The African lion is almost always found in savannah or dry forests, but recent photos by the Germany-based Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) document lions in Ethiopian rainforests, according Mongabay.com, an environmental science and conservation news site. Taken in the Kaffa Biosphere Reserve and published in the website, the photos show a female lion hiding out in thick montane jungle.
“Long known to locals, the lions are actually thought not to be permanent residents, but possibly passing through Kaffa Biosphere Reserve in the dry season,” the site said.
Kaffa Biosphere Reserve covers 760,000 hectares of montane rainforest and preserves the last place on earth where wild coffee (Coffea arabica) still grows naturally. The reserve is home to at least 106 woody plants, 100 birds, and 48 mammals, Mongabay reported.
Though not mentioned in this particular website, the BBC documentary film makers also recently filmed a lion population in the Harenna Forest of the Bale Mountains National Park.
The threat of extinction to lions is real.Habitat loss, prey depletion, hunting, poisonings, and conflict with humans have decimated Africa’s lions. Twenty years ago there were 200,000 lions in Africa. Now there are only 25,000-30,000 in the entire continent, of which an estimated 1,000 live in Ethiopia.
Read more about the project at Nabu’s website, entitled “Protecting the Last Cloud Forests of Ethiopia”
Ethiopian-American Daniel Yohannes has been named among the world’s 50 most influential Africans by the prestigious Paris-based The Africa Report Magazine. According to August–September 2012 edition, Daniel is named along with 50 other most influential African personalities.
Daniel was named in the list for making a positive difference globally, leading the independent U.S government foreign aid agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). “Now in charge of a huge aid budget that rewards economic and political improvements in developing countries, Yohannes arrived in the US in 1970 and worked his way to the top of the banking profession. As chief executive of MCC, he is a powerful voice for Africa Washington DC.,” reads the Africa Report magazine.
By linking aid to good governance, the MCC rewards reforming governments on the continent and across the globe, the magazine explained.
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Yohannes graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Economics and earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. He has more than 30 years experience in banking and economic development. He was nominated as Chief Executive Officer of MCC by President Barack Obama on September 18, 2009, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 20, 2009.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, Ethiopia’s richest man, emerged as the most powerful person in Africa.
Other influential Africans recognized on the list include Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former first lady Grace Machel of Mozambique, the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, and Mo Ibrahim, Sudan’s former telecom mogul who dragged governance to center stage with prize that rewards former presidents, according to the magazine.
A British newspaper says a problem of a leaky church roof could be about to give the world the chance to glimpse the legendary Ark of the Covenant.
That’s because the claimed home of the iconic relic – a small chapel in Axum – has sprung a leak and so the Ark could now be on the move, Daily Mail wrote.
The Ark is a sacred container written of in the Old Testament. It is said to contain the original Ten Commandments tablets, as well as some manna, the mythical food that the Israelites ate while wandering through the desert.
It was made of wood, but covered in pure gold. On top, two cherubim faced each other, their wings outspread to form the “throne of God”. It’s supposed weight has been widely debated, with numbers ranging from 180 to 8,000 pounds!
Theologians have never been able to agree on the Ark’s fate, but many believe Menelik I brought it to Ethiopia. Menelik was the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and was the first Jewish emperor of Ethiopia. Read more…
A ceremony to celebrate a new sultan’s accession to the throne will be held in Afar Region in a week’s time. Hanfareh Ali Mirah will succeed his late father, Sultan Ali Mirah as the spiritual chief of the Afars. The new sultan will be crowned at an outdoor coronation ceremony to be held in Asayta, capital of the Afar region on November 10, 2011.
Both spiritual and traditional leader to the two million Afar people who live in a triangle shape region between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti, the sultan will assume important responsibilities at both regional and national levels, Aramis Houmed, advisor to the new sultan, told Addis Journal. The move follows the death last April of Sultan Ali Mirah.Aramis said the appointment will make the process of succession smoother and more orderly.While traditional leaders hold few constitutional powers, they continue to exert significant influence, the advisor said.They are seen as custodians of both religion and tradition.
