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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Biodiversity, Health and Food Systems in Ethiopia

Location: The field course will be based in Hawassa in the Sidama region of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People Region (SNNP) of Ethiopia
Dates: December 29 – January 15, 2015, tentative, may change by a day or two in either direction
Credits: 3; Inter-Ag and Nutritional Sciences 421, Global Health Field Experience
Instructors: Heidi Busse (co-leader), Girma Tefera (co-leader), Ephrem Abebe, Kerry Zaleski, Tiffini Diage
1. Personal Qualities–Self-motivated, active learners; interested in food security, global health, and sustainable development issues; able to accept unexpected changes in travel schedule, accommodations, and other course logistics; able to tolerate heat, dust, and simple living conditions and be without modern conveniences
2. Language–There is no language prerequisite, as English is the language used for secondary education and above in Ethiopia. We will have language lessons prior to and during the field course. Students should indicate if they have any Amharic or other Ethiopian language skills in their application.
3. Minimum GPA–3.2
4. Coursework–Students must have completed at least one of the Certificate of Global Health’s core classes: Introduction to Global Health
Agriculture and health are interrelated, as the health of people depends upon productive agricultural systems and productive agricultural systems require healthy people, plants, and environments. Agriculture and health impact each other in important ways. Too often their policy-making processes, however, are conducted independently of each other, resulting in programs and policies that are not aligned and may, in fact, have goals that are in contradiction with each other. Consideration of the interrelationships between agriculture and health throughout the policymaking process can have multiple benefits: improving health outcomes, reducing malnutrition and food insecurity, and alleviating poverty.
One strategy for creating policies that consider agricultural and health goals is to design community-based food systems that are culturally appropriate, locally driven, and meaningful to stakeholders. A community-based food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and community health of a particular place. Designed with the community in mind, local values, beliefs, and leadership can be infused throughout the tiers to promote health and sustainability.
The Ethiopia Field Course will explore the intersections of agriculture and health in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region of southern Ethiopia. The region is primarily agricultural and inhabited by many tribes with distinct cultural, linguistic, and spiritual beliefs. Most of the rural communities in southern Ethiopia have cultivated the land for generations, producing crops for subsistence/household consumption. However, the landscape and communities are changing rapidly, largely due to external factors that impact local economic, environmental, and social/household structures. These changes are often guided by market goals which may conflict with the values of local communities and are not ecologically sustainable. The field course will take these historical, political, cultural, economic, and environmental issues into consideration as we explore the question of how can we create food systems that integrate the best practices of industrial agricultural with the local values of communities in order to maximize human and environmental health.
The students in the Ethiopia Field Course will attend lectures by faculty and staff from the UW, Addis Ababa University, Hawassa University, government, and local/international NGOs in order to ask questions about and improve understanding of the interrelationships needed for professionals from across sectors (not just agriculture and health, but also business development, transportation planning, and education, as examples) to work together to achieve shared goals. The course will involve students in service learning projects in rural Ethiopian communities, with a focus on food systems, school/community gardens, and nutrition/health education. We will also be involved with implementing a youth leadership program at Project Mercy, working with camp coordinators and counselors to deliver lessons on food systems, nutrition, and health, and helping youth identify meaningful service learning projects in their communities. This goal is that this will foster future UW service learning projects that come from the community, and they can support Ethiopian youth in their ideas.
