Friday, December 3, 2010

Famine in Ethiopia – Can it finally be beaten?

Sadly, Ethiopia and Ethiopian development has been tied with the words ‘famine’ and ‘drought’. There are even dictionaries that give Ethiopia as an example for definition of the words. There are people, today that cannot help but think of the country anymore than a desert where people die because of hunger. Even first time travelers to Ethiopia come with great trepidation. Even after coming to face with the reality of the country they still think they are missing something or that the whole country is pulling a fast one on them.

Food in Ethiopia - at present

A report from USAID quotes the United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) as saying that famine in Ethiopia could be beaten back if recent crop harvests are any indication.  As of July, due to favorable conditions the country had had a bumper harvest. And this in turn had contributed to an improvement in Ethiopia’s food security.

The report also shows that not only was the food crisis alleviated, there was also an improvement in the availability of water for consumption as well pastoral purposes all over the usually dry and drought prone areas of the south and southeast of Ethiopia. All in all, drought and relief maps of Ethiopia have shown a very rapid diminishing of food shortages in the whole country.

African food – the future

As encouraging as the report may be the history of Africa and especially the history of famine in Ethiopia has shown that no matter how secure a country may become, there is a high chance of another drought or even famine occurring to derail the slow but definite growth of the newfound Ethiopian development.

Encouraging news that has been airing around Africa is the publication of a new book ‘The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africaby Harvard University professor Calestous Juma. The book that is expected to be published on December 15th has put forward the results of a study stating that not only can Africa feed itself in just a generation, but can also become a major food exporter strong enough to alleviate the ravenous hunger that is slowly creeping up in the rest of the world.

The overall results of the study apparently show that agriculture in Africa has come to a standstill when the rest of the world has been pushing it into the 21st century. By making agriculture the number one item on their agendas, there is no doubt that Africa can be the breadbasket of the world.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ethiopians - why it is good to be one nowadays

We are facing dire straits globally. Almost everyone is facing the brunt of job cuts and austerity measures. Economies that were once thought to be mighty have been brought to their knees, and only stood up again after substantial aid from neighbors. The price of gas has shot through the roof and it took the other prices with it. Now is a good time to follow the ways and skills of the Ethiopians.

The Ethiopians – why?

That is what most people will be asking when they read this article. Isn’t life in Ethiopia so miserable? Isn’t Ethiopia the country people point to when explaining the effects of poverty on a country? Doesn’t the information on Ethiopia always say that it is the country to avoid?
Well, let us think see what you think after you read what the world has to say about Ethiopia. Below are some facts on Ethiopia that have been reported by international agencies and organizations. As much as possible latest data has been collected from reliable sources that provide the latest news about Ethiopia and other African countries.

The Human Development Index

The human development index is a complex statistical calculation of the improvement of the human development. It is a measure that is used by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to list countries that have advanced or retreated in making their people’s lives better.
In the 2010 report ‘The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development’ the UNDP has ranked Ethiopia as the 11th most progressive country making it a surprising member of the high rankers despite it not having done so via economic reasons. This means that the achievements were made by doing other things to improve the lives of the people. For example, Ethiopia abolished school fees for primary school students and made a big leap in the number of clinics that were built.

Ethiopia Flower Industry

When people are asked on the latest news about Ethiopia, the majority that has never been here just think of the country being a big desert. It just doesn’t come to mind that the country is the home of many rivers, especially the Nile, and that it is sometimes known as the ‘water tower of Africa’.
The information about Ethiopia that was disseminated during the 70’s and 80’s has left a dark shadow on the Ethiopia new and strong that is emerging. And that news about Ethiopia has had the most effect on the Ethiopian flower industry. People think of Ethiopia last when it comes to the horticulture industry.
The flower industry in Ethiopia has been steadily growing. It is an amazing story considering that Ethiopia is at present the second-most exporter of flowers in an industry that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. The quality of the flowers has been of excellent standards that various exporters have been awarded global stages.

HIV AIDS decline in Ethiopia

Family life in Ethiopia was devastated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic that had hit the world. The effects of the epidemic can still be seen in the number of orphans that grew up. Ethiopia was one of the most hit countries by the disease.
But it finally seems to have been beaten back. Recent reports have shown that the rate of infection of HIV has been stopped in Ethiopia. Other countries that performed similarly are South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This was done by planning a strategy that would reach even the youngest of Ethiopians. It was mostly thorough education that was aimed at anyone from 6 to 60. All media drilled into the people’s mind that HIV AIDS was real and that the prevention was very easy. Those lessons are now deeply buried in the three generations that have come after the start of the epidemic. It was these lessons that help curb the disease when it is sharply rising in some Asian countries. Even the United States is facing a problem with the prevalence of the disease among its citizens. It was alarmed to wake up to find that the situation in the United States was worse than Africa.

Life in Ethiopia – something to look forward to

While the whole world is in a gloom, life in Ethiopia is amazingly calm and stable. There aren’t any job cuts that have rocked Europe and the US. There aren’t any austerities plans of furtive lending that have been noticed in Europe to the extent that it has become a threat to the European Union as a whole. There haven’t been massive leaps in increase of consumer goods that would have been expected from a third world country.
Au contraire there is a booming building industry that is changing the cities’ skylines almost daily. There are openings of new automotive industries that have already started flooding the roads of the country with Ethiopian made cars. The tourism industry has reached record levels raising the air transport industry so high that Ethiopian Airlines has become a major contender on a world level.
In short, the country is on its way up. The Ethiopians of tomorrow will hopefully have a country that will be a major force in the future world.