Ethiopian News

  • Simachew Kebede Finally Gets Out of Prison


    Simachew Kebede, the major shareholder of DH Simex Plc that owns Intercontinental Addis Hotel, finally gets out of prison after settling the case with the Federal Prison Administration, which resisted his release mentioning the pending appeal against him.

    He was released on July 13, 2017, with prohibition after serving four years of a six-year sentence for tax evasion crimes for which he was convicted.

    The Federal High Court found him guilty and sentenced him during the court session held on June 14, 2017. But lawyers started processing his release on probation on the same day, as he was eligible to get probation rights.

    Initially, the Federal Ethics & Anti-corruption Commission prosecutors charged Simachew for tax-related crimes and a corruption case along with the former Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) top officials including Melaku Fenta, ERCA’s head, and his deputy, Gebrewahid W. Giorgis, back in May 2013.

    He was accused of abusing a duty-free privilege to import construction-finishing materials, and the prosecutors claimed he allegedly transferred them to third parties. But his case was detached in 2015 after the court accepted his appeal to split his case from the first co-defendants. While his case was pending at the High Court, new legislation was enacted by Parliament rendering his and the co-defendants’ alleged offenses only punishable by administrative measures. 

    On the other hand, the Anti-corruption Commission amended its charge against him to tax evasion of 20 million Birr and 29.4 million Birr for Value Added and Corporate Taxes, respectively. In a cross action, the Anti-corruption Commission appealed to the Supreme Court for the reversal of the lower court’s ruling in closing the corruption case with the former ERCA officials.

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  • Ten Most Beautiful Towns, Cities in Africa 2017


    May we have your attention, please? For today, we’ll tell you about the most ten beautiful African cities, which history, culture, presentation, and uniqueness are abundant in such an amazing way you'vent not even expected before.

    The African continent is not only about impressive animals, beautiful deserts, and beautiful savannahs. It is also home to astonishing cities and towns that are rich in history and culture. Here is a list of the ten most charming cities and towns to visit in Africa.

    1. Cape Town (South Africa) — Astounding beaches, mountains, and vineyards make the city a vibrant and full of beauty. 

    2. Kigali (Rwanda) —The safest capital City in the continent.

    3. Essaouira (Morocco)—A perfect place for peace and tranquility.

    4. Luxor (Egypt)—A vibrant city that hosts the Valley of the Kings as well as the temple of Queen Hatshepsut.

    5. Djenne (Mali) — One of the oldest towns in Mali, it’s fascinating and attractive place. One of the oldest mud-made mosques are located in Djenne.

    6. Stone Town (Tanzania) — Stone Town, also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for "old town"), is the old part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. (The newer portion of the city is known as Ng'ambo, Swahili for 'the other side'). Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Island. UNESCO registers it as one of the world’s oldest city.

    7. Port Louis (Mauritius) –- It’s a metropolitan capital city of the country, with a unique cultural and historical touches, which is the oldest in the Southern hemisphere.

    8. Windhoek (Namibia) –Winhoek is Namibia’s Capital and the largest city. The city has unique and beautifully designed buildings. Plus to that, the city is immaculate.

    9. Lamu (Kenya) — Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometers (212 miles) by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty from where the sea channel has to be crossed to reach Lamu Island. It is the headquarters of Lamu County and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lamu is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, founded in 1370.

    10. Bahir Dar (Ethiopia) —A city located in Amhara region, along with the shore of the beautiful Tana Lake. Bahir Dar also has beautiful, clean and wide streets along with the oldest monasteries in the world on the Dek Island, one of many Islands in the lake that is home to medieval monasteries. On the Zege Peninsula, the Ura Kidane Mihret Monastery best known for its elaborate, colorful murals. The Blue Nile River snakes southeast of the city toward the towering cliffs at the Blue Nile Falls.


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  • Ethiopia's Music of Resistance Stays Strong, Despite Repression

    In Ethiopia, journalists and bloggers have long been subjected to imprisonment and terrorism charges, but musicians have been relatively free — until recently.

    Over the past year, what activists call “resistance songs” have flooded a tiny corner of the Ethiopian internet. But as political music has become more visible in public life and online, Ethiopian authorities have expanded their political repression tactics to musicians whom they see as sympathizers with opposition.

    Since December 2016, multiple popular Ethiopian musicians aligned with the country's growing opposition movement have been arrested and jailed. Last month, the prominent group of rising start singer Seenaa Solomon was charged with terrorism for “inciting” lyrics and uploading their music video to YouTube.

    The contentious political environment in which these arrests took place has grown out of the Ethiopian government's plan to expand Addis Ababa, the nation's capital. In 2014, the ruling EPRDF party announced plans to expand the capital into adjacent farm lands of Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region that is primarily home to the country's largest ethnic group, the Oromo.

