Category: "Feature"

Ethiopia -'s Top 10 Stories of 2009 - Most Viewed

December 21st, 2009

Ethiopia -'s Top 10 Stories of 2009 - Most Viewed
A look back at's most viewed articles of 2009, reveals that the death of Ethiopia's greatest singer of all time have captivated our readers like no other story. His death and the state funeral top our most popular story for 2009 on Another story on the most viewed articles on include the later debunked story about the unveiling of the Ark of the covenant and a commentary by Ethiopian Economist Eleni Gabre-Medhin.'s Top 10 Stories of 2009

  1. Ethiopia holds state funeral for ‘legendary’ vocalist Tilahun Gessesse
  2. Tilahun Gessesse, Ethiopia's greatest singer of all time, dies
  3. 'Ark of the Covenant' about to be unveiled?
  4. This is my Ethiopian story- By Eleni Gabre-Madhin
  5. 39 people Indicted in Taxicab Bribery Scandal
  6. Sara Nuru wins Germany's Next Top Model!
  7. Isaias Afewerki escaped assassination attempt -
  8. Meles Zenawi sits down with Channel 4 News
  9. Bank Robber nabbed after a short chase outside Indianapolis
  10. Meles Zenawi Decides To Stay In Power

Other notable stories include the following ranked as 11th and 12th most viewed articles respectively.

Ben's Interview with Meles Zenawi

Pop star Teddy Afro freed from jail in Ethiopia

Take a look at the list, then tell us which story you remember the most.

Ethiopia ranks 135th in Economic Freedom - Report

January 14th, 2009

Ethiopia ranks 135th in Economic Freedom - Report

The Heritage Foundation

Ethiopia's economic freedom score is 53, making its economy the 135th freest in the 2009 Index. Its overall score rose 0.5 point, partly reflecting improvements in trade policy, including a reduction in the weighted average tariff rate. Ethiopia is ranked 26th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is almost the same as the regional average.

Ethiopia does not benefit from high levels of economic freedom in any category, but its fiscal freedom, government size, and labor freedom scores are near or above world averages. The overall tax burden as a percentage of GDP is low, and tax rates are moderate. Government expenditures are not high, and there has been privatization in a few key sectors. Ethiopia also demonstrated some progress in trade freedom; although still not competitive, its weighted average tariff was reduced to 10.7 percent.

Ethiopia scores especially low in investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. The government does not permit foreign participation in banking, which is subject to political pressure. Property rights cannot be guaranteed, and private ownership of land is not allowed. Pervasive corruption discourages investment and entrepreneurial activity.

Despite frequent drought and famine in the North, agriculture contributes over 45 percent of GDP, accounts for over 80 percent of exports, and employs over 80 percent of the population. Privatization of state enterprises has proceeded slowly, and the government remains involved in key sectors. Ethiopia is moving toward multi-party democracy, but obstacles are abundant, as demonstrated by the 2005 post-election crackdown on protesters. Since war with Eritrea in the late 1990s, a U.N. peacekeeping mission has straddled the border, and Ethiopia has depended heavily on Djibouti for access to the sea. Ethiopia invaded Somalia in support of Somalia's transitional federal government in December 2006 and still maintains a military presence there.

The overall freedom to conduct a business remains constrained by Ethiopia's regulatory environment. Starting a business takes an average of 16 days, compared to the world average of 38 days. Obtaining a business license requires less than the world average of 18 procedures, but the minimum capital investment to start a business is high. Regulation is not always transparent.

Ethiopia's weighted average tariff rate was 10.7 percent in 2006. Some import taxes, restrictive foreign exchange controls, service market barriers, non-transparent government procurement, import restrictions, and inadequate infrastructure add to the cost of trade. Ten points were deducted from Ethiopia's trade freedom score to account for non-tariff barriers.

Ethiopia has burdensome tax rates. The top income tax rate is 35 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 30 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a capital gains tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 11.6 percent.

Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are low. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 24 percent of GDP. Privatization has advanced in mining and tourism.

Inflation is very high, averaging 14.9 percent between 2005 and 2007. The government influences prices through its regulation of state-owned enterprises and utilities, subsidizes and controls the prices of petroleum products, and controls the prices of pharmaceuticals and fertilizers. Ten points were deducted from Ethiopia's monetary freedom score to adjust for measures that distort domestic prices.

Ethiopia's revised investment code prohibits foreign participation in domestic banking, insurance and micro credit services, and several other activities reserved for domestic investors. A foreign investor intending to buy an existing enterprise or shares in an existing enterprise must obtain prior approval. All investments must be approved and certified by the government and may be subject to additional restrictions. The Ethiopian Investment Commission provides a one-stop service that significantly cuts the cost of obtaining licenses. Foreign exchange accounts, payments, and current transfers are subject to controls and restrictions, as are capital transactions. There is no right to private ownership of land. All land is owned by the state and can be leased for up to 99 years.

Ethiopia's financial sector is small and underdeveloped. The government strongly influences lending, controls interest rates, and owns the largest bank (Commercial Bank of Ethiopia), which accounts for two-thirds of outstanding credit. In recent years, the state has allowed the local private sector to participate in banking, but foreign ownership and branch operations remain strictly barred. As of 2008, there were three government-owned banks, nine private banks, and nine insurance firms. Newly proposed legislation would further tighten the banking law, making the business environment for private banks even more difficult. The largest state-run bank faced collapse several years ago due to reckless lending to inefficient state-owned enterprises, but the percentage of non-performing loans has now been reduced from over 50 per-cent to just under 10 percent. There are about 30 micro finance institutions, which have become major sources of financial services to many businesses. Capital markets are poorly developed, and there is no stock market.

Enforcement of property rights is weak. The judicial system is underdeveloped, poorly staffed, and inexperienced. Property and contractual rights are recognized, but judges lack an understanding of commercial issues. An international arbitration body's decision may not be fully accepted and implemented by Ethiopian authorities. A highly restrictive land-tenure policy makes it very difficult to register property. Private ownership of land is prohibited; land must be leased from the state.

Corruption is perceived as pervasive. Ethiopia ranks 138th out of 179 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2007. Despite legal restrictions on corruption, officials have been accused of manipulating the privatization process, and state-owned and party-owned businesses receive preferential access to land leases and credit.

Ethiopia's relatively rigid labor regulations hinder employment and productivity growth. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is very low, but the difficulty of firing unneeded or poorly performing employees is a significant disincentive to job creation. Restrictions on the number of work hours are inflexible.

Source: Heritage Foundation

Top 10 in Economic Freedom (World)

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. Ireland
  5. New Zealand
  6. United States
  7. Canada
  8. Denmark
  9. Switzerland
  10. United Kingdom

Top 10 Freest Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. Mauritius
  2. Botswana
  3. South Africa
  4. Uganda
  5. Namibia
  6. Madagascar
  7. Cape Verde
  8. Burkina Faso
  9. Swaziland
  10. Kenya

Bottom 5

175. Eritrea

176. Burma

177. Cuba

178. Zimbabwe

179. North Korea

Ethiopia -'s Top 50 Stories of 2008

December 20th, 2008

Ethiopia - nazret's 50 most popular stories of 2008

There were several big Ethiopian stories in 2008, from the Beijing Olympics where history was made by Ethiopia's greatest distance runners Tirusneh Diaba and Kenenisa Bekele to the arrest and conviction of Teddy Afro, Ethiopia's most popular pop singer. Based on number of unique page views on, the most popular story of 2008 was a report by Forbes magazine that Addis Ababa ranks as the World's 6th dirtiest city. Several high profile crimes stories from Washington DC to Oslo, Norway also captured the readers' attention. As in previous years, crime stories are among the most viewed articles on our website. The funeral of Meles Zenawi's father was also one of the top 50 most viewed articles.

