News

  • Top news items in major Ethiopian media outlets

    ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 17  The following are news highlights in Ethiopia's major media outlets on Sunday. -- The three industrial parks in Ethiopia have generated 248 million US dollars from the export of various products in the last fiscal year, the Ethiopian Investment Commission reported. The Horn African nation earned the revenue from the industrial parks of Hawassa, Bole Lemi and Eastern Zone. (Ethiopian News Agency/ENA) -- The World Bank on Thursday approved a 600 million US dollars International Development Association (IDA) grant to support the government of Ethiopia's vision of building a national safety net system to provide effective support in chronically food insecure rural areas, including providing cover during droughts. (Fana Broadcasting Corporate/FBC) -- Preparations are underway for the local election scheduled to take place this Ethiopian fiscal year (2017/18), said Office of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia. (Fana Broadcasting Corporate/FBC) Enditem

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  • Kenya’s election redo will cost taxpayers an extra $117 million

    Kenya is set to hold another expensive election—with taxpayers expected to foot the $117 million needed for the upcoming presidential poll. Ezra Chiloba, the chief executive officer of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said the October election will cost about 12 billion shillings, most of which will go towards facilitating human resources and logistics. In an interview with The EastAfrican newspaper, Chiloba said they will present the budget to treasury officials this week. The announcement comes barely a month after Kenya held one of Africa’s most expensive elections. The Aug. 8 general elections cost taxpayers a whopping $480 million, with the largest allotment going to the electoral commission. The IEBC used over $413 million to hire personnel, procure election materials, conduct awareness campaigns, as well as collecting and transmitting the results of votes for the presidency, national assembly, female representatives, governors, senate, and county assembly members. But after the opposition leader Raila Odinga challenged the results of the polls, Kenya’s supreme court annulled the outcome of the presidential election on Sept. 1 and ordered a fresh vote in 60 days. Incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta had won over 54% of the now nullified vote, defeating Odinga with a margin of 1.4 million votes. As the new election date of Oct. 17 looms closer, the overall amount needed for the presidential poll might even be higher if one factored the amount other government institutions like the police and intelligence services will need to ensure that everything runs smoothly on election day. Read more

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  • Ethiopia Receives 72,890 Refugees in 8 Months

    Ethiopia received 72,890 refugees in the first eight months of 2017, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Assistant Communications Officer at UNHCR Ethiopia, Kisut Gebreegziabher said the largest group of refugees comes from South Sudan at 44,000 followed by Eritreans at 17,000 and Somalis at over 6,400, Xinhua reported. “Refugees from South Sudan fled to Ethiopia to escape civil war, Eritrean refugees mentioned indefinite military conscription and human rights violations for their flight while Somalis mentioned a combination of conflict and drought for fleeing to Ethiopia” he added. The 72,890 refugees recorded in Ethiopia in the reported period have pushed the number of refugees living in the country to 852,721 as of August 21, making the country home to the second largest refugee population in Africa. Kisut said UNHCR is giving basic social services to refugees living in 26 refugee camps in six regional states of Ethiopia. Accordingly, the social services given by UNHCR in the refugee camps include education, health, water and sanitation, food security, nutrition support and community empowerment. The 26 refugee camps are located in Gambella, Tigray, Afar, Benishangul Gumuz, Oromia and Somali regional states. As one of the largest refugee hosting nation in Africa, coming second to Uganda, Ethiopia hosts more than 850,000 refugees in its 26 refugee camps spread across six regions. Ethiopia prioritizes education for school-aged refugees, and as a result, the current academic year has seen 35,563 new students enrolled in early childhood care and education, elementary and secondary schools, bringing the total number of refugees enrolled in education in Ethiopia to 179,022. Read more

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  • The world loves Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro. His own government doesn’t

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Monday marked the first day of the new Ethiopian year, but it hasn’t been much of a holiday for Teddy Afro, the country’s biggest pop star. First, the government informed him that his New Year’s concert was canceled. Then, on Sept. 3, police broke up the launch party for his successful new album, “Ethiopia,” in the middle of the sound check at the Hilton Hotel, claiming Teddy hadn’t received permission to hold the event.  “Asking for a permission to organize an album launch is like asking a permit for a wedding or birthday party,” Teddy wrote on his Facebook page. “This is unprecedented and has never been done before because it is unconstitutional.” But government disapproval certainly isn’t anything new for Teddy: This year was his third straight aborted New Year’s concert. And even as “Ethiopia,” which briefly hit No. 1 on Billboard’s world music chart, could be purchased or heard on virtually every street corner in the capital, Addis Ababa, after its May release, Teddy’s songs were nowhere to be found on state radio and TV. An interview with a public TV network was even canceled at the last minute, prompting the resignation of the journalist involved. More on this Story

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  • China, Russia begin naval drills near North Korea

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China and Russia began naval drills near North Korea on Monday amid continuing tensions over the isolated state’s nuclear ambitions and ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week, where North Korea is likely to loom large. North Korea launched a missile over Japan last Friday, its second in the past three weeks, and conducted its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of international pressure. The official Xinhua news agency said the joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan. The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which took place in the Baltic in July. The report did not directly link the drills to current tensions over North Korea. Both China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue. The international community must remain united and enforce sanctions against North Korea after its repeated launch of ballistic missiles, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an editorial published in the New York Times on Sunday. Such tests are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and show that North Korea can now target the United States or Europe, Abe said. Diplomacy and dialogue will not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire international community is essential to tackle the threats posed by North Korea, Abe wrote. A week ago, the 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth sanctions resolution since 2006 over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. On Monday, the official China Daily said sanctions should be given time to bite but that the door must be left open to talks. Read more

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  • Ethiopia’s Awasa top city for FDI jobs in MEA

    > Awasa created 6546 FDI jobs in the first half of 2017, the most in the Middle East and Africa Awasa in Ethiopia created 6546 jobs in H1, 2017, the most in the region. Dubai came second, adding 4600, while Jerusalem created 3498 in the first half. Lagos created 3141, while staying in Nigeria, Aba witnessed 3018 new FDI jobs. The chart was produced using fDi Markets, which gives real-time crossborder greenfield investment data on all sectors and locations. For more information visit  fdimarkets.com.

