• Visa Application for Ethiopians after Trump U.S embassy in Addis Ababa Interview:

    Interview released Friday, March 3, 2017 of Us Embassy in Addis Ababa Vice-Consul on Visa Applications for Ethiopians After President Trump's controversial policies

     Interview Transcript with Helpful Links of Exclusive Interview of R.Chase Thompson Vice-consul Embassy of the United States of America in Addis Ababa by Fana Broadcasting Corporation.

    Find out everything you need to know about the Visa application process after  President Donald Trump's executive order and what to expect in the future. 


    Is there a change on visa issuance for Ethiopian applicants under the Executive Order 13769?


    Small change right now for Ethiopian applicants and that change is just for the interview waiver program. We saw an impact for citizens of those seven countries mentioned in the Executive order, but that process right now is under judicial review.

    Things remain as they were before the executive order with a small change to our interview waiver program which has limited the time frame for those individuals seek to do an interview waiver. It was within 48 months of expiration, it is now down to twelve months Visa expires for less than twelve months you can send it to us by DHL and we will adjudicate it.

    See Also: Green card holders banned from entering U.S.


     If your visa has been expired for less than twelve months and you've been a good traveler, you can now just send it to us by DHL and in most cases, we will adjudicate it. 

    Does this small change affect Ethiopians and foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin?


    Some will be impacted by the interview waiver program. that change is for individuals for visas expired for more than 12 months. if it is less than they are still available for the interview waiver program. although we might ask them to come and ask some questions.

    Does the Embassy place limitations on the issuance of visas in Ethiopia?
    visas are not run on a quota system. Last year alone we issued over 18,000 visas and the vast majority was for Ethiopian applicants there is no quota in place.

    How will this visa process continue in the future?


    The visa program will continue per the direction of the administration. right now we see no change as the executive order is under judicial review. I mentioned a small change to our interview waiver program. How long does the small change on visa interview waiver program last? 

    U.S law gives a large amount of discretion to the administration and the President, our job is to enforce those laws, I can't speak to whether or not they will change in the future, but as soon as we have changes we will communicate changes.

    Immigrant and non-immigrant visas at the Embassy.


    Immigration and Non-immigration visas we in the consulate section are committed to facilitating legitimate travel.

    Our number one priority is of course to the United States and protecting our borders, but within the consulate section, we are committed to being a partner to Ethiopians and making sure that we help facilitate that legitimate travel.

    We have a large Ethiopian diaspora and many many travelers and people who do want to travel to the United States. One thing I will say if I can take a moment. We encourage travelers to apply early.

    We try to provide the fastest visa that we can, but often times, when people are traveling on non-immigrant visas, students, scholars, tourists, people going not to live but just temporarily that process, can take one week, two weeks and up to the month. And there is a number of reasons for that, we see very large spikes in demand during certain times of the year.

    The administrative process for US visa applicants.


    Many of our applicants are very familiar with that process. the application needs to be filled out completely and honestly, this helps us have the right information.

    The next step is paying a USD 160 nonrefundable processing fee. That fee doesn't benefit the United States, it is a specifically calculated a number that covers our processing fee.that fee needs to be paid to before the interview. the final step is just scheduling the appointment and coming in for the interview. So that is just the process of applying for a visa.

    We also here a term sometimes in the consulate, which is administrative processing. It's a large number of security checks and internal controls both here in Addis Ababa and sometimes in Washington DC

     Watch DireTube Video: Exclusive Interview on Visa Application Processes at U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa






    Fana Camera Endalk Ayale Mikeyas Brihaune 

    Video editor Solomon G/ Medhin 

    FBC Fana 



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  • Ethiopia - Timket in the City of Gondar 2017

    Timket means to be immersed in water in the ancient Ge'ez of the Horn of Africa and is the name of the yearly  Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebration which attracts a record number of tourists to Ethiopia every January.

    Hotels are booked long in advance and rooms in Gondar and Lalibela are very hard to find in short notice notwithstanding the new entrants to the lodging industry in those towns. 

    This documentary of the 2017 Timket celebration on January 20, begins with an interview of a visitor to Ethiopia who speaks in Amharic and is involved in producing media about Ethiopian tourist attractions. He expresses his joy in taking part in the rich ceremonies.

    EBC interviews a man who says it is his first time and that he is happy with what he has seen here. Views of the castle grounds and religious music are in the background. Timket is celebrated here as in many of the Ethiopian towns to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in his early 30s. An older priest explains the significance of the event. Tourists take pictures and celebrate alongside celebrants of the event. People in yellow roll carpets in advance of a procession of people dressed in white and golden colored embroidery.