Here is the complete list of the 50 most viewed articles on in 2008.

Have your say, suggest your own story of 2008.

The 50 most viewed stories of 2008 on

  1. Addis Ababa, World's 6th Dirtiest City - Forbes
  2. 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting at Meskerem Restaurant in DC
  3. Stowaways Discovered On Ethiopian airlines Plane At Dulles Airport
  4. Teddy Afro – An Ethiopian Hero and a Prisoner of Conscience
  5. Ethiopia bans nude pictures
  6. Teddy Afro has been found guilty

  7. Mesfin Hussin Charged With Killing Wife in Alexandria, Virginia
  8. 19 year old Bank Robbery Suspect killed, identified as son of former Ethiopian diplomat
  9. Homeowner shoots and kills 19 year old Nibeyu Demissew Yosef
  10. Police Arrest 2 for the murder of 51-year-old Tedla Lemma
  11. Al Amoudi is the 97th Richest Person in The World - Forbes
  12. "I want to become prime minister of Ethiopia" - Gebrselassie
  13. Explosion kills three in Ethiopian bar

  14. Ethiopia sentences five Mengistu officers to death
  15. Miss Tourism Queen Kidan Gebreegziabher Tesfahun
  16. Manhunt for suspect in Seattle restaurant shooting
  17. Al-amoudi to construct chain of hotels
  18. Sisters arrested in Insurance Fraud Case
  19. Ethiopian police bars prostitutes from streets
  20. Al-Amoudi to buy NTO
  21. Building owner Ermias Afework charged after lottery tickets stolen
  22. Top ONLF rebel leaders arrested
  23. Meles Zenawi in Japan for G8 summit - Pictures
  24. Minneapolis taxi driver charged in sexual assault of passenger

  25. The World's Richest Black Person is from Ethiopia
  26. Hillary Clinton Campaign Hires Addisu Demissie as Political Director

  27. Ethiopian ex-PM Tamerat Layne freed from prison
  28. Tirunesh Dibaba broke the Olympic Record in 10,000meters
  29. The question of Assab and the Algiers agreement
  30. Yafet Kassa Gerbrewold spotted on ferry to Denmark
  31. Kenenisa Bekele smashed Olympic Record in 10K wins 2nd Gold for Ethiopia
  32. 17-year-old Beruch Yonas Zegeye charged in fatal crash in Florida
  33. U.S. Engagement in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa
  34. Ethiopia's first car assembly plant unveils new model

  35. The Ameliorating and Deteriorating Aspects of Addis Ababa
  36. Teddy Afro, Ethiopia's biggest pop star, sentenced to six years in jail
  37. Funeral of Meles Zenawi's Father conducted
  38. Blasts Kill 3 at Ethiopian Gas Stations

  39. Young woman found dead in student housing complex

  40. Three Ethiopians wounded in Vancouver shooting

  41. Bomb on Bus Kills 7 in Humera, Ethiopia
  42. EPRDF gave away Ethiopia's land to Sudan

  43. Tirunesh Dibaba wins the Gold in 5000m
  44. Paralyzed Man Found Murdered In Lilburn Home
  45. Police Arrest Man Traveling With Pot-Filled Suitcase

  46. Pop Star Teddy Afro in Jail over hit-and-run

  47. Stabbed woman's body found in burning suitcase

  48. Maryland Man Charged in Killing of Taxi Driver Tekola Bekele

  49. Ethiopia celebrates 112th anniversary of Battle of Adwa Victory
  50. Meles Zenawi in New York City
  51. Meles Zenawi's Father Dead at 82

Ethiopia - Vote for nazret's Person of The Year 2008

December 2nd, 2008

Ethiopia - Vote for nazret's Person of The Year 2008

See Poll on the right side bar >>

Ed's Note: We thank all of our readers for your help in our selection of these impressive personalities for our finalist list. We have considered all of your suggestions and had to come up with the magic number 10 and we are glad that many of our readers welcomed our selections. Please continue to cast your vote and we will announce the readers' choice for nazret's Person of The Year for 2008 shortly.

