The Curious case of the Ethiopian Traditional Medicine Derived Anti-#Covid19 Treatment and the Need for Caution

30 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Belete A. Desimmie @adbelete, (MD,PhD), FitsumTilahum @fitse_t  (MD), Tinsae Alemayehu @tinsaetigist (MD), and Ermias Kacha @ErmiasMd (MD)

 

Global Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Addis Abeba, March 30/2020 – As the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, the pressing question for all of us, and particularly for the general public is when will we have effective treatment? As the world grapples with the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the equally frightening spread of misleading information is making scientists and public health experts specifically, and the general public at large, less focused on the most important tools we have at hand to mitigate the spread of the virus i.e. implementing strict preventive measures.

Among the countless efforts both internationally and regionally to develop vaccines and therapeutics, COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which was launched jointly by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and Mastercard with a capital of US$125 million is a global alliance among public, private, and philanthropic organizations; It is expected to fund innovation for drugs that can be developed, mass-produced, and delivered rapidly to all citizens.

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ሠቆቃ በኢትዮጵያ እሥር ቤቶች በዘመነ ዐብይ አሕመድ!

30 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

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Abiy’s Apology and Ethiopian Political Culture

29 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Prof. Messay Kebede

Reacting to PM Abiy’s recent harsh and indiscriminate detraction of African and, specifically, of Ethiopian intellectuals, comments were quick to flow that, not only contested the criticisms, but more seriously exposed their dangerous implications, the most glaring of them being that the debasement of intellectuals is usually the mark of a dictatorial regime. The comments were not saying that intellectuals should not be criticized, but that the criticisms were expressed in such a way that they seemed to demonize free critical thinking, the outcome of which can only be its suppression. Indeed, the attempt was not so much to argue against the discourse of intellectuals as to ridicule and devalue their social standing. In short, the aim was not to provide counter criticisms; rather, it was to score political points through sheer denigration. While I approved the association of the disparagement of intellectuals with dictatorial practice, I could not, at the same time, discard the flagrant disparity between the message of the speech and what we know of the Prime Minster. Is he not himself a member of the intellectual elite, as testified by his side of life as a writer? Moreover, is not the speech contrary to what he has promised to the country and endeavored to implement since his rise to premiership?

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Proposes US$150b in Emergency Financing Package for Africa

24 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Etenesh Abera, Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, March 24/2020 – The office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed proposed a US$150 billion emergency financing package for Africa to combat the spread of COVID-19 as Ethiopia confirmed 12th patient who tested positive for the virus.

In a statement released this morning, PM Abiy forwarded three points proposal “for consideration during the upcoming extraordinary G20 leaders’ summit.” Shortly after that, Ethiopia confirmed its 12th COVID-19 patient, an Ethiopian who traveled from Dubai.

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የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ገዱ አንዳርጋቸው—”የግብፅ ዐባይን ለዘለዓለም ተቆጣጥሮ የመኖር ፍላጎት ለ20ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን ሠርቶ ሊሆን ቢችልም፣ ለ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን ግን አይሠራም!”

