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  • Inside the homes of the last Ethiopian Rastas

    A stunning set of photographs reveal the unlikely life of the 300 Rastafarians living in Ethiopia having migrated from the UK, France and Jamaica.

    Rastafarianism - which became global in the 1960s and 70s with the music of reggae stars and committed Rastas Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff - first emerged as a spiritual movement in the 1930s among descendants of African slaves in Jamaica, who adopted Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as their messiah at a time when he stood out as the only independent black monarch in Africa.

    Bandi Payne with a portrait of former ruler Emperor Haile Selassie who donated 500 acres of land to allow members of the Rastafari movement and settlers from Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean to go to Africa.

    A supporter of decolonisation and cooperation among African states then largely under European control, Haile Selassie in the 1950s set aside 500 acres in Shashamane to welcome back descendants of slaves seeking to return home.

    They did, and Shashamane is today home to around 300 Rastas, though the population has dwindled from its peak, which at one point stood at 2,000 people about 150 miles from the capital of Addis Ababa.

    Nearly 8,000 miles separate Jamaica and Ethiopia, but the Rastafarian community revered Selassie and considered him their God.

    When he died in 1975, his followers called it Ethiopia's last ever Emperor's 'disappearance', and not his death, refusing to believe he had passed away.

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  • Ethiopia's ex-minister in race to become Africa's first WHO boss

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s immediate past Foreign Affairs Minister is getting close to becoming the first African to fill the position of Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    He made the final shortlist of three candidates picked by the WHO’s Executive Board. The next head of the global health outfit will be picked from the three.

    51-year-old Tedros is joined by the United Kingdom’s nominee 67-year-old Dr David Nabarro and 53-year-old Pakistani Dr Sania Nishtar. Tedros is seen as Africa’s candidate and he has gone round the continent meeting leaders to solicit for their support.

    He served in two ministerial capacities back home over the last twelve years. First, as a Minister of Health for eight years before taking the top diplomatic portfolio for the last four years.

    Last year he wrote on his official facebook handle: ‘‘I have been humbled to serve my country in many positions …… I am extremely grateful to the Ethiopian people and the Government of Ethiopia for allowing me to serve our great country.

    ‘‘I also thank the Government of Ethiopia for letting me now focus on my candidacy for Director-General of the World Health Organization,’‘ he added.

    He was replaced as Foreign Affairs Minister by Workneh Gebeyehu, who was formerly Transport Minister. Ethiopia’s foreign relations have taken a hit in the past year following heavy security clampdown on anti-government protesters in the Oromo and Amhara regions.

    The election of a new WHO boss has been necessitated by the imminent exit of Margaret Chan. All Member States will choose among the three nominees by voting at the World Health Assembly in May 2017. The new Director-General will take office on 1 July 2017.

    The Director-General is WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer and oversees the organization’s international health work. The current Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, was appointed in 2006 and will complete her second term on 30 June next year.

    Source: africanews

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  • The art of bartending in Ethiopia

    Night life is about to get a higher standard through Diageo’s Master Bartender Academy (MBA) program which is set to train 300 bartenders in Ethiopia. At an event that was held on Monday January 9, 2017 at the Vault lounge, Diageo’s Spirits Commercial Director Nicholas Mutinda underlined the importance of having well trained professionals working in bars so that people can get the same standard service whether they are in Addis Ababa or London.

    “Bartending is like any other profession, it needs training and constant updating on trends. A well trained bartender will also promote responsible drinking which is something that is very important,” Mutinda said.

    The training program will also target bartenders in other markets including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya and Seychelles. MBA is available in three languages and has more than 12 multilingual African trainers. The training program to date, has taken place in more than 40 cities within Africa, and has trained over 14,000 bartenders.

    To become a master bartender takes dedicated work, all trainees must complete three modules, it was stated. The first module of the training, title MBA 101 is a one day workshop which among others covers key topics on bartending like customer service, bartender secrets and responsible drinking. Each of the bartender trainees leaves with a workshop manual and a link to a site, to complete the second module, MBA202.

    Once completed, only the highest scoring 25 bartenders are selected to go through to MBA 303 which is the last module. The 303 module consists of a full day of training where after several tests, the last five are chosen.

    The final five will compete in a live showdown in front of an audience where one bartender  will get the opportunity to be named Master Bartender.

    All of the MBA finalists will receive a certificate together with exclusive MBA merchandise that includes a special cocktail kit. The Master Bartender also gets to take home an iPad loaded with exclusive cocktail apps, USD 1,000 and the title of his/her city as the Master Bartender.

    Source: capitalethiopia

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  • Ethopia's jazz great Girma Beyene re-discoverd

    Girma Beyene is one of the most influential arrangers of the golden age of Ethiopian jazz in the 60s and 70s.

    After three decades in the musical wilderness in the US, 70-year old Beyene was re-discovered by the young French ethiojazz band Akalé Wubé.

    Beyene and Akalé Wubé's Oliver Degabriele talk to RFI's Alison Hird about making their new album 'Mistakes on purpose'.

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  • Ethiopia in Lonely Planet's Top Ten Best in Travel 2017 List

    Where should you go next? Lonely Planet’s experts select the most amazing places to go and things to do in the year ahead.

    10. Ethiopia

    With its own calendar (where else can you get 13 months of sunshine?), timekeeping, script, language, cuisine, church and coffee, Ethiopia is as exotic as countries come. And whether you’re trekking through the Simien Mountains to witness wildlife that roams nowhere else on Earth, climbing to a church carved into a remote cliff face in Tigray or boating across the serene waters of Lake Tana to visit an age-old monastery, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape. In 2017 new airline links will make the country more accessible than ever, so be one of the first to hop on board.

    9. Myanmar

    Change has been a long time coming in the nation also known as Burma, but the election of the first civilian government in half a century has all eyes on the future. No one is pretending that all Myanmar’s problems have gone away, but things are moving in the right direction, and Southeast Asia’s most secretive country is poised to receive an influx of travellers. Visiting comes with challenges, but the reward is a window onto a vanishing Asia, where the difficulties of travel are part of the appeal, and where life moves to the timeless rhythm of chanting monks and monastery bells.

    8. Oman

    Oman has been the ace in Arabia’s pack for a while, but with more flights than ever before and high-end hotels popping up all over the place, the sultanate looks ready to raise its game yet again. Luxury accommodation, including the award-winning duo of Six Senses on the Musandam Peninsula and Alila in the Hajar Mountains, has long had a foothold here, but glitzy properties from Anantara, Kempinski and other high-end names are also slated to open soon. The burst of construction doesn’t stop there, though – the US$120-million Majarat Oman, a futuristic theme park for families, is set to debut in 2017.

    See the complete list here!

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