Famine Tag: Ethiopia’s continuing shame in the global press ignored by online Ethiopia’ populace

Just a couple of weeks back I was watching an Ethiopian Television documentary in which many high profile Ethiopians including the prime minister had spoken about how Ethiopia was great in past and how we are reclaiming our glory days of the past in last two decades. But, while people who only watch Ethiopian television kept busy with this sort of reclaiming our past glory days, there were other serious issues happening that our lovely Ethiopian Television and its siblings forgot to tell us about because they either thought it was not news worthy or (development worthy) or they just decided that we do not deserve to hear the truth.
As always, we have been receiving high coverage in the global press with our usual chronic problems – famine, hunger and starvation having a go at each other, the worsening journalists’ treatment, crying and cribbing over foreign aid measles outbreak and so on.
As I write this piece the latest reports put the impact of the drought reached to more Ethiopians with around 4.5 million affectees and some plagued by refuge as far as South Africa and Zimbabwe and diseases like measles. Most of those affected are stranded at remote areas, away from safety, with no food or shelter or clean water and with no access to medical facilities. The drought and food price hike still rage on and more Ethiopians are vulnerable to disaster, risking yet many more thousands of lives.
However, I am outraged by the absolutely lackadaisical, indifferent response of the Ethiopian media in general and the government in particular towards the so called greatest food crisis in sixty years. While there has been news after news on the issue of on the global press which was lead by the Guardian and other global newspapers. I have been desperately running from newspaper to newspaper but I have barely seen a feature or a commentary about Ethiopia’s famine on any of the major Ethiopia’s newspapers except some links forwarded by Addis Neger online. Not only that, casual facebookers do not seem to give a damn either – if at all they have started a facebook cause to erase Ethiopia’s reference of famine from Oxford Dictionary but I should not deny that I have observed the famine’s a passive mention of sympathy amongst one-liners .
Yes these conclusions of mine may be rough and perhaps I am being harsh on our media. But after I eagerly searching local newspapers for information and opinion on the Ethiopia’s starvation and relief efforts, this is the only legitimate case I could come to. I must note here that there have been certain Ethiopian online newspapers from abroad making the calamity laudable and brings to online communities attention. But the online Ethiopia’ populace, at large, is silent at the disaster. And that is a big discontent to me.

Ethiopia’s digital revolution?? “For me it is just like Frog’s fatal desire to be an elephant.

Recently I read a news article on BBC which states Ethiopia’s aim for digital revolution. What kind of digital revolution is the government of Ethiopia is aiming when the country has failed its citizens. In a world where even our neighbor Kenyans are spending tens of millions of dollars to guarantee that their citizen has high speed broadband connections, fewer than 1 per cent of Ethiopians have access to the internet.

I want the schemer of the country’s digital revolution to think about this: more than 99 per cent of our population does not know what Google is. So what do we do?

One would think that, like may be South Africa, government should be allowing at least one big telecom corporate competitor to Ethio -Telecom and spend as much money on telecom infrastructure as possible. (By the way International Telecommunication Union (ITU) requires Ethiopia together with other African countries to digitize its broadcasting services thorough set top box devices. Technically this process would enable broadcasters which is ETV in our case begin to make use of internet to distribute. However, Ethiopia is a way behind the deadline (2015) of ITU on digitizing its analogue broadcasting facilities let alone to consider ETV as a provider of internet for at least 5 per cent of Ethiopians as a minimum of 5 per cent of Ethiopians can access Ethiopian Television with my modest guess. But, the ones in power oddly believe that a mere 1per cent of the internet penetration is an astounding achievement of the last twenty years.

It is also evident that that Ethio-Telecom services are dreadful, which is why many people sometimes decide not to have any of its services even a landline phone.

I do not have any faith in the system here. I strongly believe it is decayed to the foundation, and even if I am paying all my taxes, I do not think the priorities set by the rulers of this country are sound.
So then, what’s a digital revolution? You know and I know that 20 years from now nothing much will change here. For you and me, yes. We might do fine. We could survive. But not for more than 80 million Ethiopian population. These huge population will still be illiterate, and they still won’t have heard of Google, won’t be on Facebook and certainly won’t be Tweeting, not to mention that other new life changing technology might have been invented by then.

So I repudiate to be party to the hype of what they call a digital revolution. Mentally and physically, I remove myself from unreal digital revolution

Ethio Telecom: Bullying or serving ??

From the time immemorial at least for our generation the grubby old Ethiopian monopoly called ETC, the newly dubbed Ethio-Telecom has been amassing millions of money as a profit. Money-wise it is performing better than it achieved in the past. While millions of its subscribers suffer the very worst of the highest spike of price rises, it seems counter-intuitive that Ethio-Telecom relaxed in that kind of profitability.

As a forcefully loyal and optionless Ethiopian customer to Ethio-Telecom services this has ignited huge discontentment in me. This huge discontentment of mine is turned to be a wrath when Ethio-Telecom allegedly passed a notorious decision to slash ten birr out of every fifty Ethiopian calling cards. Ethio-Telecom products across the range are massively overpriced, as there are no other competitors, in the country reassuring Ethiopians lingering in the telecommunication service dimness.

I’m actually writing this piece as rumors are surfacing high that the telecom is collecting money for the Grand Millennium Dam through calling cards by slashing ten birr out of every fifty Ethiopian These rumors were running for few weeks but today I made it official. It will not be just a gossip anymore; you can also prove it for yourself. Here is the simple step to attest Ethio-Telecom’s bullying. First call 994 which is the monopoly’s TELEPHONE DIRECTOR Services then select a language key after that you should press 22214#1 next you will hear a real disturbing news that you owe the telecom’s debt around 500 birr. Recently while I checked it out my account balance is zero after I have straight away recharged my account with fifty birr calling card. Thanks God my debt it is not 500 birr like earlier though I could not hear my exact account balance. This is a pure bullying. And the result is I have absolutely no trust in anything Ethio Telecom promises, publicly or privately. And probably never will.

In the largest Ethiopian state monopoly transparency and truth are covered in its dissonance of multi-layered marketing strategy. If I borrow a phrase from a certain blog whose Telecom services I believe is far better than ours here in Ethiopia. Ethio-Telecom “treats its clients as would the best drug dealer in any hood, ensuring their “addiction” is fed and they’re kept blissfully comatose. In fact, while Ethio-Telecom is showing the embryonic glimmers of taking years of universal scorn to heart, Ethio-Telecom dysfunctional notion of client service is the epitome of the oxymoronic concept of “nurturing disdain”. I rest my point!Oh, by the way, Ethio-Telecom might get irritated and block this blog. May the god of freedom of expression protect all blogs from being blocked and unblock the blocked ones!