23 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

በሪፖርተር

አቶ ገዱ አንዳርጋቸው የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር በመሆን የተሾሙት፣ የዛሬ አንድ ዓመት ገደማ በሚያዝያ ወር 2011 ዓ.ም. ነበር፡፡ ከዚህ ሹመት አስቀድሞ የአማራ ክልል ፕሬዚዳንት በመሆን ለረዥም ዓመታት ያገለገሉት አቶ ገዱ፣ ወደ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር የመጡት ከወርቅነህ ገበየሁ (ዶ/ር) መልቀቅ በኋላ ለወራት ክፍት ሆኖ ቆየውን ኃላፊነት በመረከብ ነበር፡፡ አቶ ገዱ ወደ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር የመጡበት ጊዜ በኢትዮጵያ የውጭ ጉዳይ ከፍተኛ ለውጦች የተስተዋሉበት በመሆኑ የተነሳ፣ በርካታ ሥራዎች ይጠብቋቸው ነበር፡፡ እነዚህ ጉዳዮች በዋናነት ከግብፅና ከሱዳን ጋር የሚደረጉትና እየተጧጧፉ የመጡት የህዳሴ ግድብ ድርድሮችና የኢትዮጵያና የኤርትራ የሰላም ስምምነቶች ሲሆኑ፣ ሁለቱም ጉዳዮች ከፊት ሆኖ የሚመራና ውጤት የሚጠበቅበት አመራር ይጠይቁ ነበር፡፡ በዚህም ሳቢያ አቶ ገዱ የመጡበት ጊዜ ፈታኝ እንደሆነ በርካቶች ይስማማሉ፡፡ እሳቸው ወደ ሚኒስቴር መሥሪያ ቤቱ ከመጡ በኋላ በህዳሴ ግድብ የውኃ አሞላልና አለቃቀቅ ላይ የሚደረጉ ውይይቶች እየጦፉ ነው፡፡ በተለይ የአሜሪካ መንግሥትና የዓለም ባንክ በታዛቢነት በህዳሴ ግድቡ ድርድር መሳተፍ ከጀመሩበት ጊዜ አንስቶ የግድቡ ጉዳይ ዓለም አቀፍ ገጽታን እየተላበሰ የመጣ ሲሆን፣ የአሜሪካ መንግሥት የግምጃ ቤት ኃላፊ ኢትዮጵያ ያልተሳተፈችበትን የመጨረሻ ውይይት አስመልክቶ ላወጣው መግለጫ ኢትዮጵያ ምላሽ ስትሰጥ፣ ግብፅ ደግሞ በበኩሏ ኢትዮጵያን መውቀስ ጀምራለች፡፡ ይኼም በተደጋጋሚ በኢትዮጵያና በግብፅ መካከል የቃላት ጦርነት እንዲታይ አድርጓል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ አሜሪካ ሳትገኝበት ከቀረችው የውይይት መድረክ በኋላ በአገሮቹ መካከል በጉዳዩ ላይ የተደረገ ውይይት ባለመኖሩ፣ የዚህ ውዝግብ ጉዳይ መጨረሻ ምን ሊሆን ይችላል ሲሉም ብዙዎች ይጠይቃሉ፡፡ የህዳሴ ግድቡ ድርድር ቀጣይ ዕጣ ፈንታ፣ የግብፅ ተፅዕኖ፣ የአሜሪካ ለግብፅ ማድላት፣ በዓረብ ሊግ ውሳኔ የጂቡቲና የሶማሊያ አቋም፣ እንዲሁም የኢትዮ ኤርትራ ዕርቅን  የተመለከቱ ጉዳዮችን በማንሳት ብሩክ አብዱ ከአቶ ገዱ አንዳርጋቸው ጋር ቆይታ አድርጓል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡– በህዳሴ ግድቡ የውሃ አሞላልና አለቃቀቅ ላይ በኢትዮጰያ፣ በግብፅና በሱዳን መካከል ሲደረግ የቆየው ድርድር ስምንት ዓመታትን ቢዘልቅም በአገሮቹ መካከል ለዚሁ ጉዳይ ገዥ ሊሆን የሚችል ሕግ ላይ ስምምነት ተደርሶ ሊፈረም አልቻለም፡፡ በስተመጨረሻም የአሜሪካ መንግሥት ከዓለም ባንክ ጋር በመሆን ድርድሩን በታዛቢነት አስኬዳለሁ በማለት የተሳተፈ ሲሆን፣ አሜሪካና የዓለም ባንክ ከሚናቸው ውጪ በመሄድ ስምምነት አርቅቀን እናቀርባለን በማለታቸው የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት በሁለቱ ታዛቢነት ከሚደረገው የመጨረሻ ድርድር ራሱን አግልሏል፡፡ ይኼንን ተከትሎ የአሜሪካ ግምጃ ቤት ያወጣውን መግለጫ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት አሳዝኖኛል በማለት ለግብፅ ያደላ እንደሆነ በማስታወቅ አጣጥሎታል፡፡ ነገር ግን የአሜሪካና የዓለም ባንክ የሚታዘቡት ድርድር ላይ ከመገኘታችሁ አስቀድሞ፣ በተለይ አሜሪካ ለግብፅ ልታደላ እንደምትችል መገምገም አልተቻለም ነበር?