    Many Tourists are interviewed as well as an official who talks mainly about the preparation that went into the event and the specific crowd control measures that were taken. A young woman with a colorful umbrella talks about dance, the poetry the posturing she says it is very beautiful.

    A tourist who spontaneously decided to come to Ethiopia with her friends is dressed in an Ethiopian outfit and says that Ethiopians have a deep tradition and that they must preserve it.

    All of this is a sort of spiritual riches says a seated man in a suit who is interviewed by EBC. Later on, a priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church preaches in a soothing voice about the importance of agreement and peace. People must listen to their spiritual fathers who instruct them about this celebration and it is good that everyone including government officials celebrates side by side, he says.

    One woman in a blue dress is a bit pessimistic about the whole thing. “Our tradition is getting a bit slower and we are preparing to heat things up next year with traditional dresses and other things,” she says while standing inside the castle grounds.

    Another interviewee, a middle-aged man in a suit, talks about the effort being made to get the Timket celebration registered as a Unesco Heritage Site.

    Priests face each other and engage in a spiritually moving, rhythmic dance accompanied by two men with large drums.


    By Jialiang Gao - Original Photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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  • Serving the Poor: Spotlighting an Ethiopian unsung hero of Ophthalmology (Video)

    Awramba Times Presents Dr. Abdulaziz Ibrahim Ismael, an Ethiopian unsung hero of Ophthalmology, a young physician who volunteerly serves his local community. Abdulaziz established a mobile eye clinic, a center offering eye care services to economically disadvantaged inhabitants of the Ethiopian Somali region rural villages for free.

    In the last two years alone, his center was able to save thousands of victims of preventable blindness. Dr. Abdulaziz Ibrahim is one of the youngest Ethiopian chief Ophthalmic Surgeons who specialized in Cataract & Anterior Segment Surgeries. Please watch our video production on the matter.

    Click Here and Watch Video....Spotlighting an Ethiopian unsung hero of... di awrambaonline

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  • A Look Inside Ethiopia’s Falash Mura Community: Q&A with Filmmaker Lior Sperandeo

    Falash Mura is the name given to the community of Ethiopians who practice the Jewish faith and claim the right to live in Israel. Every year, the city of Gondar hosts what is billed as the largest Passover celebration in the world. The Falash Mura community bakes and sews for days, preparing for the Jewish holiday. While thousands of other Falash Mura have been airlifted to Israel, for these devotees, the struggle to return to what they see as their spiritual homeland continues. Filmmaker Lior Sperandeo documents this Ethiopian “Jewish island” where people dream of immigrating to Israel. I spoke with him about his The People of project.

    Who are the people you feature in your film?

    In the local Amharic language, they are called the Falash Mura, “a man with no land.” These are Jews who in the 19th century were converted to Christianity and thus were not welcomed to Israel like the rest of Ethiopia’s Jewry. Falash Mura is not a nickname favored by the Jews of Ethiopia, but rather a moniker that stuck through time. Their dream is to immigrate to Israel, where they can practice a normal Jewish life.

    Why did you choose to focus on this community?

    I’ve heard about the Falash Mura’s struggle to return to their spiritual homeland long before going to Ethiopia, but the logic seemed sound: If they had chosen to convert and turn their backs on Judaism, why should they be allowed automatic citizenship in the Jewish state? It was only when I set foot in Gondar that I understood how wrong I was. I found myself in a beautiful ”Jewish island” in the middle of Africa, and I knew that a new journey was about to begin. This is another muted community with a story that has to be told.

    What was the best part about the experience?

    Changing my perspective on this matter. The stated reason for not allowing the Falash Mura to return to Israel is that they are not recognized as Jews. But after my visit I can testify that this is an absurd claim. In Gondar I found one of the most vibrant and dedicated Jewish communities that I have experienced. These are men and women who value their Jewish religion and traditions in the most genuine way. In 1950, Israel created the Law of Return, which gives all Jews and spouses of Jews the right to immigrate to and settle in Israel. This made me pause and ask myself, What is the real reason Israel won’t let them in? I’m not sure a Jewish community in any other continent [would] be treated this way. This is why I created this film, to shed more light on this matter in order to help this community to fulfill a dream.

    See More Here


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  • BRICS to launch New Development Bank next week

    BRICS to launch New Development Bank next week

    Leaders of the BRICS nations will launch their long-awaited development bank at a summit next week and decide whether the headquarters should be in Shanghai or New Delhi, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

    The creation by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa of a $100 billion bank to finance infrastructure projects has been slow in coming, with disagreements over its funding, management and headquarters.

