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  • Nigerians are wondering why Jacob Zuma now has a statue in their country

    (CNN)South African President Jacob Zuma visited Nigeria's Imo state on Friday and had a giant bronze statue unveiled in his honor, a decision that has caused outrage in some parts of the country. The two-day visit happened just as South Africa's Supreme Court ruled that President Zuma should face corruption charges. Zuma visited Governor Rochas Okorocha in Owerri in a surprise visit that was only announced the same day by the South Africa presidency. As well as the statue, Zuma was given a chiefaincy title and had a road named after him. Local media reported that the cost of the statue was around 520million Naira -- equivalent to $1.4 million. Read more

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  • U.S. Congress Should Call Ethiopia’s Bluff

    Dr. Rajiv Shah, left, USAID administrator speaks with Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn in 2014. (© Flickr USAID) by Yoseph Badwaza, Senior Program Officer, Africa Addis Ababa has halted a human rights resolution in the House by threatening to break off security cooperation with the United States. When Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) addressed a gathering of mostly Ethiopian-origin constituents in late September, he told them that according to the Ethiopian ambassador in Washington, Ethiopia would stop counterterrorism cooperation with the United States if Congress went ahead with a planned vote on a resolution calling for human rights protections and inclusive governance in the country (H. Res. 128). The threat appears to have worked: The floor vote on the resolution has been indefinitely postponed. This may be viewed as just another instance of an authoritarian government playing the counterterrorism card to avoid international criticism for a bad human rights record. But in the case of Ethiopia, it is more than that. H. Res. 128 has strong bipartisan support, with 71 cosponsors. The resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on July 27 and was scheduled for a vote by the full House on October 2. As the author of the measure, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), said during the committee mark-up, the resolution is like a mirror held up to the government of Ethiopia, and it is intended to encourage them to recognize how others see them and move forward with reforms. While the resolution contains provisions that call for sanctions—under the Global Magnitsky Act—against Ethiopian officials responsible for committing gross human rights violations, the more important reason why the government took the severe step of threatening the U.S. Congress is the damage that this resolution could do to the country’s image. Read more

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  • Ethiopian Topped Industry and Customer Choice Awards as the Rising Star Carrier of the Year

    Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest cargo operator and logistics center in Africa, has been crowned as the Rising Star Carrier of the Year both in industry and customer choice awards on Payload Asia Awards 2017 gala dinner and awards ceremony, held at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Singapore. Payload Asia magazine, a respected voice of the air cargo industry, honours excellence in the air cargo industry with more than 90 nominations competing for 20 awards categories and more than 25,000 online votes in the Customer Choice Awards; with the results ultimately audited by an independent auditing firm, Alpes Assurance. Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked: “We are glad that Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services is recognized as The Rising Star Carrier of the Year for the third year in a row. As one of the strategic business units under the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services has been one of the success stories in the effective implementation of our ambitious plan set in our long-term strategic road map, Vision 2025: currently operating in a state of the art cargo terminal, capable of accommodating 1 million tons per annum, flying to 44 global freighter destinations using the most modern fleet, B777 freighter. Supporting export of perishables and import of high value goods of the booming Ethiopian Economy and the entire African continent, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services is playing a vital roles in the growth of trade, investment and economic integration. Infrastructure development being one of the four pillars of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we have embarked building the second phase, Cargo Terminal III, which will add another 600,000 tones annual capacity and position Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services among the world’s largest cargo terminals equivalent to cargo terminals in Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi, or Hong Kong. Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate our Cargo team for the job well done and encourage them to achieve more success”. Ethiopian is multi award winning airline: Middle East and Africa Airline of the Year by Airline Economics Magazine , SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa, Best Airline Staff in Africa; AFRAA- Best Airline in Africa – 5 years in a row, Best Airline to Africa”, for a second year in a row, “Best Airline in Africa” by US Premier Traveler magazine; Bombardier’s Airline Reliability Performance Award for the 6th Year in a Row; Passenger Choice Awards for "Best Airline in Africa for the third time in a row; Outstanding Food Service by a Carrier in Africa by Pax International Magazine.