The nominees in alphabetical order

Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele is an Ethiopian distance runner who holds the world records in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres. He is the reigning two-time Olympic champion over 10,000 metres and the most accomplished runner in IAAF World Cross Country Championships history, with six long (12K) course and five short (4K) course titles. On 17 August 2008 Bekele won gold in the 10,000m finals with a time of 27:01.17, setting a new Olympic Record in the process. On 23 August 2008 Bekele bested his competitors and won the 5,000m finals, shattering Said Aouita's Olympic Record by almost eight seconds with a time of 12:57.82. By winning his second Olympic 10,000 meter title, Bekele joined an elite group of athletes to accomplish this feat. He also became the first man to win double 5000m/10,000 in the Olympics since 1980 when fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter won.

Source: wikipedia

Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene (born June 1, 1985 in Bekoji, Arsi, Ethiopia) is an Ethiopian long distance track athlete and both the outdoor and indoor 5000 metres world record holder. She is the current Olympic 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres champion. She has also won four world track titles and five world cross country titles. She is nicknamed the "Baby Faced Destroyer". Dibaba created a new 5000 metres world record, 14 minutes 11.15 seconds, at the Oslo Golden League 2008 meeting. Tirunesh Dibaba won 10,000 metres Gold in Beijing Olympic on August 15, 2008 setting a new Olympic record time of 29:54.66 which was enough to break the old record of 30:17.49 set by fellow Ethiopian and cousin Derartu Tulu at Sydney Olympic Summer Games back in 2000. The new Olympic record was also the second fastest 10,000 meters of all time and an African record too. The previous African record (30:04.18) was held by Berhane Adere, set at the 2003 World Championships. One week later on August 22, 2008 she won the 5,000 metres by beating the defending gold medalist Meseret Defar. Dibaba finished the race in 15:41.40 which was way far from her current world record. This olympic double win made her the first ever woman to win both 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the same Olympics.

Source: wikipedia

Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin has ambitious vision, she is the founder of Ethiopia's first commodities market, and has a vision to bring rates and standards (not to mention trading systems, warehousing and data centers) to the trade of crops.

Gabre-Madhin left her earlier job, as a World Bank senior economist in Washington, DC, in part because she was disturbed by the 2002 famine in Ethiopia -- after a bumper crop of maize the year before. With prices depressed, many farmers simply left their grain in the field in 2001. But when the rains failed in 2002, a famine of 1984 proportions threatened the country. Her dream: to build a market that protects the African farmer, who is too often living at the mercy of forces beyond his or her control.

The director of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Madhin studies market reforms, market institutions, and structural transformation in Africa, and works to create "a world free of hunger and malnutrition.

Source: TED

Yohannes Gebregeorgis

Yohannes Gebregeorgis

At age 19, Yohannes Gebregeorgis borrowed a soft-cover romance novel entitled "Love Kitten" that changed his life forever. Born in rural Ethiopia to an illiterate cattle merchant who insisted upon his son's education, Gebregeorgis had seen a few books in school. But it was the experience of having a book of his own that sparked a lifelong commitment.

Today, at 56, Gebregeorgis is establishing libraries and literacy programs to connect Ethiopian children with books.

"Most Ethiopian children have only access to textbooks in the classroom," says Gebregeorgis. "Books children read outside of school, those are the spices of education."

It wasn't until he became a children's librarian in the United States that he realized what the children of his native home were missing.

Forced to flee Ethiopia to the United States as a political refugee in 1981, Gebregeorgis ultimately put himself through university, obtaining a graduate degree in library science. He relocated to the Bay Area, taking a post at the San Francisco Children's Library in 1985.

There, he met "The Little Engine That Could," "Captain Ahab" and "Peter Pan." He realized the impact children's books could make on a child's sense of wonder and vision.

