Ethiopian News

  • U.S. Government Inaugurates New Regional Public Health Laboratory in Mekelle

    The newly constructed lab provides quality assurance services for the entire region’s hospitals and health center laboratories

    Mekelle, Tigray- May 25, 2017: The fourth state-of-the-art regional referral public health laboratory in Ethiopia, constructed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was formally inaugurated and handed over to the Tigray National Regional State today.

    Chargè d’Affaires, Peter H. Vrooman, was joined at the inauguration by H.E. Daniel Assefa, Mayor of Mekelle city. In addition, representatives from the Tigray regional state, the U.S. Embassy, and others attended the ceremony.

    The regional public health laboratory was constructed at a cost of USD $3.5 million (80 million Eth. birr) and will serve a population of approximately 5 million people in the Tigray region and northern parts of Ethiopia.

    The facility will strengthen the surveillance and diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), tuberculosis (TB), and other infectious diseases as well as play an integral role in Ethiopia's public health emergency response system. The newly constructed lab will provide external quality assurance services for the entire region’s hospitals and health center laboratories.

    In addition, the regional public health lab will serve as a training site for laboratory professionals on the diagnosis of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, HIV viral load and quality management system as well as serve as public health research institute for the region.

    With a total floor area of 1,500 square meters, the new two-story building meets International Building Code standards and features fully equipped modern lab facilities, standard laboratory benches, epoxy floors and wall structures for better infection control. It has mechanical ventilation and backup generator for the entire facility and a walk-in freezer and TB liquid culture Lab.

    The construction of this new national training center is part of the U.S. Government’s long term commitment to strengthening infrastructure for health systems and to combat HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Through CDC, the United States has provided financial and technical assistance to the Ethiopian government for more than 15 years, improving national, regional, and facility-based laboratories, and supporting programmatic and surveillance activities that have helped stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, existing and emerging outbreaks.

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  • Yonatan sentenced to six & half years jail term for his Facebook post



    (Dire Tube News, Addis Ababa)— Yonatan Tesfaye, the former Spokesperson of Semayawi (Blue), an opposition Party, has been sentenced to six and half years term of prison for he was found guilty of “encouraging terrorism” for comments he made on his Facebook page.


    The court’s decision was passed on Thursday’s court hearing.

    A court found him guilty on May 16 and adjourned to Thursday, May 25, 2017.

    He was arrested in December 2015 as a wave of anti-government protests in the Oromia region was gathering momentum.

    A section of Ethiopia's anti-terror law stipulates that anyone who makes a statement that could be seen as encouraging people to commit an act of terror can be prosecuted.

    In a translation of the charge sheet by the Ethiopian Human Rights Project that details the Facebook comments, Mr. Yonatan allegedly said: "I am telling you to destroy [the ruling party's] oppressive materials... Now is the time to make our killers lame."

    The authorities objected to several posts including one in which Yonatan said the government used "force against the people instead of peaceful discussion".

    Ethiopia has been criticized for using anti-terror laws to silence dissent and by different international human right advocates and opposition political parties.



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  • Teddy Afro’s “Ethiopia” translated into English

    Ethiopian Professor Alemayehu Gebremariam, a Lecturer of Political Science at California State University, San Bernardino, has translated Teddy Afro’s much beloved “Ethiopia” song into English aiming for those native Ethiopians, who have born and raised abroad.

    He wrote on his commentaries blog that, “I have prepared this translation for two reasons”. And, his reasons are;

    Firstly, said Professor Alemayehu, to help young Ethiopians in the Diaspora who do not speak or understand Amharic get a glimpse of the musical genius of Teddy Afro, and;

    Secondly, to acquaint them with the metaphysics of “Ethiopiawinet”, a state of being and consciousness, a philosophy and way of life, a system of beliefs and praxis of being Ethiopian. I do not believe there is anyone today who can explain Ethiopiawinet (“Ethiopianity”) better than Tewdros Kassahun.

    Certainly, no one better to communicate it to the younger generation. I also hope to introduce this musical legend to my global readership so that they too may appreciate and enjoy his music as millions have come to appreciate Ethiopian cuisine throughout the world. “If music be the food of love, play on,” wrote Shakespeare.

    Here you can find Professor Alemayehu’s English version poem for Teddy Afro’s Ethiopia:-

    Even if I pass [die] away
    My motherland [Ethiopia]
    She [remains] is my honor
    Indeed, [she is] my [mother] country.

