Ethiopia’s middle class rises, with western diseases in tow
By Katrina Manson in Addis Ababa
Ten years ago, Tamrat Bekele would have been lucky to find 25 customers a day. Today, his medical laboratory in Addis Ababa tests 10 times as many.
The Ethiopian entrepreneur is surprised less by the swell in business than the rising popularity of tests more often associated with affluent, western lifestyles, especially cholesterol and hypertension.
“We used to be overwhelmed with infectious disease but as the middle class increases and lifestyle changes, all these non-communicable diseases are now rising very, very fast,” says Mr Bekele, who hopes International Clinical Laboratories, the most advanced testing facility in Ethiopia, can expand
to serve more of the country’s 90m people, as well as other countries in eastern Africa.
Although Ethiopia remains largely agrarian, poor and closed to foreign investors, it is also one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and the last big market on the continent that investors want to crack.
Ethiopia marks118th anniversary of Battle of Adwa Victory
Ethiopia marks the 118th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa Victory, in which the Ethiopian army defeated the invading Italian army on March 1, 1896. Ethiopia was the first and only country in Africa that defeated a European colonial power during the 'scramble for Africa', making it the only independent nation in Africa that has never been colonized.
Ethiopia under Emperor Menelik II decimated the invading Italian army in the Battle of Adwa, which made it a symbol of independence and pride for all black people around the World. The colors of Ethiopia's flag [Green, Yellow, Red] have been adopted by many African countries after their independence and school children across Africa are taught about the Battle of Adwa.
From The archives of the New York Times on The Battle of Adwa
On March 4, 1896, the New York Times had this headline about the Battle of Adowa
"ITALY'S TERRIBLE DEFEAT" The New York Times March 4, 1896.
Here is an excerpt from The New York Times published on March 4, 1896.
ITALY'S TERRIBLE DEFEAT
Three thousand Men Killed, Sixty Guns and All Provisions Lost.
Baratieri's Strategy Condemned.
All Available Steamers for Transport of Reinforcements to Abyssinia are Ordered.
Persistent Rumor of Ministry's Fall
Rome, March 3 - The present campaign against the Abyssinians threatens to become one of the most disastrous in which the Italians arms have ever taken part, and what the final outcome will be it would be hard to predict. It was rumored today that the latest defeat of the Italians by King Menelik had compelled Ministry to resign, owing to the popular disapproval of the Government's policy, but tonight this report is denied.
Details received here today of the defeat on Sunday of the Italian Army show that the Italian losses were very heavy, they being placed by some at 3,000 killed. It is still impossible to ascertain the precise losses, but popular opinion credits the report that the number of killed is not overstated. Thus far the reports make no mention of the number of wounded. Among the dead are Gen. Albertone, Commander of the Left Brigade, and Gen. Dabormida, Commander of the Right Brigade.
The news of this latest disaster has caused the greatest excitement throughout Italy, and the Opposition party is taking advantage of it to make violent attacks upon the Government's policy in attempting to extend the sphere of Italian influence in Abyssinia.
The Pope is greatly disturbed by the news.
Among the many reports current today was one to the effect that Gen. Baratieri had committed suicide, being unable to endure the humuliation of his defeat.
Published on March 4, 1896 in the New York Times.
Read original story from NYT
On March 2, 1896, the New York Times wrote the following article.
ABYSSINIANS DEFEAT ITALIANS.; Both Wings of Baratieri's Army Enveloped in an Energetic Attack
Massaowa, March 2, 1896 - Gen. Baratieri attacked the Abyssinians yesterday. Gens. Albertone, Arimondi, and Dabormida commanded the left, centre, and right brigades, respectively. Gen. Ellina commanded the reserve.
The Italians captured the passes leading to Adowa without opposition. Gen. Albertone, with four native battalions and four mountain batteries , engaged the enemy, but where soon overcome by overwhelming odds.
Gen. Arimondi was ordered to cover the retreat, but his position prevented him from complying with the order. The Abyssinians in the meantime made an energetic attack, which soon extended to the whole Italian front and enveloped both wings.
A desperate struggle ensued. and finally the Italians were compelled to abandon their positions. The nature of the ground prevented the batteries from moving. The Italians are retiring behind Belesa. The losses sustained are unknown.
The New York Times
Published March 3, 1896
The Battle of Adwa Changed Ethiopia and the World
By Abebe Hailu
Ethiopia, Yesterday and Today
Ethiopia has a significant history reaching over 3,000 years into the past. The word "Ethiopia" has become a term for the idea of African solidarity and freedom, not just the name of a nation or a region. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus noted the region of Ethiopia as home to "people with burnt faces." During the Greek and Roman eras, everything south of the Sahara Desert in Africa was generally referred to as Ethiopia or Abysinnia.
Biblical references also label Ethiopia as Cush, Kesh, Ekosh and Shewa (Sheba) in the Hebrew language. These were the names used in Solomon's courts when he received a visit from the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. The biblical "Song of Solomon" praises her physical beauty. In modern times, especially since the battle of Adwa, Ethiopia has been seen as a de facto model of freedom for all black cultures sand societies world-wide.
This held true up until the time the current political regime came to power. At least this is a homegrown terror and not a conquering white European army. This renegade regime has been busy throwing fellow citizens off of their ancestral lands and leasing them to international corporations. Freedom of the press is nonexistent and journalists are jailed regularly. The current corrupt politicians have even set about the process of changing history by denying the importance of the Battle of Adwa, and mocking the reign of Menelik and Taytu.
Travel: Ethiopia’s wealth of surprises
The first time I learnt about Ethiopia was when I watched the video to We Are The World, as images of starving African children with distended bellies flashed across the television screen. And it seems that Ethiopia is still haunted by those powerful images of famine and poverty. The country isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-visit vacation list. To top it off, the costly cocktail of vaccinations I needed — it’s compulsory to be vaccinated against yellow fever, and my doctor advised me to get the meningococcal vaccine and malaria pills — didn’t help put my mind at ease. At first.
As I later found out, giving the country a miss would be a huge pity. Ethiopia is eager to exorcise the ghosts of its past. It wants to show off its beautiful scenery, otherworldly architecture and gracious people. All you need to do is be there.
LIVING IT UP
After a 13-hour red-eye flight from Singapore to capital city Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines, it took another two hours by car to get to resort town and popular day-trip destination Debre Zeit, but it was worth the squeeze through the morning traffic.
Ethiopia: Meklit Takes Things ‘Slow’ On New Song (Premiere)
Singer and songwriter Meklit Hadero covers a lot of ground, geographically and musically. Born in Ethiopia, Meklit (who goes by her first name) now lives in San Francisco, where she makes music that lands somewhere in the intersection of jazz, sultry pop, the traditional music of her homeland and Police covers. All of them are in evidence on “We Are Alive,” her second full-length album. Speakeasy today premieres “Slow,” one of 11 original tunes on the album.
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