A GIANT underground reservoir of molten rock has been discovered under the deserts of Ethiopia by British geologists. They targeted the Afar region in the Horn of Africa after a recent surge in volcanic activity and earthquakes plus the appearance of giant cracks in the rocky surface. Tectonic plates in the area are pulling apart and gradually creating a new ocean, The (London) Sunday Times said.
Now, the scientists have mapped the colossal underground lake of magma that lies up to 32km below the earth’s surface. “We estimate that there is 3000 cubic kilometres of molten rock under Afar – enough to cover all of London … with around a kilometre of rock,” said Kathy Whaler, professor of geophysics at Edinburgh University. The reservoir is under such pressure that it has forced tongues of molten rock up towards the surface, producing eruptions and earthquakes. Read more…
Jailed journalist and dissident internet activist Eskinder Nega’s wife, Serkalem Fasil is seeking the return of a car that her husband was driving at the time of his arrest. Serkalekm told Fitih, an Amharic weekly, that her car is unlawfully being held by the Federal Police. Eskinder was driving the car to pick up his child from school before he was stopped and placed under arrest.The car was impounded since, Serkalem told the paper. Read more…
Ethiopia is one of the worst places in the world for women, at least according to a report released by Newsweek magazine. The country ranked 157th overall in Newsweek’s “The Best and Worst Places for Women,” which analyzed 165 countries. The report looked at five areas that affect women’s lives — treatment under the law, political power, workforce participation, access to education and access to health care. Ethiopia garnered only score of 23.7 out of 100, followed by countries such as Pakistan, Niger, and Afghanistan. Even Eritrea performed better, coming 131th with a score of 44.5.Neighboring Kenya ranked 116, Djibouti 144, Sudan 156.
Newsweek named Iceland as the best place in the world for women with an overall score of 100, followed by Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, United States, Australia and Netherlands. The worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the report, is Chad in Central Africa with an overall score of zero.
It’s been almost a decade since the Ethiopian settlement Konso has made a bid to become a World Heritage Site. It was not an audacious bid as it looked. Last week words came that it has become a success. The Konso cultural landscape was inscribed alongside famous Ethiopian landmarks like Lalibela, Simien National Park, Fasil Ghebbi, Aksum and Harar’s Jugol. The Konso terraces are now world class.
AFP’s report has it that the Paris-based U.N. Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization, or Unesco, awarded World Heritage status to the Konso cultural landscape which features stone-walled terraces and fortified settlements dating back 400 years. UNESCO described the landscape as “a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations”. Read more…
Haile Gebreselassie and Liya Kebede have made it to NewAfrican magazine’s 100 most influential people of Africa for 2011, “who are shaping the face of Africa as well as global opinion about what Africa and Africans can achieve”.
The magazine that is billed as ‘the bestselling Pan-African magazine’ with monthly circulation of 220,000, handed down the honors to the top influencers, opinion-shapers, doers, agitators, ground breakers and myth-busters in its June issue. The decision followed weeks of discussion and debate among the magazine editors, staff members and broad numbers of contacts.
“The athlete who never tires. He is an emblem of the world class African sports personality, who helped cement the reputation of Africans as the greatest long-distance runners of all time,” Regina Jere-Malanda, the magazine’s deputy editor, said as she announced the magazine’s 2011 selections of Haile. “He continues to win races and more importantly, today he also influences minds. Read more…
The Patriarch’s unofficial close advisor, Woizero Ejigayehu Beyene, denied abusing her power and influence at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for unlawful personal gain.
Ejigayehu, 66, worked as vice-chairwoman of the Ethiopian Orthodox’s Jerusalem Memorial Association for a number of years before leaving to establish her own tour company. With a reputation for wielding a great deal of power with the highest figure of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos, she has been portrayed in many unflattering ways. It is alleged that she is involved in dubious business deals and stealing clients of the Association, which arranges tour packages for church members to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem and other holy sites. It is claimed the travel agency that she has set up, Keranyo in Jerusalem tour, is benefiting at the expense of the Association.