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  • She Met Her Prince (for Real!) at a D.C. Nightclub

    Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen were married on Sept. 9 in a lavish ceremony in Temple Hills, Md. Mr. Makonnen is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. Credit Jared Soares for The New York Times Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own. Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states. The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion. Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home. Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list. Read more

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  • Statement by the U.S. Embassy

    Addis Ababa, October 18, 2017:- The United States sees peaceful demonstrations as a legitimate means of expression and political participation. We note with appreciation a number of recent events during which demonstrators expressed themselves peacefully, and during which security forces exercised restraint in allowing them to do so. We are saddened by reports that several recent protests ended in violence and deaths. All such reports merit transparent investigation that allows those responsible for violence to be held accountable. We encourage all Ethiopians to continue to express their views peacefully, and encourage Ethiopian authorities to permit peaceful expression of views. More generally, we encourage constructive, peaceful, and inclusive national discourse on matters of importance to Ethiopian citizens.

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  • Louvres Hotel Group,Signed Its 3rd Hotel In Ethiopia

    Louvres Hotel Group, number one hotel group in East Africa, signed its 3rd hotel in Ethiopia, pursuing the expansion of an ambitious network covering sub-Saharan African metropolitan areas. Already present in 8 Sub-Saharan African countries, with 17 hotels comprising a total of 2,300 rooms under its Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip, and Royal Tulip brands, Louvre Hotels Group continues its growth strategy by reinforcing itself on the Ethiopian market. The 5-star Hotel in ADAMA Is one of the first sites outside capital cities, being present in major cities of Ethiopia is the demonstration of the group willing to go a step ahead in the development of its brands. Adama’s location on the highway that relies on Addis to Djibouti and the surrounding offer of restaurants and clubs in the vicinity justify the choice of this particular location. The site also profits from its quiet location at the recreational side at the Rift Valley. “For the last year we have been pursuing a very ambitious expansion plan, opening one hotel per quarter and signing one new deal each semester, this plan reflects our trust in the hospitality business potential in East Africa, but not only, it also reflects the trust investors are putting in our ability as operator to accompany them in the fructification of their assets. We are treasured with investors which have the ability to share our values they do, dare and dream” explains Alain Sebah, President Golden Tulip for French-Speaking Africa and East Africa. During this year Louvre Hotels Group continued to boost its international presence. The most impressive acquisition happened in South Asia, keeping up with the region’s constantly growing leisure and business tourism. The group became a majority stakeholder in Sarovar Hotels, an Indian company made up of 75 hotels on the premium, mid-range and budget sectors. In the African continent, the group penetrated the Ugandan market with a new hotel in Kampala and inaugurated yet another in Cotonou, both under the Golden Tulip Brand. Early 2018 the refurbishment of the historical hotel La Croix du Sud in Dakar is due to open under Golden Tulip flag. In Comoros Islands, the group secured a new deal for a Resort & Spa hotel. Many other projects are currently under development or construction in the region. In fact, some twelve hotels are planned for 2018, enabling the group to double its presence. “ Our company is proud to work with such respected Brand Golden Tulip to bring a Conference Business to our beloved Country especially in our vibrant Business City – Adama and also provision the generation on the technology transfer and advancement ”states Mr. Bezu Beyen – President of Gende Import & export, the hotel’s owners. Gonde & Golden Tulip partnership was monitored thanks to Ozzie Hospitality Management Group – Mr. Kumneger Teketel, Managing Director Ozzie Hospitality, who negotiate and consult the developer, said that Ethiopia will soon be a great MICE Destination for Africa and Ethiopia got vibrant Business City all over the Main Regional Cities like Adama that boost the conference and leisure business. The number of tourists welcomed across the African continent has more than doubled over the past fifteen years, increasing from 26 million to 56 million in 2014, according to the Tourist Investment and Business Forum for Africa. Hotel guests and the travel agent will also be able to benefit from Louvre Group’s ongoing royalty programs – Ambassador’s Club and Flavors Club, which enables members to earn reward points which are redeemable at all Louvre Group properties worldwide.  Read more

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  • Malawi cracks down on 'vampire' lynch mobs

    Police in the south-east African state of Malawi say they have arrested 140 members of lynch mobs who attacked people suspected of being vampires. At least eight people are believed to have been killed, including two men on Thursday in the second city, Blantyre. One was set on fire and the other stoned, according to police. Two others were arrested for threatening to suck people's blood but police say they have no medical reports of any actual bloodsucking. Vigilante killings started on 16 September when three people suspected of being bloodsuckers were killed by a mob. Traditional leaders in southern Malawi believe the vampire rumors started across the border in Mozambique where rumors of blood sucking have led to violence this week. In Mozambique, protesters have targeted police because they believe they are protecting the supposed vampires, leading a northern town's administrator to flee the city. The villagers in these areas believe human blood sucking is a ritual practiced by some to become rich. They also believe they are failing to catch the blood suckers because they use magical powers. More on BBC

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