Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Elected President of SomaliaFebruary 8, 2017 - Somalian Parliament elected new president on Wednesday. Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a dual US-Somali citizen, was elected as the country's new president, according to CNN. Farmajo was declared victorious after incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud dropped out of the contest following the second round of voting. Mohamud, who took office in 2012, withdrew from the final ballot after losing 184 to 97 to Farmajo in the second round. Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn congratulated the new Somalia president shortly after his election.
Metered Taxis Service Starts in Addis AbabaFebruary 8, 2017 - Addis Ababa City Transport Authority yesterday announced that new meter taxis fare rate would take effect as of today, according to FBC. According to the Authority, the fare of four-seat meter taxis is 10 Birr per kilometer while 13 Birr for seven-seat taxis per kilometer. Authority Communication Officer Mitiku Gebisa, told EPA that the rate would be effective up until 10 PM local time. Beginning from 10:01 onward, the rate will increase by 50 per cent, meaning, for instance, the 10 Birr fare will increase to 15 Birr, he added. He also said that there are works done with regards to monitoring the flow of the service, where a free call center - '888' - is set up to deal with any problem that may create inconvenience.
Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba Breaks World 2000m RecordFebruary 8, 2017 - World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba broke world 2000m record at the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Tuesday, according to IAAF. The three-time world indoor champion overtook the pacemaker just before the half-way mark, which was reached in 2:42.65, and continued to extend her lead over her younger sister Anna and Morocco's Siham Hilali. She went on to stop the clock at 5:23.75, taking almost seven seconds off the world indoor best set by Gabriela Szabo in 1998. Although the 2000m isn't an official world record event indoors, Dibaba's performance - pending ratification - can be classed as an outright world record as it is faster than Sonia O'Sullivan's outdoor mark of 5:25.36. As well as the outdoor 1500m world record, Dibaba now owns the fastest ever recorded times indoors for the 1500m, mile, 2000m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m.
Instead, he took a deep breath and kept his camera rolling from inside his vehicle, capturing a rare video of an Ethiopian lion. For more on big cats, tune in to Big Cat Week, premiering Monday, Feb. 20, at 9/8c on Nat Geo WILD and learn more about the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, a global initiative that supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild. In fact, Alatash National Park has never had a tourist, the report says, so ecotourism safaris are unlikely. During Bauer and colleagues' first expedition in Alatash National Park, the team didn’t have enough cameras or time to do a proper survey. Pastoralists travel to the lions’ habitat each year to allow their livestock to graze, potentially putting the big cats in conflict with people.
Today, the first electric transnational railway in Africa went into operation from Djibouti City to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also in attendance were Chinese investors, whose 14 billion dollar loan, funded the railway. The newly functioning line will certainly be of benefit for Djibouti and its landlocked neighbor, as it will help optimize trade by cutting travel time between the two countries. The journey is a three to four days by truck, and just 12 hours via the new rail line. “This line will change the social and economic landscape of our two countries,” said Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn.
Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia has set a new indoor record in the women’s 2,000m world record at the Miting International de Catalunya event in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Tuesday. She finished the race in a time of 5:23.75 which eclipsed the previous record by just about seven seconds. She won the silver medal in the Women’s 1500m race in the just ended Rio Olympic Games. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba broke the 2000m indoor world record with a time of 5:23.75 at the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in Spain. She is the sister of three-times Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba, and the cousin of former Olympic champion Derartu Tulu.
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Turkish TV Series Popularity Growing in Ethiopia - AmbassadorFebruary 7, 2017 - The international popularity of Turkish TV series has spread around the world over the years, and Ethiopia is not an exception, according to Daily Sabah. The number of Ethiopian viewers watching Turkish series has seen a significant hike in recent years and it goes hand in hand with an increase of locals' interest in Turkish culture, Turkey's ambassador to Ethiopia said. The Turkish Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Fatih Ulusoy said, "In Ethiopia, over the last one and a half years, Turkish TV series has been very popular." Talking of the TV series, the ambassador said that Turkish dramas such as 'Kuzey Güney' (North South) and 'Kara Para Aşk' (Black Money Love) were at the forefront of showing the Turkish way of life in Ethiopia, and adding that he hoped that it would encourage tourists to visit Turkey. He went on to mention the Turkish tulip-shaped tea glasses (ince belli bardak) and their rising popularity in the country, saying "They are very interested in watching Turkish dramas, they love Turkish life and culture."
