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Friday, September 19, 2014

This chart, sent to us by well placed source, shows ethnic composition of employees of Ethiopia’s  federal government. The data shows huge disparity when compared to ethnic composition of the country, even if we use the disputed 2007 census.   Amharas make up 51% percent of the employees, which is twice the size of their proportion of the country’s  population. Oromos make up 12.7% which is one-fourth of their population size. Somalis, the third largest ethnic group in the country,  make up about 6.2% of the total population but  they only constitute just 0.07% of the federal government’s workforce.
There is a group categorized as ‘unidentified/ undisclosed’ constituting  23.7% of the federal workforce. While its not clear what criteria is being used to categorize them as such, we can assume these are people who refuse to identify their ethnic background. The likely candidate for this are Amharas who oppose ‘ethnic’ politics and Tigreans whose identity are hidden by the ruling party in order to suppress the ratio of Tigreans in federal government. Therefore, the proportion of Amharas and Tigreans is likely to be higher.
What explains such disproportionate share of Amharas in federal workforce? History!  Its not secret that  historically administrative functions were the domain  of Amharas. Their proportion has decreased in regional states due to federalism and  change in working language that opened the room for native civil servants. But the federal system still remains the same. Under the supposedly diversified federal cabinet lies an Amhara dominated bureaucracy  in control of and running the machine.
Finally, while not equitable, women’s representation is quite reasonable. They make up 50.6%  of the whole population and  39.2% of the federal workforce.
You can find the English version of the document here
Source: http://www.gulelepost.com/2014/09/18/ethnic-composition-of-employees-of-the-ethiopian-federal-government/
Mahlet Fasil
It is not often that one finds an artist audacious enough to immerse his artwork in a realistic portrayal of landscape and cityscape in the current Ethiopian art scene. Fitsum Tefera is all too aware of the prestige usually associated with a variety of abstractism.   In fact he is not reserved from expressing his reverence of the great Ethiopian artists who went far on that road, some of whom his teachers. “When you spend a long time leading a life of an artist, you begin to yearn for alternatives in conveying your message,” says the 28 year old who does not find it hard to humbly admit he is a relative novice. “With maturity and much contemplation, there is a possibility that you might be prone to recede from depicting reality as it is.”  
But not him. At least not yet. He is a nature aficionado whose love affair with landscape painting is tied with his childhood in Bale, an area in Southeastern Ethiopia famous for its gorgeous mountainous features. Born in Hawassa, the capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, Fitsum spent part of his childhood surrounded by those magnificent mountains in Bale. “We all are our influences in life or art,” he says. “I do other forms of art; I do portraits. But naturally I am disposed towards geographical surroundings.”
A graduate with great distinction from the Addis Abeba University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Fitsum nostalgically remembers the day he passed the entrance exam to join the school as “one of the happiest moments of my life.”  After leaving the school in 2011, he began to work at the National Museum Art Gallery as a curator during day time while spending his remaining time and energy to bring a harmony between his soul and nature on his canvases.
That means Fitsum is not always confined in his small studio located around Arat Kilo here in Addis Abeba to do what he loves doing. Often times he packs his small, portable canvases and hits the road to places where his inspiration dwells.
But it’s a passion that has a heavy price tag; the existing art market is not typically jovial about small canvas paintings, but he is not exclusively received with a heart rendering cold indifference either. “There is a misconception that an artwork is valued upon its size,” he told Addis Standard. Despite an undoubted boost in the market for art works since the past couple of years, it still doesn’t seem to have successfully outgrown its niche audience. Fitsum sees yet another problem on this arena. According to him, admirable as it is that there is a market ready to sprout an art scene, some young artists are falling victims to following what is money-making at a certain given time.
His paintings have been exhibited in a number of venues including Laphto Art Gallery, Alliance Ethio Franciase, Addis Art Fair, the Radisson Blu Hotel and at the Sudanese National Museum in Khartoum. Currently Fitsum is the fine art curator at the National Museum of Ethiopia.
A group of United Nations human rights experts* today urged the Government of Ethiopia to stop misusing anti-terrorism legislation to curb freedoms of expression and association in the country, amid reports that people continue to be detained arbitrarily.
The experts' call comes on the eve of the consideration by Ethiopia of a series of recommendations made earlier this year by members of the Human Rights Council in a process known as the Universal Periodic Review which applies equally to all 193 UN Members States. These recommendations are aimed at improving the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, including in the context of counter-terrorism measures.
"Two years after we first raised the alarm, we are still receiving numerous reports on how the anti-terrorism law is being used to target journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and opposition politicians in Ethiopia," the experts said. "Torture and inhuman treatment in detention are gross violations of fundamental human rights."
"Confronting terrorism is important, but it has to be done in adherence to international human rights to be effective," the independent experts stressed. "Anti-terrorism provisions need to be clearly defined in Ethiopian criminal law, and they must not be abused."
The experts have repeatedly highlighted issues such as unfair trials, with defendants often having no access to a lawyer. "The right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of association continue to be violated by the application of the anti-terrorism law," they warned.
"We call upon the Government of Ethiopia to free all persons detained arbitrarily under the pretext of countering terrorism," the experts said. "Let journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents and religious leaders carry out their legitimate work without fear of intimidation and incarceration."
The human rights experts reiterated their call on the Ethiopian authorities to respect individuals' fundamental rights and to apply anti-terrorism legislation cautiously and in accordance with Ethiopia's international human rights obligations.