    So many have died
    Guarding your [her] honor
    Against those who have crossed seas
    To dishonor you [her].

    You are the land of heroes
    [Land] Where Adam left his footprints
    The fountainhead of Ghion [river mentioned in Ch. 2, Genesis]
    [From where] your name is called out.

    Not only those who see your flag waving in the SKY
    Even those who hear the name “Ethiopia” [dare] keep quiet
    Not only those who see your flag waving in the sky
    Even those who hear the name “Ethiopia” [dare] keep quiet.

    With your rainbow [shining]
    The sky draped with your flag
    Your symbol is imprinted on the palm of the world
    And known [even] to Aryam [Ge’ez: sky above all skies, heaven].

    Mountain [ranges] of high peaks
    Have stood guard over you
    [From] The peak of mountains
    That citadel of Axum, Ethiopia.

    You are the gate to Creation
    The [beginning] chapter for the round world
    If [rainbow] colors are seen across the SKY
    It is hers [Ethiopia’s] and no one else’s.

    Even though the world calls her [Ethiopia] backward today
    She will be the front runner of the coming age
    Just let me repeat her name over and over
    Isn’t Ethiopia my own name?

    If there is less food [injera] on the table [Ethiopia is poor]
    Is it possible to TRADE one’s [poor] mother for anything else
    I will hold tight on her skirt
    And never give up hope in my mother.

    Before [I] finish paying her [Ethiopia] for all her favors
    Should not people say [shout out] “Unity” when they hear [the name] Ethiopia
    Ethiopia! Ethiopia! My country!
    Isn’t my honor because of you?

    You are the seed of Solomon
    Tears of the holy ones from which your leaf sprouted
    It should be nothing new [not be surprised] today to those
    Who touched [provoked] you to be burned by the fire they lit.

    Without any limitation to your glory
    In the book of your heritage with the history of the spirit of the ages [written]
    The prophets saw you from afar and wrote in their books:
    “Don’t touch Ethiopia!”

    In the north
    In the south
    In the east and in the west
    May your bounty be full!

    Begone hardship [misery] from the land [Ethiopia]
    Let your bounty be full!
    Begone hardship [misery] from your land [Ethiopia]
    Let your bounty be full!


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  • News Analysis-- Political vibes after Dr. Tedros’s victory


    (Dire Tube News, Addis Ababa)— Ecstasy—emerged out of first Black’s victory to lead the UN Agency—WHO, and vexations over the protest against Dr. Tedros and the current regime in Ethiopia have been observed before and after Dr. Tedros was voted Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

    Dr. Tedros — a malaria expert who campaigned under his first name — ultimately beat Dr. David Nabarro of Britain after three voting rounds. The final tally was 133 votes to 50, with three abstaining or not voting. Dr. Sania Nishtar, a Pakistani cardiologist and expert in noncommunicable diseases, was eliminated after receiving 38 votes in the first round.

    The election was the first conducted by the WHO under more open and democratic rules, according to international media reports. After nearly two years of public campaigning, originally by six candidates, the voting took place in a closed-door session in which the health ministers of 186 countries cast their ballots in secret.

    Of the U.N. health agency’s 194 member states, 185 were eligible to cast ballots. Nine others either were in arrears on their dues or not represented at the gathering.

    Dr. Tedros, 52, replaces Dr. Margaret Chan of China, who has held the post for a decade. He sworn in to lead the UN health agency for the coming five years. Tedros is expected to receive over 200 thousand USD annual salary.

    He is best known for having drastically cut deaths from malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and neonatal problems when he was Ethiopia’s health minister. He trained 40,000 female health workers, hired outbreak investigators, improved the national laboratory, organized an ambulance system and oversaw a tenfold increase in medical school graduates, according to the government.

    After the victory, the winner—Dr. Tedros, the former Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs, addressed the gathering in Geneva, Switzerland about his commitment saying that, “challenging times for global health” but added that “all roads lead to universal health coverage,” calling it his central priority. He said only about half of the world’s population has access to health care “without impoverishment”.

    “This election has been unprecedented in that it brought transparency to the organization, and even greater legitimacy to the director-general,” Tedros said. “I will exercise this legitimacy to bring the change and reform we need for this noble organization to reclaim its trust from member states and from every citizen of the world.”

    Ethiopian supporters were seen hugging him and high-fived each other after the announcement. Tedros, who prefers to go by his first name, will succeed Dr. Margaret Chan of China, who is ending her 10-year tenure on June 30.

