Ethiopians unite over GERD
Ethiopians show their solidarity as the UN Security Council convene for an in-person briefing on an ongoing disagreement involving Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The Ethiopians unity comes in the wake of the second filling of the GERD earlier this week despite the crisis in Tigray.
An agreement on the dam can be reached, and must be reached, the United Nations emphasizes while underlining the UN’s readiness to support the countries and the African Union, in reaching an agreement that is beneficial to all sides.
Meanwhile, tensions over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) intensify after United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Thursday, July 8.
The GERD is projected to be the largest dam in Africa when completed. Egypt and Sudan say the dam would restrict their water access and endanger their citizens, while Ethiopia argues the dam could lift millions of its own citizens out of poverty and food insecurity without affecting the downstream countries.
The ten-year conflict has endured multiple attempts at negotiations and international pressure from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the African Union (AU), among many others.
Egypt and Sudan announced Tuesday they received notice from Ethiopia that it begun the second phase of filling the GERD reservoir.
The Egyptian Irrigation Ministry emphasized its “firm rejection of this unilateral measure,” and labeled the move “a violation of international laws and norms,” in a statement released Monday, July 5. Sudan’s Foreign Ministry described the action as a “risk and imminent threat.”
Ethiopia insists that adding water to the reservoir during the rainy season, with high risks of flooding, is a natural part of the construction process and impossible to postpone. Egyptian Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ghanim told a local news station that the volume of water in the reservoir would depend on the rainfall in Ethiopia, and that effects on the Nile won’t be visible for at least a month.
The matter was discussed at the UNSC meeting, requested by Tunisia on Egypt and Sudan’s behalf. However, the council announced that it can only “encourage all sides to get back to negotiations,” according to France’s ambassador to the UN.
At the meeting, the UNSC members supported AU negotiation efforts and urged all parties to continue talks. Ethiopia has previously rejected international involvement in favor of AU-led mediations, and Ethiopia’s Minister of Water described UNSC involvement as “regrettable,” urging Egypt and Sudan to continue talks without outside influence.
Tunisia submitted a draft resolution urging Ethiopia to stop filling the reservoir, endorsed by Egypt and Sudan’s Foreign Ministers. The text calls on the nations involved to finalize an agreement in six months.
