Saturday, March 30, 2013
As a massive animal lover, to the extent where it’s a bit over the top, I find the treatment of animals here in Hawassa shocking and difficult to understand. I appreciate I am in Africa where lots of humans are treated appallingly, but I don’t believe issues should be ignored just because they are seen as less important.
I now well and truly know where the saying ‘Donkeys work’ comes from, the poor creatures are worked into the ground, they have a purpose here and can carry heavy loads long distances, yes, the people here need them to carry out their jobs, yes I have no problem with either of those things. However what I do have a problem with is the blatant and inexcusable animal abuse I see every day.
The donkeys walk like their legs are going to break, the roads are covered in huge rocks and stones that even I trip over constantly and they make them run along them for no reason at all, what’s wrong with walking? The animals are obviously not built for speed. The wooden carts they pull are poorly designed which means once removed their muscle and bones are exposed. In addition to their unforgiving duties they are whipped relentlessly for no reason at all, all day. I have seen people whacking them with wood, metal, chain and I even saw a man down my road whacking an off duty donkey with a metal spade repeatedly and couldn’t help but shout at him.
A different man down my road was walking alongside his donkey perfectly happily and saw me and decided to start whacking it with a plank of wood while raising his eyebrows as if that behavior would impress me!? I told him that disgusts me and I think he understood my tone if not my language.
I am unsure if it’s a power trip or maybe a status symbol to ruin a beautiful animal but the people here definitely think this behavior is impressive, and they definitely think foreigners see it as impressive.
There are many other animals roaming around all day, cats are my favorite animals, but here they are skinny and filthy and its normal to see people kicking them or throwing them out the way. There are also lots of cattle roaming around the streets, generally with a small child that will continue to hit them with sticks when they are just standing in one place. I keep seeing them being fed newspaper and it actually makes my blood boil, especially as contrary to popular belief there is no shortage of food here – not in Hawassa anyway.
The animals that seem to have it good here are the stray dogs and the monkeys, the moneys swing around the town all day causing mischief and they always look clean and content. The stray dogs snooze in the shade all day and then emerge in small packs or with their puppies in the evening. I have a stray corgi at the end of my road which I find hilarious – it just seems so out of place!
I also saw two goats earlier with their feet tied together with rope being carried along by a man who was trying to sell them by their feet, he kept just throwing them on the floor making them land on their backs which was making them cry really loudly… I just don’t understand why he was doing that!? Why not just walk them along by his side? Surely people would be more inclined to buy them that way! I have seen plenty of others moving around by foot!
I recently noticed shop keepers running outside with wooden sticks to scare off the street children in the same way you would expect someone to frighten off a stray dog, and this highlighted to me the lack of respect for human life, and the inequality they face so I can understand why my disapproval for animal treatment may seem misplaced.
I am actually considering becoming a vegetarian on my return to the UK as I have only had meat two or three times since I got here and I haven’t actually missed it, and I know how inhumane the British meat industry is.
I don’t think the people here understand that they will make more money and get more from their animal if they treat them better.
