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  • Ethiopia mourns its friend and greatest historian

    Ethiopia is mourning one of its greatest historians, Dr Richard Pankhurst, who died at the age of 90.

    The country’s Foreign Ministry in a statement referred to Pankhurst as a ‘‘doyen of historians and scholars of Ethiopia,’‘ it added that he ‘‘was one of Ethiopia’s greatest friends during his long and productive life, and his scholarship and understanding for Ethiopia will be sorely missed.’‘

    He received an award of recognition from President Teshome Mulatu for the crucial role he played in the campaign for the return of a historical monument (the axum stelae) from Italy. The monument was re-erected in 2008. The 1,700-year-old giant stone obelisk was taken to Italy by fascist invaders in the 1930s and remained there until it was restored to its historic site in an ancient northern town.

    Pankhurst arrived in Ethiopia in 1956 and devoted his life to Ethiopian studies, he is credited with over 20 books and editing many more on aspects of Ethiopia’s history, culture and economics. He taught at the Addis Ababa University – then known as the University College of Addis Ababa.

    He was the founding Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and a leading figure within the ‘Friends of Ethiopia’ group. He left Ethiopia to his native Britain but returned in 1986 to continue work with the Institute he founded.

    He was also awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen for his services to Ethiopian studies. He is survived by Mrs. Rita Pankhurst and two children, Helen and Alula. The late academician was the son of Sylvia Pankhurst, a staunch supporter of Ethiopia’s struggle against Italy in the 1930s.

    Source: Africanews


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  • Searching for 'white gold' in the 'cruelest place on Earth'

    The depression lies 100 meters below sea level and is one of the world's hottest and most inhospitable locations, with National Geographic calling it the "cruelest place on Earth."

    Despite temperatures that reach over 50 degrees centigrade, it remains a lively and important economic hub, where Ethiopians maintain a centuries-old industry of mining salt from the ground by hand.

    Home to some of the most spectacular geological features in the world, the Danakil depression lies at the junction of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa. It is one of the hottest places on Earth -- the hottest when considering the annual average temperature -- and it sits well over 100 meters below sea level. A lively and important economic hub for Ethiopia, it is studied by scientists to see how microorganisms can live in such extreme conditions, which might offer clues about the possibility of life on other planets.

    Read more at CNN

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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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