Muktar Kedir, a loyal politician and trusted ally of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, has been elected as head of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO). Following the departure of the former chairman Alemyehu Atomsa, OPDO appointed Muktar, a civil service minster, as chairman of the party.
Muktar has been an active member of the OPDO since the 2000s. He was governor of the Jimma zone from 1999 to 2003. He was also head of the office of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary democratic front (EPRDF) council from 2008 to 2010, and vice president of the Oromia region.
Under the late Meles Zenawi, Muktar enjoyed considerable influence especially after he was appointed to run the affaires of the prime minster’s office in 2010. He also joined the national security council at the time, a post that helped him to gain a great deal of knowledge and skill managing large operations.
Muktar is known as a politician of considerable will, and ego. He is an orator given to addressing mass meetings, and is one of few senior EPRDF figures who can communicate with the people. His biggest problem could come from OPDO where there are already two distinct factions, one supporting him, from Islamic areas and the other from largely Christian areas. Muktar was unpopular with the later faction for approving Wahabist groups to organize gatherings when he was vice minster of the Oromia region, a job with much influence in the party.
A native of Jimma, Muktar graduated from the civil service college with a degree in law. He also studied international leadership in Asuza Pacific University of California in August 2008.
The Grammy Award-nominated musical duo from Mali, Amadou & Mariam will perform at an outdoor concert in Addis Ababa’s Alliance Alliance éthio-française on March 19, 2014 as part of the Francophonie week.
The blind husband-and-wife whose last album, ‘Folila’ (which means “music” in their country’s Bambara language) released on April 2012, are coming to Addis for the first time to perform in Ethiopia. On March 20, they would also be playing at Hilton Hotel hall.
Amadou and Mariam have been playing together since the 1970s, rising through the African and European music scenes to become one of the hottest world music acts today, sharing the stage with artists including Coldplay, U2, Alicia Keys and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. The piece Dimanche à Bamako was a global hit.
The Ethiopia’s Rift Valley is known for its prolific bird life and the thick acacia woodland surrounding the string of seven lakes. The town of Ziway, 158 km south of Addis Ababa, which lies alongside eponymous lake, is surrounded by a rich agricultural area and pleasant scenery. Driving through the highway, we cross the Bulbula River, which drains from Lake Ziway into Lake Abiyata, which is serving for the network of drip irrigation to grow plots of vegetables, and roses. Now the area is on its way to establish itself as the centre of Ethiopia’s new and audacious wine farm, though it remains at a small scale.
The Oromia regional State president Alemayehu Atomsa, who has been unwell for the past three years, announced that he is resigning his position, effective February 18.
The 45-year-old Alemayehu, who has served as chair of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), a part of the ruling coalition, and the presidency of the region since September 6, 2010, had handed a resignation letter to the party, which accepted it ‘with regret and respect’. His first resignation letter to the then prime Minster Meles Zenawi three years ago has been rejected.
It is not clear who will succeed him, but the OPDO appears to favor the vice president, Abdulaziz Mohamed, as acting president. Read more…
The former Gambela regional state chief and the current federal affairs state minister, Omot Obang fled the country, it was reported. Omot is said to have left the country and he told friends that he would not be returning to Ethiopia, even though he hasn’t made public statement yet.Sources suggest Omot took refuge in Manila, Philippines.
Omot, ethnic-Anuak, who studied law at the Ethiopian Civil Service University, served as president of Gambela state in western part of the country for 13 years until he was replaced by Gatluak Tut Koat, ethnic-Newer.He led the region’s ruling party – Gambella Peoples’ Democratic Movement (GPDM) – from September 2005 until he left the party in 2012.
Omot has been named by human rights groups as a key architect of a genocide against the Anuak tribe.He was accused of being involved in December 13, 2003 massacre by government troops of more than 400 people.The former high-ranking Ethiopian politician denies the charges which he says are false, illogical and he says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
In April 2013, Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn dismissed him as part of a government reshuffle and then brought him to the capital, as the state minister for federal affairs in a controversial appointment. Read more…
Ethiopia’s largest but struggling opposition party, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), elected Gizachew Shiferaw, 59, as its leader, as the country builds up to an election scheduled for next year.
At meeting held last week here in Addis, the new party chief replaced Negasso Gidada, former president of Ethiopia, who served as president the UDJ for the past three years.
Gizachew beat three other candidates to the position in a poll of party members, even though Girma Seifu, the only opposition member of parliament, made a campaign on social media indicating that he would be a strong contender to win the party’s nomination. Read more…
Professor Amsalu Aklilu, an academic, author, expert on Ethiopian languages, and lexicographer, who co-authored the standard bilingual English-Amharic Dictionary, died on Thursday. He was 83.
The late professor had always been fascinated by word origins, phonetic change, and grammatical development. He took a keen interest in particular aspects of the vocabulary of Amharic, and wrote several articles about the language of early modern Amharic literary documents.”English Amharic Dictionary,” originally published in 1973, was compiled by him, G.P Mosback and other assistants over several years. The volume contains about 10,000 English words, including scientific terminology. The approximate pronunciation is also given in Amharic script. It was published several times and became an indispensable reference for generation of Ethiopian high school and university students.
Amsalu was born in Desse in 1930 and did his primary and secondary education there. His studies covered theology and the full range of Semitic languages – Amharic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Geez (an ancient Semitic language which is no longer spoken but continues in use as a liturgical language). He first studied theology at Theological School in Addis Ababa and he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Coptic Theological College in Cairo in 1957. After earning his PHD in Semitic philology, University of Tubingen, Germany, 1962, he taught Amharic, Geez, Arabic and survey of Ethiopia literature, and lexicography at the Haile Sellassie I University for decades. Read more…