ኢትዮጵያን ከኬኒያ የሚያገናኘው የአዲስ አበባ - ሀዋሳ - ሞያሌ መንገድ ግንባታ አካል የሆነ የመንገድ ማሻሻያ ፕሮጀክት ስምምነት ተፈረመ፡፡
በአዲሱ ፕሮጀክት ስምምነት መሰረት መንገዱ እያንዳንዳቸው 7 ሜትር የሚሰፉ ሁለት መተላለፊያዎች ይኖሩታል፡፡በተጨማሪም የመንገዱ ቀኝና ግራ ጠርዞች 1 ነጥብ 5 ሜትር ስፋት ይኖራቸዋል፡፡
የኢትዮጵያ መንገዶች ባለስልጣን ዋና ዳይሬክተር አቶ ዛይድ ወ/ገብርዔል መንገዱን ከሚገነቡት ሁለት የህንድ ተቋራጮች ጋር ስምምነቱን ተፈራርመዋል፡፡
ባለስልጣኑ አሁንም ብቃት ያላቸውን ሌሎች ተቋራጮች በግንባታው ላይ ለማሳተፍ ጥረት እያደረገ መሆኑ ገልጿል፡፡
የፕሮጀክቱ ስምምነት ሁለት ቢሊዮን ብር ያህል ሲሆን 85 ከመቶ ያህል ወጪ ከአፍሪካ ልማትባንክ በተገኘ ብድር የሚሸፈን ነው፡፡
የመንገዱ ግንባታ በ3 ዓመታት ውስጥ እንደሚጠናቀቅ ይጠበቃል፡፡
Friday, March 29, 2013
ዛሬ መጋቢት 19/2005 ዓ.ም ከተካሄዱት የፕሪሚየር ሊግ ጨዋታዎች ሀዋሳ ከነማ ሀረር ቢራን 1 ለ 0፣ መብራት ሀይል ደደቢትን 2 ለ 1 አሸንፈዋል፡፡
ለሀዋሳ ከነማ የማሸነፊያዋን ጎል ያስቆጠረው አንዷለም ንጉሴ/አቤጋ/ከእረፍት መልስ ነው፡፡
አዲስ አበባ ላይ ደደቢት እና መብራት ሀይል ባካሄዱት ጨዋታ ደደቢት በጌታነህ ከበደ አማካኝነት ባስቆጠራት ግብ ቢመራም፤ በረከት እና ሳሚዔል ባስቆጠሯቸው ጎሎች መብራት ሀይል አሸንፏል፡፡
የቅዱስ ጊዮርጊስና የኢትዮጵያ ንግድ ባንክ ጨዋታ በቅዱስ ጊዮርጊስ 2 ለ 0 አሸናፊነት ተጠናቋል፡፡
ለቅዱስ ጊዮርጊስ ፍፁም ገ/ማሪያምና ያሬድ ዝናቡ የማሸነፊያ ግቦቹን አስቆጥረዋል፡፡
አዳማ ላይ አዳማ ከነማ ከመከላከያ ያደረጉት ጨዋታ በአወዛጋቢ ክስተት ተቋርጧል፡፡
የአዳማውን ጨዋታ የመሩት ዳኛ በአንድ ክስተት 3 የተለያዩ ውሳኔዎችን ማስተላለፋቸው ለጨወታው መቋረጥ ምክንያት ሆኗል፡፡
ፕሪሚየር ሊጉን ሀዋሳ ከነማ በ25 ነጥብ፣ ደደቢት በ24፣ቅዱስ ጊዮርጊስ በ23፣ ኢትዮጵያ ቡና በ22 ነጥብ ከአንደኛ እስከ አራተኛ ደረጃ ይዘዋል፡፡
The national policy buzz has suddenly shifted to Bahir Dar – the ever-growing capital of the Amhara Regional State, overseen by the rather popular EPRDFite, Ayalew Gobeze. It is not the rapid growth of the city, which is surrounded by major water bodies, such as Lake Tana and the Blue Nile River, that has led to the shift. Rather, it is the congregation of the ruling EPRDFites for their ninth convention.
Preceded by the eventful assemblies of the four member organisations of the ruling coalition, the general assembly, being held in the historical city, is envisioned to bring the top leadership of the ruling party together, in order to craft the road ahead. Of course, one important personality is missed from this whole scene – the late Meles Zenawi.
If the EPRDFites could name one person that has transformed their resilience significantly, it could be no one other than the late Prime Minister. The transformation that the ruling party has undergone under Meles’ watch was so monumental that its impacts have gone far beyond the Party. With the ruling party having been in power for over 21 years now, its organisational transformation is tightly aligned with the progress and backwards steps that the nation has gone through.
Meles’ shadow was indeed bigger than the Party’s. It extended to the continental and global scene, in which the Party has no face. His role was largely strategic, including articulating the stances of the Party on different global and local issues. The past eight assemblies of the Party benefited a lot from his intellect, articulation and leadership.
It is such a definitive persona that the EPRDFites have missed in their latest assembly – the first since their flagship Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), came into effect. As if to solidify their stance towards economic development and express their lineage to Meles – their popular chief development theorist – they have anchored their discussion on the developmental achievements and challenges of the last two years.