    "The (headquarters) issue will be decided on the level of the heads of the countries," Siluanov told journalists, adding that the choice is between China's Shanghai and India's New Delhi.

    BRICS leaders will meet July 15-16 in the Brazilian coastal city of Fortaleza.

    The launch of the bank will be the group's first major achievement after struggling to take coordinated action following an exodus of capital from emerging markets last year, triggered by the scaling back of U.S. monetary stimulus.

    The new bank will symbolize the growing influence of the BRICS, something that Russia has hoped for after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow in the spring for annexing part of Ukraine and its continued involvement in the country's crisis.

    Capitalisation of the new bank has been a major sticking point, but Siluanov confirmed that the funding would be divided equally, with an initial total of $10 billion in cash over seven years and $40 billion in guarantees.

    The $50 billion will be eventually built up to $100 billion, and the bank will be able to start lending in 2016, he said.

    The bank was first proposed in 2012. The proposal was approved last year at a BRICS summit in South Africa but failed to be launched during the meeting in Russia last autumn of the Group of 20 developed and developing nations.

    The bank will be open to other countries that are United Nations members, but the BRICS share is never to decline below 55 percent, Siluanov said.

    The chairmanship, with a term of five years, will rotate among the members, but the first chairmanship is yet to be decided, Siluanov said.

    Framework Agreement On Currency Pool

    The heads of the BRICS will also sign a blueprint agreement on the group's other project - a $100 billion fund to steady the currency markets, which has also been off to a slow start.

    The initiative became more acutely needed after an inflow of cheap dollars fuelled a boom in the BRICS for a decade and then reversed to a sharp outflow last year.

    "We have reached an agreement that, in current conditions of capital volatility, it is important for our countries to have this buffer in addition to the International Monetary Fund," Siluanov said.

    But the framework agreement to be signed in Brazil will not include any direct commitments, which are due to come later when the central banks sign agreements.

    A senior Brazilian official who participates in the negotiations said the pool could become operational as soon as in 2015.

    According to the agreement, the cash will continue to be held in the reserves of each BRICS country, but it can be transferred if needed to another member to soften volatility in its foreign exchange market.

    China, holder of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, will contribute the bulk of the contingency currency pool, or $41 billion.

    Brazil, India and Russia will chip in $18 billion each and South Africa $5 billion.

    "It is to be a mechanism that could react swiftly to capital outflow by offering swap operations .. in dollars," Siluanov said.

    If a need arises, China will be eligible to ask for half of its contribution, South Africa for double and the remaining countries the amount they put in.

    "Some countries may put in less, but their needs are also greater, proportionally," Siluanov said.

    A BRICS member would be able to immediately get 30 percent of its eligible share and the remaining 70 percent only with a stabilisation programme from the IMF, Siluanov said.

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  • Ethiopian reaches out for stranded Ghanaian soccer team, fans in Brazil

    Ethiopian reaches out for stranded Ghanaian soccer team, fans in Brazil

    Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft brought back Ghanaian football squad and their supporters back home from Brazil last Sunday.  

    It was Ethiopian Airlines which airlifted all the Ghanaian supporters to Brazil to rally behind the Black Stars. Players and officials of the Black Stars were stranded in their camping base in Maceio City after their painful first round elimination from the ongoing Brazil 2014 World Cup.

    Players and officials of the Ghanaian team were expected to leave Maceio last Saturday for Ghana but failed to do so due to flight difficulties. Ethiopian is the only African carrier that flies to South America. Ethiopian operates daily flight from its hub in Addis Ababa to Sao Paolo and Rio via Lome, Togo.

    According to a Ghanaian media report the team faced transportation problem after an arrangement with American airline fell through. Consequently, desperate officials of Ghana Football Association sought the intervention of Ethiopian Airlines. The Ghanaian officials successfully negotiated on a chartered flight from Maceio to Accra Ghana. Accordingly, Ethiopian sent one of its Dreamliners to Brazil and repatriated the Ghanaian football team and supporters to Accra.

    The Stars who had disagreement with the Ghana Football Association were eliminated from the World Cup without a win in their third straight World Cup after drawing 2-2 with Germany and losing to both the US and Portugal by a 2-1 margin in Group G.

    Ethiopian received its eight new Dreamliner aircraft this week. The airline will take delivery of two more Dreamliners this year. Ethiopian is the third airline in the world next to All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to acquire the first Dreamliner aircraft in August 2012.

    Ghana lost two of its national flag carriers in 2005 after Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines were liquidated.

    Source:The Reporter 

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