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  • ETHIOPIANS TO GET A TASTE OF GUINNESS

    ETHIOPIANS TO GET A TASTE OF GUINNESS 18 Mar, 2017

     
     

    By Samuel Getachew

    Diageo, the largest liquor company in the world, is set to reintroduce Guinness, the world’s famous stout beer, to the Ethiopian beer market.

    BGI brewery attempted but failed to make an impression with Guinness in Ethiopia, a decade-and-a-half ago. With an alcoholic level of 7.5 percent, despite repeated efforts, it was doomed from the start for BGI. However, Diageo, the United Kingdom based company, feels Guinness needs an encore performance in the Ethiopian beer market, now dominated by international players with deep pocket.

    The Ethiopian beer drinking market has increased over the years and now stands at eight liters of beer, per person, a jump from five liters of beer, per person, five years ago. The attractive Ethiopian market currently accommodates a total production of more than 12 million hectoliters of beer a year.

    This is the third brand Diageo has introduced in the last five years. It introduced a similar but non-alcoholic Guinness beer, Malta, in 2013 as Ethiopia became its 50th market in Africa, where the Malta brand is sold. However, its introduction of a brand, Zemen, failed to attract customers and folded productions shortly after.

    Diageo is targeting the affluent and emerging middle class and the diplomatic corps with limited production of the world’s famous stout beer at higher price than the average, The Reporter has learnt. The company has been studying the Ethiopian market for a while, especially why the initial trial by its competitor failed, via a project it named “The Injera Project”.  The bitter international taste has been reduced to accommodate the taste of the Ethiopian market.

    Diageo entered the Ethiopian market when it bought the Meta Abo Brewery from the state in 2012 for 225 million dollars. It has continued to expand its capacities, with more investments. It owns brands such as Meta and Azmera; the latter is currently available only in parts of the country.

    The company hopes its Guinness effort will succeed. It is set to debut its newest acquisition on March 31st at an event named “Feshta”. It is expended to spend millions in advertising and road shows. It will produce the Guinness brand at its expanded plant in Sebeta, about 50 km in the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

    The company has presence in almost 180 countries and is involved in the beer, wine and liquor markets, especially with brands such as the Johnnie Walker and the Smirnoff.

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  • A boom in qat in Ethiopia and Kenya

    A boom in qat in Ethiopia and Kenya

     

    Will this burgeoning green business turn to bust?
    Jan 21st 2017 | CHUKO AND MAUA

     

    Qat, a tonic?

    THIS is qat,” explains Teklu Kaimo, gesturing to the wooded field behind him. He started growing it in 1976, and over the years its soft, green leaves have brought him a measure of prosperity. He has a modest plot of land, 11 children and money to pay their way through school.

     

    A short walk down the hill, the central marketplace of this part of southern Ethiopia comes alive with farmers, merchants and salesmen as the sun sets. Young men sprint down streets with bundles of fresh qat leaves on their shoulders, as traders call out prices and haul the bags aboard lorries. They are bound for Addis Ababa, the capital, where the following morning they will be sold to qat-chewers in the city, or packed onto planes bound for neighbouring Djibouti and Somaliland.

    In this section
    One Zuma to another Zuma?
    A boom in qat in Ethiopia and Kenya
    Mozambique’s default
    Bahrain is still hounding its Shia
    Terrorists returning home to Tunisia
    Reprints
    Related topics
    Somalia
    Europe
    United Kingdom
    Addis Ababa
    Africa
    Ethiopia’s trade in qat, a mild stimulant native to this part of Africa, is booming. Where once cultivation and consumption were restricted to the Muslim lowlands towards the country’s east, today it is grown and masticated throughout the country. Nearly half a million hectares of land are thought to be devoted to it, some two-and-half times more than was grown 15 years ago. Many of those cultivating it have switched from coffee, Ethiopia’s biggest export, to one that offers juicier and more stable returns. Qat is now the country’s second-largest source of foreign currency, and, with prices rising, a handy source of government revenue.

    The industry’s growth is partly due to increased consumption. Qat kiosks are dotted around all main towns; young men chewing on street corners or in university libraries have become a ubiquitous feature of Ethiopian life. For many, its spread is a symbol of national decline. “It is getting worse by the day,” says Fitsum Zeab, a businessman in Addis Ababa.

    Much the same is true in neighbouring Kenya, the region’s second-largest qat producer. Here, too, demand is growing, thanks to a large diaspora of Somalis (the plant’s long-standing international missionaries) and better roads that allow farmers to get perishable qat to market while it is still fresh. And economic importance is translating into political heft: last year Kenya declared it an officially sanctioned cash crop.