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  • Sudan’s Al-Bashir gives Sudan’s highest military award to Samora Yenus of ENDF

    General Samora Muhammad Yunis is the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, has been awarded Sudan’s highest standard Military Victory Medal by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for ” his role of securing the Horn of Africa region.” The Ethiopian State media have also reported that Samora will be receiving honorary doctorate from a Sudanese University in the coming days. የኢፌዴሪ መከላከያ ሠራዊት ለቀጠናው ሰላምና መረጋጋት ትልቅ ሚና እንዲጫወት ከፍተኛ አስተዋፅኦ ላበረከቱት የጦር ኃይሎች ኤታማዦር ሹም ጄኔራል ሳሞራ የኑስ ከሱዳን ፕሬዝዳንት ኡመር ሀሰን አልበሽር የሱዳን ከፍተኛ ወታደራዊ ኒሻን ተበረከተላቸው፡፡ ሽልማቱ የኢፌዴሪ መከላከያ ሠራዊት በሀገር ውስጥ እንዲሁም በቀጠናው ላበረከተው አስተዋፅኦ የተሰጠ መሆኑን የጦር ኃይሎች ኤታማዦር ሹም ጄኔራል ሳሞራ የኑስ ገልፀዋል፡፡ Read more

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  • UN passes fresh sanctions on North Korea

    (CNN)The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea on Monday --- a move that comes just one week after the rogue nation carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test. The resolution is designed to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a US official familiar with negotiations. "Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea, and today the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves," US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said following the vote on Monday. "We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing, we are now trying to stop it from having the ability to do the wrong thing," she added. As of Tuesday afternoon in Pyongyang, most North Koreans had not been informed about the new sanctions, according to CNN's Will Ripley, who is in the North Korean capital. However, North Korean officials told CNN that increased pressure from the US could mean Washington faces "a very strong response, with unbearable consequences." "Hostile sanctions are like a delusion tantamount to expecting foolishly that the ocean would dry up," one official told CNN, while emphasizing that the government had not yet released an official response. "As long we have a very powerful nuclear arsenal, we can ensure the security and peace of the homeland and its people," the official added. Read more

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  • John Deere could soon use AI powered tech for precision agriculture

    John Deere, America's well known farm equipment company, has acquired a startup that uses AI to advance precision agriculture, hinting at potential goals of bringing AI-powered agricultural products. The agricultural equipment manufacturer, which has been researching self-driving capabilities for its tractors, is shifting its focus towards artificial intelligence and its potential application in fields. The company has just announced an investment of $305m (£233m) to acquire Blue River Technologies, a startup that has been using machine learning and other high-end technologies in agriculture to cut down the use of resources. Blue River makes a bunch of smart tools to advance farm management decisions from the "field level to the plant level," according to Jorge Heraud, co-founder, and CEO of the startup. The company has made a crop-analysing software for drones, a bot for precise lettuce thinning, and an automatic weed-sprayer that uses machine learning and computer vision technologies to spray herbicide only on those plants that are infested with weeds — saving time and money. Willy Pell, the director of new technology at Blue River, told Wired, that the system has already demonstrated promising results by reducing the use of herbicide by 90% — something that could be of great use for John Deere. Deere could have some big plans in place to use artificial intelligence in its massive range of agricultural equipment including tractors. There's no official word from the giant on potential applications of the AI-driven tools, but John May, Chief Information Officer at the company says a "similar technology can be used in the future on a wider range of [their] products". "As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers," May said. "Machine learning is an important capability for Deere's future." This acquisition also underscores the possible application of machine learning capabilities into agriculture. Several companies are already using drones to collect data on crops for smarter farming. Read more

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  • Girl who died from brain aneurysm saved record number of lives with organ donation

    A young girl who died of a brain aneurysm was able to save eight different people by donating her organs – a new UK record. Jemima Layzell was just 13 when she collapsed at her mother Sophy’s 38th birthday party. She died four days later, however a chance conversation between Jemima and her mother a few weeks before the youngster’s death meant Sophy knew her daughter would have wanted to donate her organs. Sophy said: ‘The conversation was prompted by the death of someone we knew in a crash. They were on the register but their organs couldn’t be donated because of the circumstances of their death. ‘Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling but totally understood the importance of it. ‘We found the decision to donate Jemima’s organs hard but we both felt it was right and we knew she was in favour of donation.’ Jemima’s family, who live in Somerset, were recently told by NHS Blood and Transplant that her organs were used to save eight different people across the UK, including five children. Her small bowels, heart, pancreas and liver (which was split into two to help two seperate people) were used, along with both lungs and both kidneys. Following the amazing news of Jemima managing to help so many people after her death, Sophy says it’s ‘important for families to talk about organ donation’. She added: ‘Every parent’s instinct is to say no, as we are programmed to protect our child. It’s only with prior knowledge of Jemima’s agreement that we were able to say yes. ‘Jemima was lovely – clever, funny, compassionate and creative – and we feel sure she would be very proud of her legacy.’ According to NHS Blood and Transplant there are currently 6,414 people on the transplant waiting list in the UK, including 176 children. Last year 457 died while waiting for an organ transplant, 14 of whom were children. Read more

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