አቶ ገዱ፡– የህዳሴ ግድብ ድርድር ወደ አሜሪካ ሲሄድ አሁን ወደ መጨረሻ አካባቢ የታየው አዝማሚያ እንደሚኖር አልተገመተም ወይ ለሚለው፣ የተለያዩ ሰዎች የተለያዩ ሐሳቦች ነበሯቸው፡፡ ምን ማለት ነው? በተለይ ግብፆች የሚያሳዩት ባህርይ ስለነበረና አሜሪካን ለምነው ስለሆነ ወደዚያ የሄዱት የእነሱም ባህርይ እንዲታረቅ፣ እንደገና ደግሞ አሜሪካ የሁለቱም አገሮች ወዳጅ ስለሆነች ልዩነቱ የሚቀራረብበትን መንገድ ይፈልጋሉ፣ ያግዛሉ በሚል ነው፡፡ ዋናው የቴክኒክ ጉዳይ ከመሆኑ ጋር ተያይዞ ዞሮ ዞሮ አማካሪዎቹ ይኼ ይሁን፣ ያ አይሁን ብለው ይመጣሉ ተብሎ አይጠበቅም፡፡ ሳይንሳዊ በሆነ መንገድ ይፈታል ብለው ተስፋ ያደረጉ ሰዎች ነበሩ፡፡ በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ አሜሪካኖች ጉዳዩን በጥልቀት ስለማይገነዘቡት፣ እንዲሁም በጉዳዩ እየገቡ ያሉት በግብፅ ግፊት ስለሆነ ኢትዮጵያን እንጉዳ ብለው ቢያስቡ እንኳን ከዕውቀትም ማነስ፣ ወይም ደግሞ ግብፆች የበለጠ እንደተበደሉ አድርገው በመገንዘብ ያልሆነ አቅጣጫ እንዲይዝ ሊያደርጉት ይችላሉ በማለት፣ ጉዳዩ አሜሪካ መሄዱ ለኢትዮጵያ ላይጠቅማት ይችላል የሚሉም ነበሩ፡፡ ስለዚህ ሁለቱም ወገኖች የየራሳቸው ግምት ነበራቸው ማለት ነው፡፡ በመንግሥት በኩል ግን እርግጠኛ የምንሆነው በአንድ ነገር ነበር፡፡ አሜሪካኖች እናግዛችሁና ችግራችሁን እናንተው ፍቱ፣ እኛ እናቀላጥፍላችሁና ይህንን ጉዳይ አቃልላችሁ በሌላ ጉዳይ ላይ ትኩረት አድርጉ፣ ይኼ ቀጣና ለትብብርና ለሰላም እንጂ ሌላ ግጭት እንዲፈጠርበት አንፈልግም ብለው ሲጋብዙን አንገኝም ማለት ከድርድር እንደ መራቅ ይቆጠራልና ለዲፕሎማሲያችንም ጥሩ አይሆንም፡፡ ነገር ግን እርግጠኛ መሆን ያለብን የምናካሂደው ድርድር አሜሪካም፣ ካይሮም፣ ካርቱምም ሆነ አዲስ አበባ ተካሄደ የኢትዮጵያን ብሔራዊ ጥቅም አሳልፎ መስጠት የማይቻል መሆኑን እርግጠኛ መሆን ይጠበቅበታል፡፡ ስለዚህ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት እርግጠኛ የነበረው በተያዘው አቋም ነበር፡፡ የኢትዮጵያን ብሔራዊ ጥቅም የሚያስከብር እስከሆነ ድረስ ድርድር ነውና ድሮውንም ቢሆን የታችኞቹን አገሮች መጉዳት ፍላጎታችን ስላልነበረ፣ በድርድሩ አንዳንድ ነገሮችን ሰጥተን በሰጥቶ መቀበል ችግሩ የሚቃለል ከሆነ ምንም ችግር የለውም ብለን ነው የገባንበት፡፡

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Grand Nile compromise—a Sisyphean task?