    But the plight of Maua, a small town considered the Kenyan trade’s epicentre, gives pause for thought. Britain’s decision in 2014 to ban the substance (against the advice of its drugs advisory council, which thought it harmless) slammed the qat economy. In 2013, before the prohibition, Britain imported some £15m-worth ($25m) worth of the stuff. Prices have since fallen by half and unemployment has risen sharply. “Everyone is feeling the pinch now,” says Lenana Mbiti, a former trader.

    That gives pause to Ethiopian farmers too. Although they have been less affected by bans in Europe because they sell most of their crop close to home, they fret that their market will shrink.

    Experts doubt that qat will ever become a mass-marketed global commodity like coffee, tea or sugar. Instead, small towns in places such as Wondo-Genet are becoming dependent upon the production and trade of a substance that will probably be outlawed in yet more countries.

    Even so, qat’s popularity among farmers persists because it is perhaps the only crop that can provide sufficient income from a small plot of land to support a family. “There is simply nothing else,” says Birhanu Kiamo, Mr Kaimo’s brother, neighbour and fellow qat farmer.

    This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline “Qatnip”

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  • New HIV vaccine ready for human trials developed in Western University London

    Dr. Chil-Yong Kang examines HIV plaque assays in his lab with research associate Elizabeth Banasikowska at Western University in 2009. Kang is the developer of an AIDS vaccine that is now advancing into human trials.

    On a day the world pauses to unite in the fight against HIV, it was a major development in London.

    Western University scientists, using an approach others haven’t tried because of possible safety concerns, are moving closer to extensive human trials of a vaccine to fight HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    “If we can show that this vaccine is effective in preventing people from contracting HIV, we can stop the AIDS epidemic and that would be tremendous. It would be a tremendous contribution to humankind, and it would make all of our efforts worthwhile,” Western’s Chil-Yong Kang, who developed the vaccine with a team of London researchers, said in a statement Thursday, which was World Aids Day.

    The SAV0001 vaccine uses killed-whole virus to trigger an immune response, the same approach used to develop other effective vaccines against diseases such a polio, the flu, rabies, and hepatitis A.

    To deal with the possible safety issues of using the whole virus, the Western scientists genetically modified the virus to produce a less virulent one. In what’s called a Phase I trial, the inactivated virus was then tested for safety in a study involving 33 subjects.

    The results, published this week in the journal Retrovirology, indicated the vaccine is safe and effective in triggering an anti-HIV immune response in HIV-positive patients.

    “The killed whole-HIV vaccine, SAV001, is safe and triggers anti-HIV immune responses. It remains to be determined through an appropriate trial whether this immune response prevents HIV infection,” the article in Retrovirology journal concluded.

    The next step in testing the London-developed SAV001 vaccine would involve 600 volunteers in North America — 300 from the general population, and 300 from groups considered high-risk such as men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users, sex workers and those living with an HIV-positive partner.

    Kang hopes that trial can start next fall.

    If it proves successful, the vaccine will then be tested globally on 6,000 subjects to determine if it’s effective in protecting people against HIV infection.

    The United Nations estimates HIV/AIDS has killed more than 41 million people and that more than 35 million people are living with the infection.

    Other attempts at developing a vaccine against HIV have been unsuccessful so far, including a large trial in Thailand in 2009 of a vaccine that was found to only have a protection rate of about 30 per cent.

    Testing on another vaccine, sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health Research, is now starting in South Africa.

    Based on a similar approach to the one used in the Thailand vaccine, the trial anticipates testing the vaccine on 5,400 sexually active men and women. Results are expected in about four years.

    The London HIV vaccine has been developed with the backing of Korean pharmaceutical venture company, Sumagen Co. Ltd. Sumagen has produced the vaccine for clinical trials and holds the patent on the vaccine for mass production and distribution.

     

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  • HIGH-PROFILE CARDIOLOGIST CONVICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES IMPLICATED IN DEADLY PRISON FIRE

    HIGH-PROFILE CARDIOLOGIST CONVICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES IMPLICATED IN DEADLY PRISON FIRE

     

    Dr. Fikru Maru, the high-profile cardiologist who was convicted on corruption charges, was indicted along with 37 other suspects for starting the deadly fire that broke out in the Qilinto federal penitentiary on September 3 that led to the death of 23 inmates and razed property worth 15 million Birr.

    In a charge filed with the 19th Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court the federal Attorney General accused the suspects of violating Articles 32 and 38 of the Revised Criminal Code as well as Article 3 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009. The indictment states that the defendants were under custody on charges of carrying out the mission given to them by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ginbot 7 and Al-Shabaab, groups designated as terrorists by Parliament, with the aim of pressuring the government.

