Advertisements
jump to navigation

QZ: Finfinnee: Ethiopians are having a tense debate over who really owns Addis Ababa July 7, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

 

For many activists the revised bill is wholly insufficient. There are no plans to “pay a penny” to Oromia for use of its natural resources, such as water, or for dumping the city’s waste on its farmlands.


Finfinne: Ethiopians are having a tense debate over who really owns Addis Ababa

Nine months into a state-of-emergency imposed to quell popular unrest, Ethiopia’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has unveiled its first significant political concession. But the furor surrounding the draft bill presented to parliament last week reveals just how deep tensions in Africa’s second most populous country still run. At stake is the answer to a highly charged question: who owns Addis Ababa?

For Oromos, who make up at least a third of the population and formed the backbone of last year’s mobilization against the central government, the answer is simple: the federal capital, which they call Finfinne, belongs to Oromia. They recount a long history of grievance which casts Oromos as colonial subjects violently displaced from their land and alienated from their culture.

This anger became especially acute in the past decade as Addis Ababa expanded rapidly and when, in April 2014, the authorities published a new master plan which proposed further eviction of Oromo residents and farmers in the name of development. “The issue of Finfinne is the heart of our politics,” says Gemechis, an Oromo resident of the city. “It is where we lost everything.” The master plan was dropped in January 2016 but demonstrations continued unabated until October.

Addis Ababa, with a population approaching four million people, is also home to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa and is widely regarded as Africa’s diplomatic capital—and indeed the world’s third largest diplomatic hub.

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in the country at Meskel Square in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 6, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri - RTSLDSO
Pro-Oromo protesters in Addis Ababa. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

The new bill is a symbolically important effort to address some of the protesters’ demands, and to give concrete meaning to Oromia’s constitutionally-enshrined “special interest” in the capital. Proposed changes include making Afan Oromo an official language of the federal government alongside Amharic, as well as setting up Afan Oromo schools in the city; renaming the city “Finfinne/Addis Ababa”; restoring original Oromo names of public squares, roads and neighborhoods; and the establishment of a joint council with the federal government to administer the city.

It is a watered down version of an earlier draft that reportedly met with much objection inside the ruling party. This is not surprising since the meaning of “special interest” has never been fully spelt out and there is much debate as to how much privilege Oromos should have in a multiethnic city that, despite being located entirely within Oromia, has a population that is only around 20% Oromo.

For many activists the revised bill is wholly insufficient. There are no plans to “pay a penny” to Oromia for use of its natural resources, such as water, or for dumping the city’s waste on its farmlands, says Seyoum Teshome, an academic and blogger. “The bill is trash.” He and others argue that promises to pay farmers proper compensation for further evictions merely proves that the government still intends to expand the boundaries of the city.

Advertisements

QZ: We’d have a better chance of preserving Africa’s dying languages if we learned their history June 14, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

We’d have a better chance of preserving Africa’s dying languages if we learned their history

By Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz  Africa


‘Across the world, African languages are slowly taking the center stage and are being recognized for their importance. For instance, you can now learn Zulu on an app, read a growing list of articles in African languages on Wikipedia, and receive thousands of dollars in awards for your fictional Swahili piece or poem. And many universities from Ethiopia to South Africa are making African languages like Afan Oromo and isiXhosa a compulsory subject. But Africa still has some of the world’s highest concentration of at-risk languages. And that can be reversed by first understanding and studying the past history, present evolution, and future use of these languages.’  Click here to read the full article QZ.

QZ: Political Tweets: Politics and activism are driving Africa’s Twitter conversations to new highs April 8, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, 10 best Youtube videos.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Odaa Oromootweet tweet #OromoProtests


In past decades, older generations of Africans had to be tolerant of oppressive governments, which were often dictatorships—if only for their own safety. But the younger generation is more vocal, critical and demanding of their leaders, and unwilling to allow their questions to be left unanswered.

 Those higher expectations have been voiced on the streets of African cities from Bujumbura to Cape Town in the last year, but increasingly the murmurings of protest and criticism start via social media apps on mobile phones. And Twitter, with its relatively low bandwidth consumption, good for the slower networks and 3G phones of many African consumers, has played a leading role as a platform for raising political awareness on the continent.
 Data from the latest How Africa Tweets report conducted by Portland shows Twitter continues to provide an important platform for political discourse in Africa. The report analyzed 1.6 billion tweets and 5,000 hashtags from 2015 and found that politics-related tweets in Africa, while behind entertainment and commerce, were very much on the rise, and generally topped the rates of political tweets in the United States and United Kingdom.

Politics and activism are driving Africa’s Twitter conversations to new highs