    The plan led to wide-scale protests and a violent government crackdown, ultimately resulting in a state of emergency declared in October 2016 and still effective today. Some say the state of emergency, which was extended to four more months in March 2017 has brought some calm after two years of political unrest.

    While the state of emergency may be curbing the demonstrations, feelings and narratives of resistance remain alive and well. And Afan Oromo (the region's language) musicians have begun to rise as a visible — and audible — driving inspiration for the opposition movement.

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  • Strikes, Unrest in Multiple Cities of Oromia


    Strikes and other forms of signs of unrest reported in six cities of Ethiopia’s largest region Oromia in the past five days. The unrest is linked to an increase in the tax liabilities of medium and small size businesses.

    Reports of incidents

    Most business firms and local transport services were shut down on Monday in Ambo, Woliso and Ginchi cities.

    The first sign of unrest was seen in Ambo last Thursday where two vehicles were attacked. Ambo city, located 120 km west of Addis Ababa, was the hotspot of the protests in 2014 and also in 2016.

    Ginchi, 81 km west of Addis Ababa on the road to Ambo, is known as the beginning of the 2016 Oromo protests. Business firms were shut down at least until noon on Monday, according to HornAffairs’ sources.

    About 110 km southwest of Addis Ababa, in Woliso, another spot of last year’s protest, the federal police had to patrol vehicles passing through the main road on Monday. Businesses were shut down, and local transport services deserted the roads.

    In Burayu, a small town 18 km northwest of Addis Ababa, at least one business firm and a vehicle were hit on Saturday prompting businesses to close up early. Rumors of a business shut down on Monday did not materialize, however.

    HornAffairs’ sources reported incidents in areas further south of Addis Ababa as well.

    Vehicles were attacked in the outskirts of Shashemene on the main road to Bale, the southern zones of Oromia. Shashemene is 250 km south of Addis Ababa.

    Further to the south, 270 km away from Addis Ababa, in Kofele, the police disband a protest attempted by a group of young people.

    These two areas as well were hotspots of the 2016 Oromo protests.

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  • Tsegaab Collects Cosmetics, Keeps Hospital Going Strong through Charity

    Tsegaab Reduces Waste, Keeps Hospital Going Strong through Charity

    (DireTube News, Addis Ababa) — Born in Ethiopia, raised and attended school in the United States of America, Tsegaab Asaminew, has done a remarkable charity—she collected and donated cosmetics and cleaning agents to the local most renowned Hamlin Fistula Hospital.

    As there are many women who struggle to cope with life despite bear the brunt of huge health challenges, what Tsegaab did is an exemplary action that will embolden millions to follow her footsteps.

    Such bold and creative charity deeds are the most powerful tools charity organizations in the country can lean on as they struggle for funding.

    Tsegaab has been made it his mission to collect donated goods in Addis Ababa, sort through them and get them Fistula Hospital in need.

    Her idea is wise. She looks for unused but not expired Shampoos, lotions and other cosmetics like soaps, in residential areas, businesses, hotels and different offices, where people can deposit reusable goods.

    She has also been convincing peoples about the charity work she has been planning for long, and, fortunately, many have been in fond of the idea she comes up with.

    “Lotion for Life” is her Facebook page and she tells everyone who is interested in the topic can like, join and see details on the page she created.

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  • Reinventing the Iconic Wegagen Bank Brand

    Wegagen Launches Its New Logo

    Wegagen Bank has launched a new brand proposition on Thursday for its flagship brand, which is supported by a range of new marketing initiatives and innovation.

    That is being rolled out, at the same time, across its service outlets and will be visible from signage through the point-of-sale and other marketing communications.

    The corporate logo is the foundation of Wegagen’s graphic identity system. This distinctive symbol, designed to be easily recognized and remembered internationally consists of two elements:

    Firstly, the Wegagen Bank Logo mark represents Wegagen’s initial letter “W” and the Ethiopic (Amharic) letter “ወ”. The circular character represents the sun and the arc of aspiration that rises in the mark represents the bounty, triumph, expansion and success of our Bank.

    Secondly, the Wegagen brand has been made more simple and distinctive and allows the bank to continue to tell the story of its authenticity, Ethiopian heritage and premium quality. The dominant orange has been used since its establishment and has been made more vibrant.

    To effectively communicate the new Wegagen Brand identity, a set of creative communication materials has have been produced, ranging from television advertising, print and digital media to point-of-sales materials and will be visible from today. The Wegagen brand has its own new, proprietary modern musical score which will also be used across all applications and channels. 

    Once this roll out is completed, all packages and associated marketing communications will consistently reflect the brands new positioning and provide us with distinctive and appealing look and feel across all our marketing touch points.

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