Egypt and Sudan have been urging Ethiopia to sign a binding deal regarding the filling and operations of the dam. Previously, Ethiopia had stated it will continue the second stage of filling with or without a deal.
Original agreements on the division of Nile control were formed on the basis of colonial-era treaties brokered by Britain. The agreement gave the equivalent of 66 percent of the river to Egypt, 22 percent to Sudan, and 0 percent to Ethiopia. 12 percent is lost to evaporation whilst Ethiopia was not consulted.
Many Ethiopians see the continent-wide record set by the GERD as a symbol of national pride.
With conflicts in Tigray, GERD is noted to act as a ‘unifying factor’ for Ethiopians in a time of crisis.
መንግሥት ከሕወሓት ይልቅ ለአገሪቱ ሥጋት የሆኑ ሌሎች ችግሮች አሉብኝ አለ
ላለፉት ስምንት ወራት በትግራይ ክልል ከሕዝባዊ ወያነ ሓርነት ትግራይ (ሕወሓት) ጋር ሲደረግ የነበረውን ጦርነት በመተው ከክልሉ መውጣቱ ሲዋጋው ከነበረው ሕወሓት ይልቅ የአገሪቱ ሥጋት የሆኑ ሌሎች ችግሮች አሉና በእነሱ ለማተኮር ነው ሲል መንግሥት አስታወቀ፡፡
ሰኔ 23 ቀን 2013 ዓ.ም. በውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር የመሰብሰቢያ አዳራሽ ለጋዘጠኞች መግለጫ የሰጡት የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ዴኤታ ሬድዋን ሁሴን (አምባሳደር) እና የመከላከያ ሠራዊት፣ የሠራዊት ግንባታ አስተባባሪ ሌተናል ጄኔራል ባጫ ደበሌ አሁን ኢትዮጵያ ሕወሓት ባለበት አቅም የብሔራዊ ደኅንነት ሥጋት ስላልሆነና ለሌሎች ሥጋቶች ዝግጅት ለማድረግ እንዲቻል በማለም ሠራዊቱ ከትግራይ እንዲወጣ ተደርጓል ብለዋል፡፡
በተለይ መቐለ አስቀድሞ የነበራትን የስህበት ማዕከልነት አሁን ላይ አጥታለችና መቐለ መቆየትም ሆነ መልቀቅ ከወታደራዊ ጠቀሜታው አንፃር ሌሎች አካባቢዎችን ከመያዝ የተለየ አይደለም ያሉት ሌተናል ጄኔራል ባጫ፣ አስፈላጊ ከሆነ በሦስት ሳምንታት ወይም ከዚያ ባነሰ ጊዜ ተመልሰን መቐለ አንገባለን ብለዋል፡፡ ይሁንና፣ ጥፋቱና የሚወሰደው ዕርምጃ ከመጀመርያው የበለጠ ይሆናልም ሲሉ አሳስበዋል፡፡
ጄኔራሉ በሰጡት ማብራሪያ የሚፈለጉት ጄኔራሎች ከ17፣ የሲቪል አመራሮች ደግ ከ12 አይበልጡም ያሉ ሲሆን፣ ለእነዚህ ደግሞ የተሰማራው ኃይል ከ50 ሺሕ በላይ እንደነበር አስታውሰዋል፡፡
ስለዚህም ይኼ ወታደሩን ለማስወጣት የተላለፈው ፖለቲካዊ ውሳኔ ከወታደራዊ ትርፍና ኪሳራ አንፃር ዋጋው ከፍተኛ መሆኑንም ገልጸዋል፡፡
የኢትዮጵያ ሥጋት እንዳይሆን ተደርጓል የተባው ሕወሓትም ከትግራይ እንደይወጣ ይደረጋል ያሉት ጄኔራሉ፣ የሠራዊቱ ትኩረት አሁን ወደ ሌላ ሥጋቶች እንደሚሆንም ጠቁመዋል፡፡
‹‹ሕወሓት ኢትዮጵያን የሚያሠጋ ጉዳት አያደርስም፤›› በማለትም ተናግረዋል፡፡ አምባሳደር ሬድዋን በበኩለቸው ጦርነቱ ለስምንት ወራት ሲካሄድ 100 ቢሊዮን ብር ገደማ ወጪ እንደተደረገ በመግለጽ፣ ይኼም አገራዊ የኢኮኖሚ አቅማችን ላይ ጉዳት አድርሷል ብለዋል፡፡
‹‹የወደመው ሀብት በጣም ብዙ ነው፡፡ የወጣው ወጪም የመከላከያን ወጪ ሳይጨምር ነው፡፡ ይኼም የትግራይን ዓመታዊ በጀት ለአሥራ ምናምን ዓመታት መሸፈን የሚችል ነው›› በማለት፣ የትግራይ ክልል ዓመታዊ በጀት ስምንት ቢለዮን ብር መሆኑንም አስታውሰዋል፡፡
ኢትዮጵያ ለውጭ ጥቃት የተጋለጠችበት ሁኔታ መፈጠሩን የገለጹት አምባሳደር ሬድዋን፣ በምዕራብ በኩል ድንበር ተወርሯል፣ የኢትዮጵያን ውስጣዊ ችግር በማየትም ወታደራዊ ልምምድ በማድረግ ጦርነት እየተደገሰላት እንደሚገኝም ተናግረዋል፡፡
ከዚህ በመተጨማሪም፣ ከዚህ በላይ ከተቆየ የሚጎዳው ሲቪሊያንና ሕፃናት ናቸውና ይኼ እንዳይሆን ሠራዊቱ ከትግራይ እንዲወጣ መወሰኑን ጠቁመዋል፡፡
‹‹የሠራዊቱ መኖር ለሰብዓዊ ዕርዳታዎች እንቅፋት ፈጥሯል ሲሉ የነበሩ አካላትም፣ አሁን ሠራዊቱ ወጥቷልና ድጋፋቸውን ያድርሱ፡፡ መንግሥትም እነዚህ አካላት ዕውን ድጋፍ ማድረግ ነው ፍላጎታቸው አልያስ ሌላ የሚለውንም የሚያይበት አጋጣሚ ይሆናል›› ብለዋል፡፡
Ethiopia receives digital economy boost from TeleBirr
Last month Ethio Telecom, the most profitable public enterprises, had launcheda mobile money service under the brand name ‘telebirr’. Within few weeks Ethio telecom managed to attract over four million customers who have registered on its telebirr platform and it has been reported that in this very few weeks millions of birr worth of transaction have already been go through the platform.
