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Africa

 

A local company brought good news to a story that is getting better

 

Tsedale Lemma

 

On May 19, 2012 The Economist published a story that was hugely welcomed by development partners working with African countries. ‘African Child mortality: the best story in development,’ read the headline and detailed some of the remarkable declines in child mortality rates in selected Sub-Saharan African (SSA) counties including Ethiopia.

According to the story, 16 of the 20 countries which provided detailed surveys of their health status and living conditions since 2005 have reported dramatic falls in child-mortality, measured in the number of children under five per 1000 live births.  12 of these countries reported falls of over 4.4% a year.

 

Ethiopia’s infamous anti –terrorism law saw prominent journalists, high level opposition members take lengthy prison sentences

A court in Addis Ababa jailed blogger Eskindir Nega and opposition party members including Adualem Arage, deputy chairman of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), the only opposition party with a lone representative in the ruling party, EPRDF, dominated national parliament  for between 18 years to life.

An unprecedented wave of arrest by Ethiopian police that has begun on June 19 2011 saw Woubshet Taye, deputy editor of a private Amharic weekly newspaper Awramba Times, which is known for its fierce criticism against the government,  locked in jail followed on June 21 by the arrest of Reyot Alemu, a columnist in another private weekly newspaper Feteh. Both were soon charged under the much dreaded anti-terrorism proclamation No. 652/2009

In a frantic attempt to contain Islamist extremism in Ethiopia, the government is getting close to shoot itself in the foot

 Selahadin Eshetu Getahun

 

 

Mohammed Mustafa (not his real name) is a third year Computer Science student in Ambo University, 114 kms west of the capital Addis Ababa.  Like any ordinary student he was more interested in the pursuit of his education than anything else, least religion, and has never been bothered about being a Muslim. Six months ago Mohammed’s otherwise calm world towards his religion was turned upside down when a group of government officials came to discuss with the University community the state’s concern about “religious extremism”. The three days discussion mainly focused on how to curb the growing trend of Islamist extremism in Ethiopia. Their agenda included proposals to introduce new dressing codes and ban prayers in the University compound, an issue dear to many Muslim students.