    The charge further reads that the defendants, intent on instigating a riot inside Qilinto so as to break out and join the terror groups, had engaged beginning January 2016 in recruiting and organizing inmates for said purpose.  It accuses the suspects of raising money from abroad and prisoners jailed in local prisons to finance what they called the “terror and gang group”, a group comprised of inmates charged with serious offences, to perpetrate the riot.

    Dr. Fikru, 66, is accused of financing the “terror and gang group” to the tune of 70,000 Birr and giving instructions to the group to carry out the insurrection. The group is said to have organized the defendants under cells and exchanged information through encrypted codes. Though it had planned to set off the riot in March 2016, it put off its plans because members of the OLF and Ginbot 7 who were anticipated to join Qilinto as inmates did not, according to the charge.

    The defendants allegedly conspired to murder inmates they suspected of ratting on them to prison authorities and beat them to death with steel bars. They then abducted and disarmed prison officers who were conducting a routine a head count, freed prisoners and set prison cells on fire.

    Dr. Fikru, the part-owner of Addis Cardiac Medical Center was sentenced to 4 years and eight months for corruption following a trial in which he was co-defendant with Melaku Fenta, the former Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority,

     

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  • የማለዳ ወግ …በአረብ ሀገራት ያሉ ኢንባሲና ቆንስሎች ድክመት | * አረብ አሰሪዎች ግፍ ፈጽመው የህግ የበላይ አይሆኑም

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    * የጎዳን የመብት አስከባሪ ማጣት እንጅ አረቦች ከፍተው አይደለም
    *  አረብ አሰሪዎች ግፍ ፈጽመው የህግ የበላይ አይሆኑም
    * ሶስት አመት ያለ ደመወዝ አሰሯት፣የመብት አስከባሪ ተገኘና ተከፈላትይህች የምትመለከቷት እህት ከሶስት አመት በፊት ያኔ ” ህጋዊ” በተባለው የኮንትራት ሰራተኞች ወደ ሳውዲ ከጡት እድሜያቸው ለስራ ካልደረሱት መካከል አንዷ ናት ። ለስራ በተሰማራችበት የምስራቅ ሳውዲ አንድ ትንሽ መንደር ከሳውዲ አሰሪዎቿ ጋር ለሶስት አመታት ከሰራች በኋላ አሰሪዎቿ ደመዎዝ ሳይሰጡ ወደ ሀገር ለመላክ ወደ ጊዜያዊ መጠለያ እስር ቤት ያስገቧታል ። ደማም ውስጥ ባረፈችበት ማቆያ እስር ቤት በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ በኮንትራት መጥተው ወደ ሀገር ለመግባት የቆረጡ እህቶችን ታገኝና እያነባች የደረሰባትን ድካምና ለአመታት የሰራችበትን ደመወዝዋን አለመቀበሏን ላገኘቻቸው ሀበሻ እሀቶቿ ታጫውታቸዋለች ። ይህን አሳዛኝ ታሪኳን የሰሙት እህቶች መረጃውን ተቀባብለው “በዜጎች ጉዳይ ያገባኛል ” ለሚሉ ወገኖች የደረሰባትን በደል ያደርሱታል …

     

    መረጃው በምስራቅ ሳውዲ በደመማም ለሚገኘው አዲስ ተቋቋሚ የኮሚኒቲ አባላት ደርሶ ክትትሉ ተጀመረ ። ብርቱዎቹ አዳዲስ ተመራጭ የኮሚኒቲ አመራሮች ጉዳዩን ይዘው ወደ ሳውዲ መንግስት በማቅረባቸ ው አሰሪው በፖሊስ ተጠርቶ ያልተከፈላትን ደመዟን ሙሉ በሙሉ እንድ ትረከብ ተደረገ …እነሆ በልጅነት ጉልበቷ በላቧ የሰራችው ገንዘቧን  ተቀብላለች ፣ የለፋችበት የሶስት አመት ደመወዝ ገንዘቧን መረከቧልን እነሆ በደስታ እየተፍለቀለቀች ትናገራለች   ! …ደስ ሲል  :)