"We also urge the Government of Ethiopia to respond positively to the outstanding request to visit by the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and on the situation of human rights defenders," they concluded. (UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18 September, 2014: "By 2063 Africa should have won the FIFA World Cup at least once: not just host, but won", African Union Commission Chairperson H.E. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said to Mr. Issa Hayatou, President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) when they met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 18 September 2014.
The CAF President paid a courtesy call on the AUC Chairperson ahead of CAF's annual Executive Committee meeting holding at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mr. Hayatou thanked the AUC Chairperson for hosting the meeting during which CAF will decide on the host nations for AFCON 2019 and 2021.
Having attracted massive attendance from national delegations including very high level representatives from the five countries vying to host, the AU has become both Africa's political and football capital during these days, Mr. Hayatou said.
"CAF has a special place not only in the AU, but also in the continent. The organization enables our young people to do sports, while demonstrating their great talents. Most importantly the games embody enormous capacity to enhance our integration and social cohesion", Dr. Dlamini Zuma said while welcoming the CAF President and his delegation to feel at home at the AU headquarters.
Dr. Dlamini Zuma took the opportunity of the meeting to brief CAF on Africa's development and transformation agenda. Focusing on Agenda 2063, she invited CAF, like many others have been doing, to also reflect and contribute its ideas on the Africa it would like to see in 2063.
Teasing out some popular aspirations emerging from national consultations in contribution to Agenda 2063, Dr. Dlamini Zuma said the youths would like to have common African curricula so that they can study and work anywhere on the continent; The businesspeople would like to have an African passport to freely travel around the continent without the hurdles of applying for visas; the women would like to have more access to land and modern inputs to carry out agricultural activities. Dr. Dlamini Zuma also said Africa would like to connect its capitals with high speed trains, provide broadband connections to every village, build modern transport infrastructure; make renewable energy abundantly available and more.
The AUC Chairperson and CAF President also discussed the situation of the Ebola epidemic as well as other issues of development and peace that the continent is currently faced with.
"Listening to you and hearing your thoughts, we know Africa is in good hands. Africa is on the right path. I can assure you of CAF's presence and support in dealing with all these key continental issues", the CAF President said, while re-assuring the AUC Chairperson that Africa is doing everything possible to not only continue hosting the World Cup, but to also win it even before 2063.
Source: allAfrica.com

Physical violence at home and in the wider community, mental violence in the family and prevalence of FGM high in Ethiopia
Despite decades of efforts made by governments in regulations and legislation, the levels of physical, sexual and emotional violence against children throughout Africa remains high, revealed a new report.
Released in Addis Abeba this morning, the African Report on Violence against Children, the first comprehensive analysis of violence against children across the region which is based on surveys undertaken in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe look into a diverse environment of family and community within which the African child grows and provides disconcerting details that call up on a a concerted program of action to ensure that children across the continent are offered the best levels of protection against all forms of violence.
Owing to an array of social, cultural and economic factors such as urbanization, deepening poverty and inequality, family fragmentation and the perseverance of traditional norms that often do not always correspond to contemporary legal and human rights codes, violence inflicted upon children in the region takes different shapes as well as it may be more prevalent in certain environments due to contextual factors maintains the report. These contextual factors include age, ability and gender of the child; the socioeconomic status of the family and the presence or absence of a family support system; broader socio cultural norms; and the effectiveness of existing child protection services.
Risk factors for experiencing violence beyond home have an unfortunate nature of increasing as the child grows up. Settings intended to promote the development and protection of children like schools may be venues of exposure for risk. The risk of violence is typically high for children without families, including those living and working on the streets and in other hazardous environments such as domestic work; and children with disabilities.
Violent disciplinary measures, aiming to correct the child or punish him or her for a misdemeanor, are fairly common within homes, schools and communities. 60 per cent of children in Morocco, Uganda and Zambia are indicated to have experienced some sort of physical punishment from family members meanwhile that number drops to around half in Ethiopia and Mali.
The prevalence of physical violence, however, is high above that with an estimated 92 per cent of pupils interviewed in Togo, 86 per cent in Sierra Leone and 73 per cent in Egypt reported corporal punishment from their teachers or physical violence from their classmates. In Ethiopia, 30 per cent of pupils reported corporal punishment.
Meanwhile 52 per cent Ethiopian children interviewed reported physical violence within the wider community. Common settings for physical violence against children outside home, as studies indicate, are neighborhoods where children play and socialize, on the way from and to school and on the streets. Girls may especially encounter violence while fetching water or collecting firewood.
Even though the prevalence of sexual violence in Ethiopia is relatively lower (10 per cent children experienced at least one form of sexual violence in the community and 2 per cent at home,) the country is identified by the report as recently becoming a favorite destination for child sex tourism.
Fifty three per cent of children surveyed in Ethiopia are exposed to some sort of mental violence within the family. Forms of mental violence range from insults and name calling to bullying and threats.
A practice that is prevalent in about 27 countries, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), one form of violence, a number of countries including Ethiopia are called up on to do better in tackling. In nine countries the prevalence is well over 75 per cent (in Ethiopia it is 74 per cent). The highest prevalence is registered in Somalia and Guinea but the largest contribution in absolute number of girls and women who have undergone cutting comes from Egypt and Ethiopia.
Child marriage is another common cultural practice involving violence with Niger leading in 75 per cent prevalence. For Ethiopia that number is 41 per cent.
The report, which has been produced by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) in collaboration with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children as a response to the recommendation made at the 15th Ordinary Session of the ACERWC highlights that violence against children remains pervasive and progress in this regard has been too slow, too uneven and too fragmented and concludes by asserting that a concerted effort across many fronts needs to be made to bring violence against Africa's children to an end.
Source: allAfrica.com