Learning Objectives
1. Introduce students to rural community life and culture in Ethiopia, discussing the burden of disease and factors that impact well-being and the root causes of these issues. Explore how health is viewed from community members’ perspectives, and the importance of working through a variety of disciplines (health care, agriculture, engineering, business development, etc.) to contribute to sustainable community development. Health in this field course is broadly defined, to include not only individual and family well-being, but also social, economic, and environmental indicators (e.g., food security, social ties, role of traditional healers, emotional/mental health, and climate change).
2. Define the concepts of food security and describe how food systems relate to public health. Explore the relationships between ecosystem and public health, considering how the health of ecosystems affects the health of human communities. Students will gain understanding about current environmental issues in rural Ethiopia (e.g., climate change, deforestation, water quality and availability, overgrazing, loss of biodiversity, etc.), considering both how ecosystem health impacts humans and how humans affect the health of the ecosystem. With consideration given to traditional knowledge about the local flora, fauna, and landscapes.
3. Using the Social Ecological Model as a guide, the course will look at case studies to show how change at multiple levels – community, academic institutions, government policy – is a necessary strategy for sustainable development. Meet with community and government representatives to understand measures being taken to address key health concerns locally.
4. Observe and understand the major issues related to nutrition and food security, and its subsequent public health impacts. Special emphasis will be placed on maternal and child health, local foods and traditional ways of preparing them, and innovative projects that are working to strengthen community food security.
5. Integrate students into community-based education and service activities (COBES), providing opportunities for service learning with community groups, rural health clinics, and NGOs. Practice respectful and mutual engagement with local populations during site visits.
Service Learning
The community service learning projects are a vital part of the Ethiopia field course. We have carefully selected the community-based learning site, choosing partners that share common values and whose mission aligns with that of the UW’s global health ethic. The community service learning site, Project Mercy located in Yetebon, Ethiopia, has hosted university student groups previously and the directors and staff have the experience and leadership to offer meaningful service learning experiences. The primary service learning activity at Project Mercy is for the UW students to assist with the pilot implementation of a youth leadership camp. The camp is being coordinated by Project Mercy, Hawassa University, and UW staff, with the primary instructors/counselors to be Ethiopian students (from agriculture and medical student groups from Hawassa). The camp is called NEFSE, which stands for Nutrition, Environment, and Food Systems in Ethiopia. In Amharic, “nefse” means “life”. The camp content emphasizes topics in nutrition/health, the environment, and food systems/agriculture, with a key theme of leadership and community service in the Ethiopia context woven throughout. In addition to participating in this group service project, each student will have an independent project.
Program Fee:
$2100 for in state/Minnesota
$2350 for out of state
Fees include: summer credit, lodging, most in-country transportation, health insurance while abroad, and in country programming
Other Expenses:
Airfare at an estimate of $2000
$70 Exit fee
Application Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until program fills.
Application Materials: Fill out and submit the application here.
Acceptance: We will contact you via your campus e-mail address with acceptance into the program. In order to hold your spot, you will need to:
• Make a first payment of $500 (nonrefundable)
• Your signed acceptance forms (forms will be emailed to you)
• A copy of your valid, non-expired passport; if you don’t have a passport, apply for one now and bring in the other materials
The remainder of the program fee will be due April 30.
Please direct all questions to either the CALS Study Abroad Office, or Sweta Shrestha or Robin Mittenthal, Global Health Advisors. Where appropriate, they will forward your question to one of the trip leaders.