Experts in the sector said that the dormant digital currency transaction that is now a major transaction platform in many countries mainly in developing economy is now a good alternative for Ethiopia to boost the financial industry and also for e-commerce,which has already got significant attention on the ‘Digital Ethiopia 2025’ Strategy of the government.
The government has also clearly stated that it aims to boost the digital economy, job, and other IT based technologies and businesses as one of the major players for socioeconomic changes.
Besides creating enabling environment like policy, strategy, and laws to attain the targeted achievement in the IT industry, the government has also opened up the telecom industry for more players.
Experts in the IT industry and familiar with e-commerce said that the coming of telebirr and opening up of the telecom sector would be a big opportunity in terms of ease of doing business and transaction besides expanding online services like e-learning.
Recently, Brook Adhana, senior staff at Ethio Telecom, that the telecom giant is working with a company to sell its share.
He said the telebirr birr initiative is aligned with the coming e-commerce company that will use the existed US company black purpose e-commerce platform to buy and sell products.
Besides that Brook said that the company’s share will be also sold via telebirr. It is the first ever type of share sales on the telecom platform.
One of the experts is Daniel Bekele, founder and CEO of Ashewa Technology Solution. Heeagerly looked forward for the development in the telecom industry mainly on the payment platform to boost his dream that his company is engaged in.
Ashewa is an online platform that facilitates the e-commerce and e-learning for anyone who lives in Ethiopia or other places.
“Definitely the new initiative of ethio telecom will accelerate the digital economy since it would make it easy to buy and sell goods and services besides creating a cashless society,” he shared his expectation.
Daniel said that the technology sector particularly of the digital sub sector has massive impact on the current world on the economy and jobs that is not tapped by Ethiopians properly, “there are people saying we are not ready for practicing the digital technology on the day-to-day life, but it is not correct at least we have to start at some point and expand it in the future.”
“Wewill start the digital scheme for e-commerce and e-learning for those who are accessible and it will be a lesson for others to be encouraged and engaged,” he added.
“Currently, there is no opportunity for potential users and as per our evaluation at least there are 6 million active internet users that will be very high when including the diaspora,” he said.
Experts on the sector said that the latest government initiative to boost the digital economy is a conducive environment for the digital economy. They said people are using smartphone that means they should have opportunities to access different technologies on their devices. “To achieve that modern education, market and payment system are supposed to be developed,” experts explained.
Latest information secured from Ministry of Finance indicated that smartphones as a percent of total connections stand at 44 percent in Ethiopia which is in line with Sub-Saharan Africa average of 44 percent.
Ashewa’s CEO said that people shall generate revenue and get service by using besides using internet for social media or entertainment and information.
Currently, there are online platforms or social media platforms used to promote various sales of services and goods online but it is not growing as such like the experience of others including peers.
“You may promote a brand, goods or services online but it is crucial to be aligned with modern and alternative payment system to run it properly,” a telegram platform cosmetics seller said.
The alternative payment schemes that are observed in other countries shall accelerate the e-commerce or other services, according to Daniel, who has experience on the online trading scheme of Jumia.
“I have served at Jumia in Nairobi branch for very few periods but I understand just how much the modern payment system has eased the trading via the prominent modern platform that originally formed in Nigeria. Likewise, telebirr will do the same,” Daniel elaborates.
Daniel said besides different payment alternatives,he observed that the major share of Kenyans are using the mobile money, M Pesa, which is a globally popular e-payment scheme of Safaricom, to buy products through Jumia platform from all over traders in the world.
Experts said that the coming of telebirris expected to contribute similar achievement in the digital business in the country.
“The coming of millions of users within few weeks on telebirr is a testament to the impact. Under our reestablishment that will be launched on the third week of July we would have different payment integrations on our online business. Besides the mobile banking or internet banking for sure we include telebirr as a major alternative,” founder of Ashewa that is focused on the e-learning and e-commerce and now rebranding and reestablish its business on wider ranges due to huge investment and massive share sales explained.
Ethio Telecom had disclosed that it has linked with Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Bank of Abyssiniato power the mobile wallet, while others are also expected to be included on the new scheme.
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