Ethiopian Airlines is performing well financially despite recent travel ban complications by the US President, Donald Trump. The state-owned operator’s chief executive, Tewolde Gebremariam, said on Tuesday that Trump’s executive order – which has been suspended by a federal judge – was creating confusion for some of its passengers but was not having much impact overall on its operations. The national flag carrier was in 2016 adjudged Africa’s best airline for a fifth successive year by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). In its seven decades of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers in terms of efficiency and operational success. They command the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to 95 international destinations across five continents.
ADDIS ABABA Feb 7 – State-owned Ethiopian Airlines is unable to repatriate about $220 million held in local currency in Nigeria, Egypt and some other African states because of foreign exchange shortages in those nations, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday. Tewolde Gebremariam told Reuters that this was partly because countries such as Nigeria had been hit by recent falls in oil prices, which was reducing foreign exchange inflows. This also meant cash held in the local currencies was losing value, he said. “This is a huge challenge for us,” the CEO added.
Diamond Aircraft has sold five DA40NG piston-singles to Ethiopian Airlines, in support of the flag-carrier’s “Vision 2025” strategic plan to become the leading aviation group in Africa. The four-seat aircraft bring Ethiopian’s fleet of DA-series models to 18 – made up of 16 DA40s and two twin-engined DA42s. The airline – headquartered in Addis Ababa – also owns a pair of Diamond aircraft simulators. Diamond AircraftBoth models use the AE300 turbocharged jet-fuel powerplant manufactured by Diamond sister company Austro Engine, making them an ideal fit for the African airline training market, the Austrian airframer says. Diamond says that of the 1,900 DA40s in service worldwide, 90% are used in a training role.
South Sudan Rebels Accuse Egypt of Bombing RaidsFebruary 6, 2017 - South Sudan rebels accused Egypt on Saturday of carrying out bombing raids against their positions, according to report on Reuters, Cairo issued immediate denial and warned of the risk of a regional war according to the report. It was the first time either side had alleged Egyptian involvement in South Sudan's festering conflict, which pits President Salva Kiir's military against forces loyal to his former vice president, Riek Machar. The Egyptian air force on Friday dropped "more than nine bombs and explosions on the gallant SPLA-IO positions" near the northern village of Kaka, a rebel statement said, using an acronym for the rebel force. Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid denied the alleged air strikes, saying: "Egypt does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries." (Reuters)Back Print
Under Trump Ban, Nine Yemenis Deported to EthiopiaFebruary 6, 2017 - Nine Yemenis who were deported from the United States under U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban were flown to Ethiopia, then taken to neighboring Djibouti, an Ethiopian government official said on Friday, according to Reuters. The Yemenis, blocked by Trump's executive orders barring travel to America by people from Yemen and six other Muslim-majority countries, had asked to go to Djibouti - just over the Red Sea from their home country - the official added. "The only reason they came to Addis Ababa was because Ethiopian Airlines has flights from Addis Ababa to Washington," government spokesman Negeri Lencho said, without going into details on when they traveled. (Reuters)Back Print
Companies to Launch $850 Million Hydroelectric Power ProjectFebruary 6, 2017 - President Mulatu Teshome said his government would provide all the necessary support for investors that engage in power generation, according to FBC. The President made the pledge upon holding discussion with a delegation from Globeleq and Contingent companies at the National Palace today. He assured members of the delegation that Ethiopia would support all investors, including the Globeleq and Contingent British companies, which engage in power generation in the country. He stated that the companies had carried out environmental and social impact assessments for Genale Dawa 6 Hydroelectric Power Project during the past three years. The general counselor revealed that "we are very excited to announce that Globeleq and contingent companies have been able to secure over 850 million US dollars to fully finish both the project with power generation capacity of 250 megawatt and a dam that irrigates up to 27,000 hectares of land in Oromia and Somali regional states.
Darrow MontgomeryA D.C. resident born in Ethiopia is suing the cooperative association of an apartment complex near the U Street corridor for allegedly denying her housing on the basis of her national origin. She was pregnant with her second child and looking for larger accommodations at the time. Though Mengiste complied, she was never contacted for a tenant interview, and was denied a unit in October without any explanation. Mengiste, who has since relocated, lived in a studio with her husband, sister, and two children during the time she was applying for housing, according to her lawyers. The suit is being brought under the Fair Housing Act and the District's Human Rights Act, which both bar discrimination based on national origin.