Skip to main content


Ethiopia: Extraordinary Ethiopia - Ancient, Booming but Undemocratic

BY RICHARD DOWDEN, 19 NOVEMBER 2013 ANALYSIS When you say to people in Britain: "I've just been in Ethiopia", they give you a look which says: "Poor you. Was it too terrible to talk about?" That is the trouble with the modern media. Faraway places of which we know little are only shown to us when something bad happens. In the case of Ethiopia, the 1984 famine and subsequent hungers have fixed its image in the global mind. It is as if the image of the collapsing Twin Towers in 2001 typified America. But of course we have other, more positive, images of America but none of Ethiopia. So I tell them: "Ethiopia? It's great. It's Booming!" Addis Ababa is being transformed as if by monstrous engines boring through the heart of the city. A new motorway flows into town sweeping aside all before it and an urban rail system is smashing through buildings, roads, gardens - everything accompanied by cranes and trucks, noise and dust. All along

40,000 seat Modern Stadium under Construction in Ethiopia [Hawassa]

Watch here:  40,000 seat Modern Stadium under Construction in Ethiopia [Hawassa]

የሃዋሳ ገበያ የዛሬ 36 ዓመት

የአዋሳ ጠጠር መታው ተረከዜን ሁሉም አወቀበኝ በአንቺ መተከዜን።

The European leftist politician from Portugal, Ana Gomez, has applied for a visa to come to Addis Abeba in order to participate in the EU-ACP summit to be held here next week.

Lady Gomez has remained famous or infamous - depending who refers to her - in Ethiopia's contemporary politics since her role as chief of the EU's team of election observers in the 2005 national elections. Known to have sided with the main opposition coalition, the CUD and one of its leaders now in exile, in the end she provoked perhaps the longest "letters to the editor" rebuttal ever published in the history of newspapers, by the late Meles Zenawi, which appeared in The Ethiopian Herald, a daily newspaper. The summit will be a three-day event, where members of parliament from the EU, and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will congregate to discuss politics, trade and goals set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There will be breakout sessions, where Ethiopia's policies on housing provision and employment opportunities for youth and women will be talked about. Co-chairs of the EU joint parliamentary assembly, Louis Michel and Joyce

Ethiopia: Undelivered Promises Erode Governmental Credibility

OPINION It was yet another sad twist in the exercise of executive power that brought about the most recent directive, supposedly to correct the wrong doings of a previous directive on "Dividend Income Tax". This is after it had already inflicted grievous harm, not only to the law-abiding taxpaying business community, but also to the credibility of the country's legal framework - and of the country's highest executive authority, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in particular. According to a report that appeared in the business and economy section of one of Addis Abeba's Amharic newspapers, I read that the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) had issued a new directive requiring enterprises to pay dividend income tax on undistributed profits(retained earnings) that have been kept for 12 months or more. It was stated that only "profits" reinvested and shown with all the proof and evidence laid down by the directive as paid up capi

Good Governance Requires Political Commitment

Once again, reform is high on the agenda of the EPRDFites. The latest rhetoric seems to come from the core of the power circle, overseen by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, renowned for his progressive approach to changes. Put into historical context, however, little of the reform rhetoric is new, in every sense of the word. It all started in the final years of the Imperial regime. Ruling the nation for over 43 years, they faced public resistance over their rigidity for change in the 1960s. Wealth was concentrated in the hands of the connected feudal lords. The majority used to live in submission to the few. Economic mobility was something entertained by the connected. Rights, including basic human rights, were thought to be something to be bestowed to the public by the King of Kings. Respect to these rights was, therefore, experienced under the rule of preferential treatment. The feudalist political economy, which favours only the few, created disappointment within the

The Surprising PROCESS of Sidama Cuisine

After 5 years of documenting the Sidama tribe’s food ways, Donna Sillan, MPH has completed the first “Sidama Cookbook” ever written to capture the traditional art of this ancient and unique cuisine.  It is an anthropological document to preserve the dying art of enset, the staple of the Sidama.  She spent time planting, processing and preparing enset in Ethiopia before attempted to capture what has only been transmitted orally to date and is on the verge of extinction. A blurb from Donna on her shocking process :  Sidama food takes the prize for being the most complicated, intricate, ancient food processed on the planet.   What strikes me as most amazing is the fact that an ancient people discovered “enset” and found out how to make it edible and determine its utility as a staple.  How did they figure it out hundreds of years ago? I wrote this book for two reasons. First of all, I admit, I’m obsessed with food and particularly exotic, ethnic food.   It is no wonder that I s