22 Mar

Egypt and Ethiopia are unlikely to strike terms over GERD without agreeing a new legal framework governing the Nile Basin (Credit: Ethiopia Insight)

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

By Ethiopia Insight

Egypt and Ethiopia are unlikely to strike terms over GERD without agreeing a new legal framework governing the Nile Basin

Disagreement over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has sparked new tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt, with some even warning of an African water war.

Ethiopia recently rejected Egypt’s proposal on the filling and operation of the GERD. In a growing diplomatic spat, Egypt warned Ethiopia not to move forward with the filling and operation of GERD, saying that it “will have negative consequences for the stability in the region.”

Egypt also said the GERD negotiations have reached a deadlock, calling for international interventions to overcome the impasse. Ethiopia, on the other hand, “accused Egypt of trying to maintain its [colonial era] grip over the waters of [the] Nile,” and dismissed Cairo’s call for international mediation.

Although disguised in talks over filling and operation of GERD, the current tension between the two countries is mainly related to their longstanding dispute over the validity of the colonial and 1959 agreements [the ‘Nile Water Agreements’].

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee the supplies allocated to it under the Nile Water Agreements and to ensure adequate water for Egyptian power generation and irrigation. But Ethiopia has long rejected the validity of these Agreements. Addis Ababa also fears that accepting the Egyptian demand will put “ GERD hostage to High Aswan Dam [HAD]”, the Egyptian facility completed in 1970.

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The new dominant party in Ethiopia delays democratization

22 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Ethiopia Insight

 

As EPRDF’s successor, Prosperity Party will assume its suffocating role

Despite being the oldest independent country in Africa, Ethiopia has no experience of peaceful, let alone democratic, transfers of power. In fact, throughout much of its history, transitions from one regime to the next have invariably been shrouded in intrigue or marred by bloodshed. The last two rounds of power transfer for which we have a living memory (the ascent to power of the Derg in 1974 and its removal in 1991) involved unimaginable cruelty and the death of an untold number of people. Even the so-called democratic elections in recent years have been accompanied by violence, which at its peak in 2005 claimed the lives of more than 300 protesters in Addis Ababa alone. As a result, every potential change of power in Ethiopia raises fears of tumult of some kind.

The rise to power of the current Prime Minster, Abiy Ahmed, has all the hallmarks of a change of power (but technically it is not). Although the groundswell of protests that brought him to power cost many lives, all the subsequent changes of laws and regulations that transformed the political landscape in the country went largely peacefully. That is partly what seems to have generated a tenuous hope for peaceful democratization through an election, which we are led to expect in a few months’ time in August. This upcoming election is to be seen as a critical test for many things. On one hand, it will test the Prime Minister’s ability to act on his promises and fulfill the unprecedented, constitutional assurance of assuming power through the ballot box. On the other, it sadly could demonstrate that our optimism was either ill-founded or premature.

It is pertinent to ask why changes involving violence and instability have dominated governance in Ethiopia for so long. In my opinion, the burning demand at the heart of the long-standing discontent has always centered on the right to self-rule at local level. Somewhat overlooked, and, at times, dangerously underestimated, is the extent of centuries-long resentment harbored by people of the southern part of the country towards administration from Addis Ababa, ever since their incorporation into modern-day Ethiopia. For many nationalities, being part of Ethiopia has meant the loss of their language, culture, religion, and land.

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EBA recommends to National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to limit cash withdrawals

18 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

The Ethiopian Banker’s Association (EBA) provides policy recommendations to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) that includes accessing NBE bills and limit cash withdrawals from banks as a way out from the current liquidity crunch.

The financial industry has been in liquidity shortage in the past couple of months. Meanwhile the government through the central bank took several measures to tackle the problem but to no avail.

NBE cut the 27 percent NBE bills implemented since 2011 on private banks to buy 27 percentage bonds from their every fresh loans. Besides that to improve banks liquidity the central bank has been auctioned 14.5 billion birr for banks to ease their cash shortage.

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