- Increased Malnutrition ---------------------- 10. Local health officials and NGOs report increased malnutrition rates in Sidama, Gedeo, and Wolayta zones. In early January, USAID/OFDA partner GOAL reported increased admissions to nutrition centers in Shebedino and Boricha woredas, Sidama Zone, and Damot Fulasa and Damot Gale woredas, Wolayta Zone, compared to early December 2008. In addition, an SNNP Region Food Security, Disaster Prevention, and Preparedness Bureau and Emergency Coordination Unit assessment indicated high levels of severe and global acute malnutrition in Dilla Zuria, Wanago, and Kochere woredas, Gedeo Zone. As the peak April to May hunger period approaches, humanitarian organizations expect child vulnerability to acute malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality to increase unless humanitarian organizations provide timely assistance. ---------- Conclusion ---------- 11. Areas striving to recover from serious food shortages as a result of the 2008 belg failure are once again facing serious humanitarian challenges. Decreases in coffee production, coupled with low coffee prices and unemployment in Sidama and Gedeo zones are threatening food security for an estimated 600,000 people for the next six months. In Wolayta Zone, humanitarian agencies anticipate significantly reduced sweet potato production in 2009, limiting communities' access to important transitional crops between December and June harvests. 12. Through predictable transfers of cash and/or food during the first six months of 2009, the PSNP protects the assets and livelihoods of approximately 553,000 chronically food insecure people in Simada and Wolayta zones. USAID provides approximately one third of all transfers in the PSNP. In addition, GOAL is providing nutritional support in Sidama and Wolayta through the establishment of community-based therapeutic feeding programs with USAID/OFDA funds. USAID/Ethiopia and USAID/OFDA staff will continue to monitor the food security situation in SNNP Region and report on humanitarian conditions. YAMAMOTO