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  • Ethiopia frees 9,800 detainees

    Nearly 10,00 people detained under the current state of emergency in Ethiopia were freed on Wednesday,  deputy government spokesman Zadig Abraha has confirmed to the BBC.

    On Saturday, the government said more than 24,000 people have been arrested since the state of emergency was declared three months ago and half that number still remain in custody without charge. 

    The government has dismissed reports by human rights and opposition groups that many of those arrested have been tortured at various camps and their families have been refused permission to see them.

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  • Ethiopia's bubble is not bursting - CNN

    (CNN) - After a decade of rapid growth, Ethiopia's bubble is not bursting.

    Dubbed the 'African Lion' by economists, Ethiopia is the home of booming industry, new infrastructure, and showpiece summits. It has become a powerful force in the region and beyond.

    To maintain this golden age, the East African state is pressing ahead with ambitious development plans, and renewable energy is core to the mission.

    Ethiopia was among the most daring signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, committing to cut carbon emissions by 64% by 2030. The government has ploughed billions of dollars into hydropower megaprojects such as the Grand Renaissance Dam -- which will be the largest dam in Africa -- and the freshly-inaugurated Gibe III Dam.

    The next target is to become the wind power capital of Africa.


    The turbine of Ashegoda wind farm in Northern Ethiopia, which was the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa when it was inaugurated in 2013. The $300 million facility represents a major step forward in Ethiopia's plans to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

    Breezing ahead

    Ethiopia inaugurated one of the continent's largest wind farms in 2013 -- the $290 million, 120-megawatt (MW) Ashedoga plant. This was followed by the even larger 153 MW Adama II facility in 2015.

    But wind accounted for just 324 MW of Ethiopia's total output of 4,180 MW at the end of 2015, with the vast majority coming from hydropower.

    This picture is set to change with the government's second "Growth and Transformation Plan," which will see total output pass 17,000 MW by 2020, and a vastly increased share from the air.

    The government has plans for at least five further wind farms, and potentially many more, aiming to deliver up to 5,200 megawatts from wind power within four years. The cost is officially calculated at $3.1 billion, although other estimates place it over $6 billion.

    "We are conducting research and studying the data to see the number of plants we can connect (to the National Grid)," says Misikir Negash, head of communications for the Ethiopian Electric Power company. "It is important to have different energy sources for a reliable system. Wind is a big focus and we need it."

    Read more at CNN

     

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  • Merera Gudina Arrested for trespassing state of emergency rulings


    Ethiopia security forces have detained Prof. Merera Gudina (chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress) upon his arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

    Prof. Merera delivered a speech at EU parliament in Brussels on current situation in Ethiopia along with Prof. Berhanu Nega of G7 and athlete Feyisa Lellisa.

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  • Ethiopia Appoints 21 New Ministers


    Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has announced a Cabinet reshuffle, following months of often-violent protests which led the government to declare a state of emergency.

    Ethiopia’s parliament has unanimously approved 21 new appointees, the prime minister said Tuesday. He said the new ministers were picked for competence and commitment rather than “party loyalty."

    The appointees include a new minister of foreign affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu, who replaces Tedros Adhanom, a former health minister who has been one of Ethiopia’s most recognizable public figures in recent years. Adhanom is currently a candidate vying to be the next World Health Organization’s chief.

    Communications Minister and government spokesman Getachew Reda was ousted and replaced by Negeri Lencho, the head of the journalism and communications college at Addis Ababa University.

    Source: VOA

     

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