    አዎ ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያላቸው እህቶች በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ የሰሩበትን ደመወዛቸውን መነጠቁ ሳያንስ ግፍ እየተፈጸመባቸው ተሸፋፍኖ ወደ ሀገር ለመሸኘታቸው ምስክሮች አለን  !  ይህ የሆነበት ዋና ምክንያት የሳውዲ አሰሪዎች ከህግ በላይ ሆነው ፣ ለዝርፊያ ህጉ የሚፈቅድላ ቸው ሆኖ ሳይሆን የዜጎችን ጉዳት ወደ ሚመለከተው የሳውዲ አካላት አድርሶ መብታቸውን የሚያስከብርልን የመንግስትና የማህበረሰብ ተወካይ በማጣታችን ብቻ ነው  ! ይህን የምለው እንደ እድል ሆኖ ጉዳያቸው ተይዞና ክትትል ተደርጎላቸው የለፉ የደከሙበትን ፣ የተጎዱ የተበደሉበትን ጉዳይ ፍትህ አግኝተው የጉልበት ፣ የላብ ድካም ውጤት ደመወዝና የበደላቸውን ዋጋ ተከፍሏቸው ወደ ሀገር የተሸኙትን ጥቂቶች አውቃለሁና ነው  !

    የመብት ጥበቃ ጉድለት በሁሉም አረብ ሀገራት በሚባል ደረጃ ይስተዋላል። ጉዳዩ በአብዛኛው የመብት ረገጣ በመሆኑ ተመሳሳይ ነው።  ከግማሽ ሚሊዮን የማያንሱ ኢትዮጵያውያን የኮንትራት ሰራተኞች ” በኮንትራት ስራ” ስም በተሰደዱባት ሳውዲ አረቢያ ከሌሎች ሀገራት የበለጠና የከፋ መጠነ ሰፊ ችግር መኖሩ ደግሞ እውነት ነው ። ችግሩን በሳውዲና በቀሩት አረብ ሀገራት ያሉ ኢንባሲና ቆንሰላ መ/ቤቶች አብጠርጥረው ያውቁታል ። ዳሩ ግን እየሰሩ ያለው መሆን ያለበትንና የሚጠበቀውን ያህል አይደለም ፣ በዚህ ጉዳይ ዙሪያ የሚሞግተኝ ካለ ከጥላቻ ለጸዳው ውይይት ሁሌም ዝግጁ ነኝ  ! መረጃ ማስረጃ እያቀረብን መነጋገር እንችላለን  …

    ወደ መብት ማስጠበቁ መክሸፍ ስናመራ በእርግጥ ለክሽፈቱ አስተዋጽኦ ወደ ሳውዲም ሆነ ወደ ቀሩት ሀገራት የሚላኩት ዲፕሎ ማቶች ዲፕሎማሲያዊ ልምድ አለያም ጉዳይን የማስፈጸምና የመም ራት አቅሙ ያላቸው አለመሆኑ እንደሆነ በርካታ ማሳያዎችን ማሳዬት ይቸላል ።  ሌላው ሁሉ ቀርቶ እነሱ አቅምና ባጀቱ  ቢያንሳቸው በመብት ማስከበሩ ክሽፈት የተጎዳው ፣  በሚሰራው ልቡ የሚደማውን ዜጋ ማስ ተባበር ቢችሉ ነዋሪው ገንዘብ አዋጥቶ ጠበቃ እስከመቅጠር ቀናኢነት ለመሆኑ ከጥያቄ አይገባም ። ከነዋሪው ባለፈ ሰፋ ባለና በተደራጀ መን ገድ ችግሩን ለመቅረፍ  በየሀገሩ ያሉትን ኮሚኒቲ ማህበራት በማደራጀ ትና በማቀናጀት ጠቃሚ ስራ መስራት ይችሉ ነበር ። እያወቁ አጥፊዎ ች ናቸውና ይህን ግን አያደትጉትም ።

    ከተባበሩት ኢምሬት እስከ ኩዌት ፣ ከኳታር እስከ ባህሬን ከሳውዲና ሊባኖስ ኢንባሲና ቆንስሎች የሚከተሉት የፖለቲካ ድርጅትን በውስጠ ታዋቂነት ያማከለ አዲስ የኮሚኒቲ አወቃቀር ደግሞ እንደ መፍትሔ ቢጀመርም ወደ ለየለት አዘቀት ከመወርወር አላዳነንም ።  ነባርና መጠነኛ እርዳታ ያደርጉ የነበሩ ማህበራትን በማፈራረስ በአዲስ መልክ የሚመሰርቷቸው ማህበራት ለነዋሪው የሚፈይዱት ነገር የለም ። የማህበራቱ አደረጃጀት ለሰብአዊ እርዳታ ሳይሆን ለፖለቲካ ፍጆታ እና ለገንዘብ መሰብሰቢያ በመሆኑ ሰው ወደ ተቋማቱ መቅረብ አይሻም ፣ በዚህ ምክንያት ከድጡ ወደ ማጡ እያደርን ለመዘፈቃችን ሁነኛ ምክንያት ነው  !

    ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያላቸው ዜጎች በሚኖሩበት በዋና ከተማዋ ሪያድ ኢንባሲው በፈለገው መንገድ ማደራጀት ያልቻለው ኮሚኒቲ  ከፈራረሰና ድብዛው ከጠፋ አመታት ተቆጥሯል። በጅዳም ኮሚኒቲው በተፈለገው ድርጅት ቀመስ አወቃቀር በጣም ጥቂት ነጻ የተባሉ ተመራጮች ቢገ ቡበትም ድምጽ የላቸውምና ኮሚኒቱው የሚተነፍሰው በቆንስሉ ፖለቲ ከኞችና በተሰገሰጉት የድርጅት ጉዳይ ፈጻሚዎች ሳንባ ሆኗል ። ኮሚኒ ቲው ከቆንስሉ መሳ ለመሳ የዜጎችን መብት ማስከበሩ ቀርቶ ከ3000 በላይ ታዳጊዎች የሚማሩበት በሀገር ወዳድ ዜጎች የተመሰረተው የትምህርት ማዕከል እያደር አደጋ የሚሰማበት  ተስፋ አስቆራጭ ማዕከል ሆኖብናል ።  ወደ ኩዌት ብንዘልቅ የምናገኘው እውነት ተመሳሳይ ነው  ! ኢንባሲው ኮሚኒቲውን አደራጅቶ የዜጎችን መብት ለማስከበር ተስኖት ዜጎች ለመብት ረገጣ ተጋልጠዋል   :(

    ከሁሉም የሚያሳዝነው በተጠቀሱት ሀገራት የሚገኙ አንዳንድ ኢትዮጵያውያን ” የዜጎች መብት ይከበር ፣ ለተገፋው ዜጋ ዋስ ጠበቃ ሁኑለት! ” ብለን ስንጠይቅ እንደ ተቃዋሚ ያዩናል ። የተበዳይ ዜጎችን ሮሮ ስናሰማ ” ድብቅ አላማ አላቸው!” እያሉ የዜጎችን ድምጽ ለማፈን ያሻቸውን ተቃዋሚ ስም እየለጠፉ  ያሸማቅቁናል ። ይህ ግን መፍትሔ አይደለምና ችግሩ እያደር ተባብሷል  ! የአረብ ሀገራት ያሉ ኢንባሲና ቆንስሎች ድክመት መጠነ ሰፊ ነው ፣ የውጭ ጉዳይ መስሪያ ቤትና ማዕከላዊው መንግስት ምድር ላይ ያለ እውነቱን አምኖ በመቀበል  ማሻሻል አልቻለም!  የሳውዲም ሆነ የአረብ ሀገር ስደተኞችን የጎዳን  የመብት አስከባሪ ማጣት እንጅ የአረቦች ከፍተው አይደለም ፣ አረቦች ግፍ ፈጽመው ለህግ የበላይ ሆነው አይደለም ፣ ድክመቱ የእኛ ተቆርቋ ሪና መብት አስከባሪ ማጣት ነው ፣ ደረቅ እውነቱ ይህ ነው  !

    በየትኛውም የአረብ ሀገር የመብት አስከባሪ ማጣት እንጅ የጎዳን አረቦች ከፍተው ፣ ግፍ ፈጽመው ለህግ የበላይ ሆነው አይደለም  ለሚለው የምታዩት የተገፊዋ እህት የተቀማችውን የአመታት ደመወዝ መቀበሏ እንደ ትኩስ ማስረጃ ውሰዱት  ። ይህ ቅንጫቢ መረጃ በምስራቅ ሳውዲ በደማም ከሳምንታት በፊት የሆነ ነው ፣ ለስኬት የበቃውም በዜጎች ጠቋሚነትና በኮሚኒቲ መብት ማስከበር ትጋት የታከለበት ክትትል ነበር፣ እናም ይህች አንድ ፍሬ እህት የሰራችበትን ደመወዝ መቀበሏ ለአባባሌ ሁነኛ ምስክር ነው  ! በዚህ አጋጣሚ ጉዳዩን ተከታትለው ጥቆማውን ላቀረቡት ወገኖችና ላስፈጸሙ ለደማ ም ኮሚኒቲ አመራሮች የላቀ ምስጋናዬን ማቅረብ እወዳለሁ  !

    ቸር ያሰማን  !

    ነቢዩ ሲራክ
    ህዳር 17 ቀን 2009 ዓም

     

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