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‘We face a war and must mobilise’

4 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Mario Draghi, former President of the European Central Bank

“It is the proper role of the state to deploy its balance sheet to protect citizens and the economy against shocks that the private sector is not responsible for and cannot absorb. States have always done so in the face of national emergencies. Wars — the most relevant precedent — were financed by increases in public debt.”

The coronavirus pandemic is a human tragedy of potentially biblical proportions. Many today are living in fear of their lives or mourning their loved ones. The actions being taken by governments to prevent our health systems from being overwhelmed are brave and necessary. They must be supported.

But those actions also come with a huge and unavoidable economic cost. While many face a loss of life, a great many more face a loss of livelihood. Day by day, the economic news is worsening. Companies face a loss of income across the whole economy. A great many are already downsizing and laying off workers. A deep recession is inevitable.

The challenge we face is how to act with sufficient strength and speed to prevent the recession from morphing into a prolonged depression, made deeper by a plethora of defaults leaving irreversible damage. It is already clear that the answer must involve a significant increase in public debt. The loss of income incurred by the private sector — and any debt raised to fill the gap — must eventually be absorbed, wholly or in part, on to government balance sheets. Much higher public debt levels will become a permanent feature of our economies and will be accompanied by private debt cancellation.

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What can we learn from coronavirus?

4 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Federica Mogherini*

“In the face of COVID-19, we need to admit the political mistakes of recent years and adjust our trajectory according to the compass of reality. People around the world – institutional and political leaders, but, ultimately, all of us – must put reality first.”

“..the global community exists. What happens far away has an impact (even a vital one) here and now. A sneeze on one continent has direct repercussions on another. We are connected, we are one. All attempts to consider borders as dividing lines and to classify people by nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religious belief – all of this loses meaning at once, as our bodies are all equally exposed to the virus, no matter who we are.

As of a few weeks ago, no-one would have disputed that the most relevant and evident trend in the global politics of our times is ʺgo nationalʺ. Unilateralism and ʺzero-sum gameʺ logic seemed to be the new normal: ʺFor me to win, I need you to loseʺ and ʺMe firstʺ.

These phrases seemed to be the unequivocal and almost uncontested trademark of this century. Moreover, it was a trademark that had almost no limits in terms of geography and ideology: you found it in many different shades, but on each and every continent, in each and every political orientation (including many varieties of unlabelled political movements), across a wide range of institutional systems, and even within some international organisations.

This trend seemed to consolidate by the day, with very few voices trying to argue for a co-operative international approach, multilateralism, win-win solutions and a search for common ground and community-based policies, rather than a purely individualistic vision of society.

Today, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the entire world, putting at risk so many of our lives and shaking the foundations of our everyday way of life, we need to ask if this paradigm is likely to remain the predominant one. Is the pandemic going to strengthen it, or are there lessons we will learn?

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The 1918 Spanish Flu: Historical Documentary

2 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEI)




Justice Needed for Deadly October Ethiopia Violence

2 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Human Rights Watch

“The Ethiopian authorities can’t brush the killing and maiming of scores of people, the destruction of homes and businesses, and attacks on hospitals under the carpet,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “To ensure that upcoming elections can be held safely and securely, the government needs to accelerate its investigations into the October violence and bring those responsible for abuses to justice.”

Credible Prosecutions, Redress Key to Preventing Future Abuse

(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government has made little progress in investigating the deadly October 2019 violence and in acting to prevent further security force abuses and inter-communal violence. Six months later, victims and their families from two towns in the Oromia region still seek justice for abuses committed by security forces and violent mobs.

Protests erupted in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on October 23, 2019, following social media posts by the prominent activist Jawar Mohammed accusing the authorities of threatening his security, a claim the police denied. The protests, which spread to about a dozen towns across the Oromia and Harari regions and to the city of Dire Dawa, devolved in several places into unrest and communal violence. According to official government figures, 86 people died during the protests and clashes across Oromia and surrounding areas, including 10 deaths that were the result of “confrontations” with the security forces.

“The Ethiopian authorities can’t brush the killing and maiming of scores of people, the destruction of homes and businesses, and attacks on hospitals under the carpet,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “To ensure that upcoming elections can be held safely and securely, the government needs to accelerate its investigations into the October violence and bring those responsible for abuses to justice.” Continue reading

Covid-19: Bill Gates 2015 Prediction

2 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)



Why Ethiopia rejected the US-drafted GERD deal

2 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Ethiopia Insight

After some progress in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations since the U.S. Treasury and World Bank got involved in November, the process foundered on drought-mitigation demands that Ethiopia categorically rejected.

These relate both to the filling stage of the dam, which Ethiopia says will take five to seven years, and the long-term operation phase. Ethiopians say the negotiation for long-term operation became about water sharing, which should not have been part of the agenda. Rather they wanted discussions only on the reservoir operation that is restricted to the dam’s inflows and outflows. But, after the last round of talks had run their course, the Ethiopian view was that Egypt and the U.S. proposed an un-amendable plan for permanent operation, which amounted to a “water-allocation” arrangement that effectively protects Egypt’s claimed 55.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) annual share of Nile waters.

Aspects of the proposed agreement identify releases from the GERD without considering the inflow. Whatever the amount of water flowing in, Ethiopia is expected to release some amount under the pretext of drought mitigation. This has clear similarities with a water-sharing agreement that does not alter along with rainfall that fluctuates from year-to-year. Ethiopia wants the amount released to be based on inflow into the reservoir minus evaporation and local use, without specifying figures in advance.

According to experts from Addis Ababa, the way the issue has been dealt with does not amount to drought mitigation; rather, it is mitigation of water shortage in Egypt and Sudan. Egypt prefers to call it drought for two reasons, they say. First, it wants to use this to accuse Ethiopia of causing artificial drought in Egypt. Second, it transfers the responsibility for mitigation to Ethiopia. Otherwise, how can drought happen in the middle of the desert, the experts ask. If it was called water shortage instead, responsibility for mitigation would lie on all the three countries, with Egypt taking its fair share of responsibility.

Therefore the starting premise for the approach, negotiators from Addis claim, is that Ethiopia is obliged to mitigate downstream shortages, with no corresponding obligation on those countries to assist by, for example, applying water-saving technology, planting less water-consuming crops, or shifting their economies from agriculture to the industrial and service sectors. Furthermore, the agreement obliges Ethiopia to release the so-called ‘natural flow’; thus ignoring Ethiopia’s future upstream water uses for water supply, filling hydropower dams, or irrigation.

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ፍራሽ አዳሽ 6—መታየት ያለበት!

31 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)





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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