Of course, this does not mean that they have completely avoided their traditional undertakings of restructuring their organisational units. Staffing their top political bureaus with new, younger faces and retiring the older leadership generation, in line with their succession plan, itself crafted by Meles, is an agenda they seem to pursue with due care. Yet, this part of the game has little to do with policy.
What seems to have a direct impact on policy is the discussion on the GTP. And a large part of it will be based on the latest Annual Progress Report (APR), disclosed by the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED).
Predictably, the discussion will dominantly be political. It is also expected to be frank, as any intra-party discussion is. Yet, it has a significant leverage to change the direction of the national economic journey, with the EPRDFites entrusted to rule until 2014/15.
If the discussion is to solely be based on the APR, however, it would certainly lose sight of the global dimension. And, it has every chance to miss the linkage effect that both achievements and failures have with continental and global economic realities.
Eventually, the release of the latest Human Development Report (HDR) by the trusted global organisation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), could help the EPRDFites to see the linkage of their actions with the global trend. Beyond that, the report could also help them to see where their decisiveness is highly sought.
Both the APR and the HDR show gaps in translating the rapid economic growth that the nation has managed to achieve over the last nine years, into concrete human developments, including; Gross National Income (GNI) per capital, quality health care and quality education. Therein lays the challenge for the convening EPRDFites.
The Human Development Index (HDI), a relatively comprehensive measure of economic development, for Ethiopia, has shown only a marginal increment, 0.004 to be exact, between 2011 and 2012. The 44pc gross increment, or 3.67pc annual rise, that the index has witnessed between 2000 and 2012 also lags behind the official rhetoric of successful inclusive development.
This too would have been bashed out of the neo-liberal political thresher, if it was not supported with the figures included in the latest APR, compiled by the MoFED. A rising student enrolment, stained with high dropout rates and subpar education, as well as an increasing health care provision disfigured by high child and maternal mortality rates, continue to challenge the rapid economic growth of the nation, states the latest APR.
Indeed, the EPRDFites stand at a cross roads. On the one hand is their repeated declaration to sustain the developmental legacy of their late leader. On the other, they are being challenged with an economy that is bearing less fruits, in terms of human development.
Cracking the password for a policy resolution is what is largely expected to come out of their convention. And the public seems to be watching, keenly.
All their efforts in the past were focused on building infrastructure, improving access to social services and establishing systems. This time around, however, the play is all about improving quality.
Sustaining development for a long time, to the level of making the nation a middle-income economy, cannot be attained without enhancing the quality of education, saving dying mothers, improving child care, increasing per capita income and streamlining equity. Largely, these challenges entail quality policy making.
So much as the EPRDFites are entrusted to lead the economy until the next election, in 2015, they have the responsibility of realising such a policy regime. Failing to bring a shift in the policy regime, from one focused on access to one which targets quality, will certainly have a cost for them and for the nation, at large.
It all ought to stem from a political will to grow beyond winning elections. Of course, numbers expressed as access to social services rightly resonate with the electorate. However, they cannot deliver a sustainable political base.
At stake for the EPRDFites is, thus, to bring a change in their policy perspective, which eventually refocuses it towards quality. Instilling the essential political will within the bureaucracy they oversee to realise the reorientation towards service quality will also be important.
It is only then that they could manage to further the economic legacies of their dear leader and bring about lasting change in the country.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Wolassa Kumo
In my previous articles, I mentioned the Sidama grand social constitution Seera, and various sub constitutions which derive from this grand constitution. We have also seen that all social constitutions or Seera in Sidama were based on the Sidama moral code of halale, the true way of life. In this socio-cultural and socio-political system, the role of the elders was very important. Elders were bestowed with the power of enforcing the Seera and referring the recalcitrant to Magano or God if he/she refuses to abide by the Seera.