In 2002, Gebregeorgis left his job and his home and returned to Ethiopia with 15,000 books donated by the San Francisco Children's Library. With them, he opened the Shola Children's Library on the first floor of his Addis Ababa home.

Source: CNN

Bekele Geleta

Bekele Geleta

Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies. The new head of the world's largest humanitarian organization is a former Ethiopian political prisoner who made a new life for himself in Ottawa after arriving as a refugee in 1992. He spent five years in prison in Ethiopia, and later served as a cabinet minister and the Ethiopian ambassador to Japan.

Mr. Geleta came to Canada as a refugee in 1992, settling in Ottawa with his wife, Tsehay Mulugeta, and four young sons. He soon started building a new career in humanitarian work, serving with Care Canada, the Red Cross and other organizations.

Haile Gerima

Haile Gerima

Haile Gerima born Gondar, Ethiopia, March 4, 1946 is an Ethiopian filmmaker who immigrated to the United States in 1968. At UCLA he, along with award-winning filmmakers Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, Jamaa Fanaka("Penitentiary"), Ben Caldwell ("I and I"), Larry Clark ("As Above, So Below" & Kids) and Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) was a member of the Los Angeles School of black film makers.

He has been a professor of film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. since 1975. His best known film is probably Sankofa (1993), a film about slavery.

Gerima's most recent film is Teza which won an award at the Venice film festival in 2008, other films included Adwa (1999), a documentary about the Battle of Adowa, the important battle in which the Ethiopians defeated the Italian colonial force.

Source: wikipedia

Tewodros Kasahun (Teddy Afro)

Tewdros Kasahun (Teddy Afro)

Tewodros Kassahun also known as Teddy Afro is a popular Ethiopian singer. In 2001, Teddy released his second album, Abugida, named after the Abugida syllabary of the Ge'ez language. Several tracks quickly caught the ear of many listeners in Ethiopia - Halieselassie, a tribute to the late Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I; Haile, Haile, a single in honor of the Olympic long distance champion Haile Gebrselassie; and Mona Lisa, a song about the measure of human beauty.

His third album, Yasteseryal, was released in 2005. The release of this album coincided with elevated political tension in Ethiopia surrounding the Ethiopian general election, 2005. His politically and socially inspired songs vibrated a call for unity and peace and started a controversy. The controversy originated mostly from the song "Yasteseryal", which was banned from playing on any radio or television station. The song claims that there is no change in Ethiopia besides a new government. The song was not welcomed by the government but the controversy did not hurt the album's sales as it became one of the best selling albums of the year.

Teddy Afro was accused of being involved in a fatal car accident and DUI which occurred more than 18 months ago, and was imprisoned at Kality prison in Addis Ababa in April of 2008; his trial is still pending. Teddy has pleaded not guilty to these allegations, and his court case and imprisonment have been national talking points in Ethiopia.[1] On 1st December 2008 Afro was found guilty of running a man down in his car, driving away without reporting the incident, and driving without a licence. He faces between five and 15 years in prison when sentenced

Source: wikipedia

Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede

American Vogue has touted Liya Kebede, as a member of the “New Establishment”. proclaimed “All Hail Liya!”. Since being featured in their “Of the Minute” section five years ago, she has moved all the way up in rank as their number one choice of “Top 50 Models”. Liya has succeeded in becoming the name on everybody’s lips and is definitely an IMG star on the rise.

Liya Kebede is the founder of Liya Kebede foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping mothers and children. The Mission of the Liya Kebede Foundation is to reduce Maternal Newborn and Child mortality and to improve the health and well being of mothers and children around the world.

