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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ethiopia

Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. Growth has decelerated moderately in 2012 to 7% and is projected to be 6.5% in the future – reflecting weaker external demand and an increasingly constrained environment for private sector activity. Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable development gains has come under threat during 2008 and 2011 with the emergence of twin macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and a difficult balance of payments situation. Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011 because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation was projected to be about at about 22 percent and single digit inflation is projected in 2012/13 with the implementation of tight monetary and fiscal policies.
Ethiopian Commercial Bank in Addis Abeba.
In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the "water tower" of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 major) rivers that pour off the high tableland, including the Nile. It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation.

Religion in Ethiopia
Religion

Percent
Christianity
  
62.8%
Islam
  
33.9%
African traditional religions
  
2.6%
Others
  
0.6%

Ethiopia has close historical ties with all three of the world's major Abrahamic religions. In the 4th century, the region was one of the first in the world to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion. While no longer distinguished as a state religion, it remains the majority faith. There is also a substantial Muslim demographic, representing about a third of the population. Ethiopia is also the site of the first Hijra in Islamic history. A town in the Tigray Region, Negash is the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa. Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia.


All-night prayer for Nelson Mandela


The South Africans are holding an all-night prayer vigil for former president Nelson Mandela, outside his former home in Soweto. Nelson Mandela’s health improved overnight and his condition remains critical but is now stable, the South African government said Thursday in a statement that brought a measure of relief to the country. One of the former president’s daughters said he was still opening his eyes and reacting to the touch of his family even though his situation was precarious.
The report that the health of the 94-year-old anti-apartheid figure had taken a slight turn for the better came amid an increasingly somber mood in South Africa, where religious and traditional leaders have talked openly about the possibility of his death. For some, it dovetailed with the resilience of spirit and physique that Mandela had shown throughout his life, as a boxer, a prisoner, a peacemaker, a president and a humanitarian who inspired the world.

Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. 
Born: July 18, 1918 (age 94), Mvezo, South Africa
Movies: Malcolm X
Children: Makaziwe Mandela, Zindziswa Mandela, Makgatho Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Madiba Thembekile Mandela
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Time's Person of the Year, More
Spouse: Gra├ža Machel (1998), Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (m. 1958–1996), Evelyn Mase (1944–1958)
Education: University of South Africa (1943), Healdtown Comprehensive School, University of Fort Hare, University of the Witwatersrand, University of London International Programmes, University of London.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Nelson Mandela on life support


The former South African president's condition has worsened over the last couple of days. Well-wishers and supporters continued Wednesday to gather outside of the Pretoria hospital where the former South African president has been receiving treatment for nearly three weeks. A police officer leaves flowers outside the Pretoria hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is being treated, on June 25, 2013.
On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old former leader is "well-looked after and is comfortable" but the South African government has been relatively tight-lipped regarding Mandela's health status.