ምንጭ፦ www.fanabc.com
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የፊታችን ሰኞ ደግሞ ከ199 ሺህ በላይ የ12ኛ ክፍል ተማሪዎች የሚፈተኑት የዩኒቨርስቲ መግቢያ ፈተና ይቀጥላል።

World Bank Cash Injection Takes Total Loans to Record High
From left to right: Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia , Sisay Gemechu, state minister for Industry and Ahmed Shide, state minister for Finance and Economic Development.

The latest loans will help to finance industrial zones, a geothermal project and, potentially, the Modjo-Hawassa highway

ምንጭ፦ addisfortune.net
Latest and expected  injection of 430 million dollars from the World Bank to Ethiopia is bringing the country’s total loans for the year to a record high of 1.64 billion dollars.
Ethiopia’s loans from the Bank, coming through the International development Association – the Bank’s interest free facility for 80 of the world’s poorest countries- have been growing by hundreds of millions of dollars every year for the past few years, They have shot up from 640 million dollars in 2011 to 974 million dollars in 2012 and 1.15 billion dollar in 2013.
The latest figure of 1.64 billion dollars is believed to be the largest sum the Bank has ever extended in a single fiscal year to a client country, in this modality.
One of the latest loans, a 250 million dollar agreement signed on May 20, 2014, is the first time the Bank has forwarded financing for industrial zones in Africa. The financing goes towards attracting investment and improving enterprise competitiveness and productivity in targeted industrial zones at the Bole Lemi and Kilinto sites. The second loan, a 180 million dollar agreement also expected to be signed this month, will go towards financing a geothermal project.
“We are investing in the industrial zones because it is a basic instrument in the industrialisation process of the country and it is what is required of a country that aspires to join the middle class,” Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, who signed the agreement with Ahmed Shide, state minister for Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), told Fortune.
The bank believes this investment will enhance the competitiveness of the country, even though prior investments in the sector have had mixed results at best, according to Guang.
“There is only one industrial zone that is fully operational at this time and it is the eastern industrial zone, which is still not fully occupied despite its establishment five or six years back,” he said, adding that he has concerns with the gap in the legal framework and institutional capacity to enable effective and successful implementation of the project that the Bank will finance.
The loan for the geothermal project, through the Geothermal Sector Development Project (GSDP), will bring the total current loans and grants portfolio of Ethiopia to around six billion dollars.
The World Bank is also likely to provide financing in the range of 250 million dollar to 300 million dollars for the 218km Modjo to Hawassa Highway. The government has been looking for financing since 2011, targeting the Africa Development Bank(AfDB), the World Bank, China and Korea as possible sources. The African Development Bank extended a 126 million dollar loan in December 2013 to finance a 56km segment of the 93kms from Modjo to Ziway; the other section is supported by the Korean EXIM Bank. The World Bank’s loan is still in the making, though, according to Guang.
There are 39 countries in Africa which are to benefit from IDA loans; Ethiopia’s credit portfolio at the Bank is exclusively facilitated by the IDA.
Since its inception, IDA credits and grants have totaled 161 billion dollars, averaging seven to nine billion dollars a year in recent years and directing the largest share, about 50pc, to Africa, according to documents from the bank. Ethiopia gets the lion’s share from that.
The IDA loans finance primary education, basic health services, clean water supply and sanitation, environmental safeguards, business-climate improvements, infrastructure and institutional reforms. The IDA has supported 150 projects in Ethiopia to date, including 25 that are now active.

Coffee and tea drinkers spending an extra few dollars on Fairtrade-certified products are not actually benefitting the lives of the poorest workers in rural Ethiopia and Uganda, according to a new report.
Researchers at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London spent four years studying rural labour markets in areas producing coffee, tea and flower crops for export.
They found that the poorest manual agricultural wage workers in Fairtrade-certified farms are in fact paid less, and experience inferior working conditions, compared with those working in areas without Fairtrade certification.
“Careful fieldwork and analysis in this four-year-project leads to the conclusion that in our research sites, Fairtrade has not been an effective mechanism for improving the lives of wage workers, the poorest rural people,” said Christopher Cramer, economics professor at SOAS, and one of the study’s authors.
The Fairtrade Foundation is a U.K.-based charity, founded in 1992, to help producers in developing countries earn more for their products.
The study, funded by Britain’s Department for International Development, involved more than 1,000 days of field research and survey data on 1,700 respondents who exposed the often abysmal conditions of workers who pick the coffee beans, tea leaves, and flowers that make their way to stores in Europe and North America. 
The report, titled “Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda,” looked at several factors contributing to poor working conditions including: wage differences, job duration and sexual harassment.
In Ethiopia, 30 per cent of Fairtrade workers in coffee farms earned less than 60 per cent of the median wage for manual agricultural workers, compared with fewer than 5 per cent of non-Fairtrade workers. Meanwhile, 20 per cent of Fairtrade workers in flower fields in Ethiopia earned less than 60 per cent of the median wage.
“The best paid manual workers -- i.e. the top 20-30 per cent of the earnings distribution -- are more likely to be engaged in producing non-Fairtrade certified commodities,” the report says.
The report also found that those working for Fairtrade and small-scale coffee producers in Uganda and Ethiopia had, on average, fewer days of employment than those working on large-scale coffee production. 
Furthermore, the study found that workers in Fairtrade coffee production in Uganda and Ethiopia had almost no access to paid medical care, while at least some workers in non-Fairtrade production had medical assistance.
Workers in Ugandan coffee production also had less access to: free meals, clean toilets, showers and overtime compensation, compared to their counterparts working in non-Fairtrade production.
Meanwhile, 52 per cent of workers in Fairtrade Ethiopian flower production reported physical or sexual abuse at work, compared to 29 per cent of workers in non-Fairtrade production.
“The focus group in the flower site where there was Fairtrade certification clearly identified unwanted touching, obscene language and supervisors attempting to obtain sexual favours to retain their jobs or get better ones,” the report says.
But in a statement released in response to the report, the Fairtrade Foundation pointed to flaws in the study, and criticized its “generalized conclusions.” The foundation said there is a growing body of evidence that has “documented Fairtrade’s contribution to a wide range of positive benefits for farmers and workers across regions and countries where we work.”