Source: and

Birtukan Mideksa

Birtukan Mideksa

Birtukan Mideksa (also spelled Birtukan Midekssa) is an Ethiopian politician and former judge. She is the leader of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party. Birtukan Mideksa went to Yekatit 12 secondary school (aka Menen) and upon graduating from high school she joined AAU where she graduated from Law School with a Bachelors Degree in Law. She practiced law at the 3rd district of the federal judiciary. While she was working for the federal judiciary, Mideksa was appointed to be a judge at the 3rd district court of the court. During that time, she presided over a high profile case of the former defense minister and top ranking official of TPLF, Siye Abraha. She set the defendant free on bail just to be surprised by the government authorities arrested him minutes later while he was walking out of the court accompanied by his family and friends. Later on, she got several warnings and threats from government security agents which proved her clearly that independence of the judiciary is only on papers.

Later, Britukan decided to join a political party to bring about a fast change in the country, including superiority of the rule of law, and a full respect and implementation of the constitution which proved first hand not in place while serving as a judge. She joined RAINBOW party and later CUDP after a coalition of four parties. After election or 2005, her party won, and the governing party started to round opposition party leaders (including Birtukan). They spent two years in prison and were freed in late 2007.[2] She later founded UDJ (Unity for Democracy and Justice) with the same principles followed by CUDP. The need for having the new party name came from the fact that the ruling party's election commission awarded to a splinter group from CUDP (aka Kinijit). Birtukan is elected to be a chairperson of the UDJ party which has a motto of bring about change in Ethiopia in a peaceful means.

Source wikipedia

Girma Wake

Girma Wake

As a veteran of 30 years on and off with Ethiopian Airlines, chief executive Girma Wake has seen his airline pass through many phases and several major transformations. Under his leadership, the airlines has seen record number of passengers and profit.

Ethiopia and Eritrea rate low in Child-friendliness Index - Report

November 20th, 2008

Ethiopia and Eritrea rate low in Child-friendliness Index - Report

The African Report on Child Wellbeing provides an insight into the wellbeing of children in Africa and assesses the extent to which governments meet their obligations, through a ground-breaking Childfriendliness Index – developed by The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF).

The Government of Ethiopia ranked 42nd in the Child-friendliness Index, out of the 52 African governments covered in the assessment. This was mainly for two reasons: first, as a result of the Government of Ethiopia’s relatively lower commitment in allocating higher share of the national budget to provide for the basic needs of children; and secondly, as a result of the limited success in achieving relatively favourable wellbeing outcomes as reflected on children themselves.

How well does the Government of Ethiopia perform in protecting its children? A number of indicators have been used to assess governments’ performance in protecting children
against abuse and exploitation (see report for the detail).

The Government of Ethiopia has performed fairly in putting in place appropriate legal and policy framework to protect children against abuse. The ranking puts Ethiopia 23rd in respect of legal protection of children, indicating its fair performance in this regard. Ethiopia ratified only four of the eight relevant child rights treaties

The Government of Ethiopia has performed well in areas relating to corporal punishment, juvenile justice system, national plan of action for survival, protection and development of children and a government body for coordinating the national strategy for children. It, however, does not have policy for free primary education

How does the Government of Ethiopia perform in providing for children?
Provision for basic needs of children is measured based on two elements: budgetary commitment and child-related outcomes achieved. All the indicators used for budgetary commitment and child-related outcomes were combined to yield governments’ performance score for provision of basic services for children

Most Child Friendly Nations

1. Mauritius
2. Namibia
3. Tunisia
4. Libya
5. Morocco
6. Kenya
7. South Africa
8. Malawi
9. Algeria
10. Cape Verde

Least Child Friendly Nations

42 Ethiopia
43 Comoros
44 Guinea
45 Swaziland
46 Chad
47 Liberia
48 São Tomé and Principe
49 Gambia
50 Central African Republic
51 Eritrea
52 Guinea-Bissau

Eritrea is ranked as the second worst 'country' when it comes to taking care of its children. Ethiopia ranks 42nd and Eritrea is 51st.

The African Child Policy Forum is an independent, Pan- African policy and advocacy centre based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Source: Africa Child Policy Forum

Related Links

African child 'well-being' rated (BBC)