    The WHO Director-General wields considerable power in setting medical priorities that affect billions of people and declaring when disease outbreaks evolve into global emergencies.

    The agency has stumbled in recent years, most notably in its error-prone response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. All three candidates had vowed to overhaul the agency to restore credibility.

    After Tedros was voted, the Ethiopian government and the African Union (AU), among others, have welcomed the victory with a wide arm.

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn hailed in a statement that the election of Dr. Tedros proved Ethiopia’s recognition in the global political-economy arena.

    Tedros’s former ministry, Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also disclosed the victory as a success of Ethiopia’s diplomacy the international arena.

    “It is a reward of Ethiopia’s positive and influential multilateral diplomacy and its participation in international forums,” Meles Alem, Spokeperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs told 105.3 Afro FM radio station.

    The African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat also said in a statement that “the world has chosen a consummate global health statesman with a strong track record of embedding global public health and health security as a vital cornerstone of human development.”

    The appointment of Dr. Tedros marks the first African to assume WHO’s top position in the organization’s 70 years history, the statement further added.

    On the other side of the spectrum, Ethiopians were gathered in Geneva, Switzerland at the UN to protest against Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s WHO’s Director General position candidacy.

    Even, to some diasporas, the “remarkable success” welcomed by Ethiopia’s government and the AU, especially, the former is a “case somewhat related to government’s maneuver to depict the supremacy of Tigrean ethnic background over others”.
    For them, “Tedros’s candidacy is directly attached to his membership in the TPLF”.

    Before one day of the voting, Tedros’ speech was interrupted by a diaspora who was in a hall, who later pushed out by security forces. Some reports claimed that, “the Briton competitor did that to harass the former Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs”.

    Diaspora opposition forces and political activists, on the other hand have a different point of view on the issue.

    “Dr. Tedros’s victory to become the next WHO leader is not a new and big deal at all,” they said. “There are notable Ethiopians who are leaders of international organizations,” they added.

    They mentioned United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) Deputy Director General Getachew Engida, Admassu Tadesse, President and CEO of the PTA Bank and Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as an evidence.

    They went on to say that, “even the ruling party’s and some cadres mantra of Tedros’s victory is because he is from the Tigrean ethnic background is useless”.

    Foreign based analysts like Ermias Legesse, the former State Minister of Government Communications Affairs Office during Meles Zenawi’s era, also attributed the opposition against candidate’s competition was due to “the human rights violation and mass killings of hundreds by government security forces on last year’s unrest”. “Therefore, the opposition was due to the opposition of the regime in Ethiopia,” he concluded.

    Last but not least, here is a decisive question we should raise here: - Will the humble, dedicated and cheerful Dr. Tedros Adhanom be a successful African leader of the WHO akin to his speech after his victory?


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  • The Most Searched Terms on Google in 2016

    How many times did you search for terms on the Internet last year? Google’s search engine performed 1.2 trillion searches in 2016.

    In Google, the most popular search terms worldwide were:

    • Donald Trump
    • Powerball
    • Prince
    • David Bowie
    • Pokémon
    • Hillary Clinton
    • France
    • Ramadan
    • Orlando
    • Academy Awards
    • Chicago Cubs

    Top 10 Countries where people Googled the term 5ex last year

    1. Sri Lanka
    2. India
    3. Papua New Guinea
    4. Ethiopia
    5. Pakistan
    6. Bangladesh
    7. Vietnam
    8. Nepal
    9. Somalia
    10. Cambodia

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  • PM Hailemariam calls on Ethiopians to leave Saudi before amnesty deadline

     Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn called on undocumented Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia to leave the country before the amnesty deadline that ends June 29, 2017.

    In a press conference he gave in China in connection with the approaching Saudi amnesty deadline, the Premier said previously without prior notice thousands of Ethiopian repatriates were deported and the situation was challenging to handle.

    “However, with relentless efforts of the government, we successfully managed the situation."

    "In this Saudi policy to expelled out undocumented citizens to leave their country we have been provided time to facilitate for safe return of our citizens. Therefore, I urged Ethiopian repatriates to use the amnesty period, “he urged.

    The people and the government of Ethiopia are endeavoring to curb human trafficking, he said and adding the effort would be intensified in an organized manner to protect citizens from any rights violation harassment.

    As part of this effort, the government is dealing with Saudi Arabia, the principal labor hiring country for Ethiopia, to reach a final labor exchange agreement. A serious of discussions were held with Saudi officials and consensus was reached to held the repatriation in the way adheres human rights.

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