The power of elders in the Sidama society was not based on a simple age count as is the case in most modern societies. The Sidama elder is more the product of various social processes through which he passes than the product of a simple aging. For a person to become a recognised elder with authority in Sidama, he has to become a Cimeessa (respected elder with authority) or Cimeeyye for many respected elders. There are three important socio-cultural processes that shape the Sidama elder who will have the required authority to enforce the Seera system in the society. These are: the Luwa cycle, Barcima (circumcision), and the Anga culture. In this brief article, we will revisit the cultures that shape the institution of Cimeessa in the Sidama society.
2. The Sidama Luwa Cycle
As I pointed out in my previous articles, the Luwa is administered by an age grade system where each grade rotates every 8 years. There are five rotating grades in the Luwa system. These are: Darara, Fullassa, Hirobora, Wawassa and Mogissa. The Malga clan in Awassa district adds Binancha as the sixth grade.
However, the recruitment to a given Luwa grade does not depend on the age of the individual. It depends on the grade of one's father. For instance, if we assume that Darara is the first cycle and Mogissa is the last cycle, and if the son of Darara becomes Mogissa, a son born to a person who is a member of the Darara cycle has to wait for 32-40 years to join the Mogissa grade. Therefore, in the Luwa cycle, it is possible that a child as well as a 40 years old adult can become members of the same Luwa cycle. Thus, age is not a sole criterion in the making of the Sidama Cimeessa (respected elder). A person who did not pass through the Luwa cycles cannot become a Cimeessa while a younger person can qualify for a position if he fulfils all other requirements.
The Luwa system has two important objectives. The first and the most important one is the recruitment and training of the able bodied men for the defence of the nation. The second objective is the development of potential elders who will have authorities to replace the current elders (Cimeeyye). Women are not allowed to participate in the Luwa system. Therefore, they are automatically excluded from the nation's defence forces as well as from becoming Cimeeyye or respected elders. However, the Sidama society has its own ways of showing respect for elderly women.
A fascinating aspect of the Sidama culture in this regard is that, younger people never call older people, men or women, by their names. They always use the name of their children, using as prefix, mother of ".." and father of ".". If they do not know the names of their children, they simply call them mother or father, even if they are not their real mothers and fathers. While many of the beautiful Sidama indigenous cultures have been lost due to the Abyssinian conquest, this particular way of life survived until today.
Avoiding the direct contact with the mother-in-laws is another aspect of unique respect the Sidama society offers to women in general. A person who is newly married to the daughter of a woman will not stand in her way if he sees her walking in the street. He has to run in to the bushes to give the mother way to proceed with her trip. Not only he is not allowed to mention her name, but he is also required to talk with a language of respect such as Ki'ne (equivalent to English "thou" - in Sidaamuaffo). The wife is required to reciprocate the respect to her husband's family. But she is required to reciprocate it to the father of her husband, as she is required to be in close contact with the mother of her husband. This aspect of the Sidama culture is being gradually eroded due to massive conversion into Christianity.
3. Barcima (Circumcision) and Its Social Implications
In Sidama society, male circumcision has been practiced since time immemorial. Circumcision is one of the processes of building respected elders (Cimeeyye) in Sidama society. After a person participates in the Luwa cycles he has to carry out circumcision before his sons' Luwa cycle arrives. If he fails to circumcise before that, his progression to the class of respected elders can be seriously undermined. A non circumcised old person cannot be regarded as Cimeessa in Sidama society.
The circumcision ceremony is one of the biggest social events in Sidama society. Depending on the level of wealth of the individual, such as the size of farm and farm land owned, the size of Enset or coffee plantation, and the number of cattle the person owns, he can organize a huge ceremony involving hundreds of elders and young men and women from the area and far apart for the ceremony. Everyone invited or present in the ceremony is provided with Buurisame (food made from Enset with a lot of butter in it) and Malawo (drinks made from pure honey) beginning with the oldest and going down to the youngest. This process is called Malawo Tuma (the Honey Ceremony).
