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Ethiopian News

  • Ethiopia’s internet crackdown hurts everyone

    Ethiopia has never been an easy place to operate. But a six-month state of emergency, combined with internet and travel restrictions imposed in response to a wave of anti-government protests, means it just got a whole lot harder.

    The government has targeted the mobile data connections that the majority of Ethiopians use to get online. Internet users have also been unable to access Facebook Messenger and Twitter, with a host of other services also rendered unreliable. 

    This has impacted everyone: from local businesses, to foreign embassies, to families, as well as the extensive and vital international aid community.

    “Non-governmental organisations play crucial roles in developing countries, often with country offices in the capitals, satellite offices across remote regions, and parent organisations in foreign countries,” said Moses Karanja, an internet policy researcher at Strathmore University in Nairobi.  “They need access to the internet if their operations are to be efficiently coordinated.”

    The Ethiopian government has been candid about the restrictions being in response to year-long anti-government protests in which hundreds of people have died.

    It has singled out social media as a key factor in driving unrest. Since the beginning of October, there has been a spike in violence resulting in millions of dollars’ worth of damage to foreign-owned factories, government buildings and tourist lodges across Oromia Region, initially ground zero for the dissent.

    “Mobile data will be permitted once the government assesses that it won’t threaten the implementation of the state of emergency,” government spokesman Getachew Reda – who has since been replaced – told a 26 October press conference in Addis Ababa.

    The Oromo are the country’s largest ethnic group, constituting 35 percent of the country’s nearly 100 million population. They have historically felt ignored by successive regimes in Addis Ababa. In August, similar grassroots protest broke out among the Amhara, Ethiopia’s second largest ethnic group. The ruling EPRDF is portrayed by opponents as a narrow, unrepresentative clique that refuses to share power.

    Ethiopia is not alone in its approach to political unrest. Around the world, as countries become increasingly integrated with online technology, the more autocratic governments are blocking the internet whenever they deem it necessary.

    “The trend appears to be growing because more people are going online and using the internet, often through the use of mobile connections,” said Deji Olukotun of Access Now, which campaigns for digital rights. In 2016, it documented 50 shutdowns, up from less than 20 in 2015.

    “People are enjoying the freedom and opportunity that the internet provides, which enables them to organise themselves and advocate for what they want,” Olukotun told IRIN. “In response, governments are shutting down the net to stop this practice.”

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  • Ethiopia’s gov’t spokesman decried the election of Trump to lead the U.S

    Ethiopia’s newly sworn in government spokesman, Negeri Lencho, said the election of Donald Trump is not good both for his country and for the African continent as a whole and has described him as ‘an extremely neo- liberalist.’ According to him, Trump is ‘always inward looking’ with less care for the rest of the world.

    “I don’t think the election of Trump will benefit Africa,” Negeri said adding that he was wishing Secretary Hillary Clinton could win the 2016 US election. “First, he is only interested in trade deals that only benefit the United States. Second, his immigration policy could affect thousands of Ethiopians who live in the United States. And finally, his political tactics are dangerous.”

    According to Negeri, Tump may change some of his hard- line policies once he occupies the White House in January. He has described the current U.S- Ethiopian relations as ‘very good’ and ‘longstanding.’

    EthioNewsflash Exclusive News (Ethionewsflash.com

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  • Ethiopia appoints new cabinet members, ministers

    Ethiopia appoints new cabinet members, ministers

    (EBC; November 1, 2016)- Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has presented new cabinet members and ministers to the parliament, and the parliament has approved the newly appointed ministers and cabinet members.

    Accordingly, the newly appointed ministers are as follows:
    1. Dr. Workineh Gebayehu Foreign Minister
    2. Mr. Tagesse Chafo Public Service and Human Resource Minister
    3. Dr. Abraham Tekasta Finance and economic cooperation minister 
    4. Dr. Bekele Muladu Trade Minister
    5. Prof. Fikadu Beyene Animal and Fish Resource minister
    6. Dr. Eyasu Abraha Agriculture and Natural Resource Minister
    7. Dr. Eng. Getahun Makuria Science and Technology Minister
    8. Mr. Ahmed Shide Transport Minister
    9. Dr. Ambachaw Mekonnen Urban Development
    10. Eng. Ayisha Mohammed Construction Minister
    11. Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister
    12. Mr. Motuma Mekassa Mineral, Petroleum and Natural gas 
    13. Dr. Gemado Dale Environment forest and climate change 
    14. Dr. Shiferaw T/mariam Education Minister
    15. Prof. Yifru Birhana Health Minister
    16. Dr. Girma Amante Government Development Organizations Minister
    17. Dr. Hirut W/mariam Culture and Tourism Minister
    18. Mrs. Demitu Hambisa Women and children Minister
    19. Mr. Ristu Yirdaw Youth and Sport Minister
    20. Mr. Kebede Chane Customs and Revenue Authority
    21. Dr. Negari Lencho Government Communication Affairs Office Minister
    According to the Prime Minister, ministers in the remaining ministries will stay in their previous posts.
    Accordingly, cabinet members who will remain in their previous posts:
    1. Demeke Mekonnen Deputy Prime Minister 
    2. Siraj Fegessa – Minister of Defense
    3. Kassa Tekleberhan- Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoral Area Development
    4. Dr Debretsion Gebremichael –Minister of Communication and Information Technology
    5. Ahmed Abitew – Minister of Industry
    6. Getachew Ambaye- Attorney General
    7. Abdulfetah Abdulah - Minister of Labor and Social Affairs
    8. Dr Yinager Dese- Commissioner of National Planning Commission
    9. Asmelash Woldesilasie – House Chief Whip with the Rank of Minister


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