For a person to prepare the Honey Ceremony during his circumcision he has to pass through one of the Luwa cycles with in the past 40 years but not beyond. Thus, during the ceremony every body praises not only the person who is going to be circumcised but also his Luwa grade, stating that the Honey Ceremony belongs to such a person and such a Luwa grade. At the beginning of the Honey Ceremony, the person to be circumcised declares that it is his time now to circumcise and that he makes his Luwa grade and the Sidama society proud by willing to defend the nation and become an elder to serve the society.
I participated in two of such beautiful ceremonies in his rural village when I was about 8-10 years old, and I still remember how beautiful those ceremonies were. Most of these types of ceremonies that survived the Abyssinian conquest have now been almost lost due mainly to conversion into Christianity. The next stage in the making of the Sidama Cimeessa institution is the Anga culture.
4. The Anga Culture
The Anga culture is the most complicated part of the Sidama culture. Anga, which literally means "hand", has a different meaning when it is used in the context of the development of Cimeessa or Cimeeyye, respected elders or elders with authority. An elder with the Anga authority must have already participated in the Luwa cycles, must have been circumcised and most notably organized the grand Honey Ceremony. An elder who did not pass through those stages cannot claim to have the Anga authority.
An elder or Cimeessa who has Anga has superior moral authorities to all other Cimeessa in the society. In other words, the Anga is the last stage in the making of the Sidama Cimeessa or an elder with full moral authority to enforce Seera (social constitution) in the Sidama society. In addition to passing though the Luwa cycles, circumcision and Honey Ceremonies, the elder who claims the Anga authority has to make Kakalo (sacrifices) to the ancestors to declare his position as a holder of the Anga Authority.
An elder with Anga authority does not participate in any ordinary activities in the society. He does not eat any meat unless the animal is slaughtered either by himself or some one who has similar Anga authority like him. One fascinating aspects of the Anga culture is that when the Cimeessa with the Anga authority is a in a house dining alone or with some one, every body must keep quite. This is because, if some one mentions some names which are considered to be impure while the Cimeessa with the Anga was eating, then he will automatically stop eating. These names include animal names such as pigs, dogs or sounds like shouting, whistling and so on. If the Cimeessa with Anga listens to those names and sounds while he is eating, he has to automatically stop eating and leave. If he does not do so, he loses his Anga authority and has to offer other sacrifices to reclaim the Anga.
As in the case of many other areas in the Sidama culture and civilization, in this area extensive future research is required.
The Anga culture is practiced by the Sidama clan called the Xummano or the Yemerechcho. However, the Luwa, Circumcision and Honey Ceremonies are practiced by any member of the Sidama society. At present, the Anga culture has almost disappeared because of massive conversion to Christianity and diminishing number of the members of the society who acknowledge the Authority of Anga. Likewise, the authority of Cimeessa has been weakened and highly undermined. Although the concept still survives in Sidama, its significance has been significantly reduced.
5. Systematic abuse of the Cimeessa institution by the current regime.
Another factor that undermined the Cimeessa institution in Sidama is political interference by the current regime. Because of the unpopularity of most of the measures the current regimes undertakes in Sidama, it has resorted to bribing the elders. The members of the ruling party personally contact well known Sidama elders through out the Sidama land and provide them with money and transport them to towns and cities whenever they convene unpopular meetings in Sidama. The elders are forced to comply to these pressures both for fear of political persecution and because of the economic benefit they obtain in participating in these processes. Even after the Loqqe massacre, the first people invited to a meeting in Awassa in 2002 to support the actions of the massacre were the elders. However, this time the elders did the opposite of what they were expected to do. They unanimously condemned the massacre.
Although the elders try to balance cultural values they uphold with the benefits and intimidation the current regime, the constant pressure under which the regime puts the Sidama Cimeessa institution and the continued participation of the elders in most unpopular decisions regarding the Sidama society has seriously undermined the creditability of this institution at present. The most resilient group that continually rejects unpopular measures of the regime has become the youth, particularly the young people below the age of 30. This is mainly due to relatively better education and exposure this group has regarding the basic human rights, democracy and freedom. Since this demographic group represents the future of Sidama, our nation has a great hope!!http://www.sidamaconcern.com/country/the%20Luwa%20and%20the%20Anga%20Culture.htm