Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

VAT Exempted Items in Ethiopia

If you have wondered what things are exempted from payment of VAT (Value Added Tax) in Ethiopia, I have the list for you below.

The list is from the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA).

The following are tax exempt items in Ethiopia:

  1. The Sale or rent of a dwelling house which has been used for at least 2 years,
  2. Financial service,
  3. Local or Foreign currencies and warranty distribution or importation except for cents and medals research services,
  4. The import of Gold for the presentation to the National bank of Ethiopia,
  5. Religious or spiritual related services given by religious institutions,
  6. Educational services given by educational institutions and child care given by kindergartens,
  7. Electricity, kerosene and water supplies (does not include water processed by Factories),
  8. Except for different services or commission fees, goods or services presented by postal service institutions as per the authority given by its establishment proclamation,
  9. Transportation Services,
  10. Permit and license payments,
  11. If 60% of the employees are disabled the goods and services supplied by the institution employing these disabled individuals,
  12. Books,
  13. Food items,
  14. Goods like sealing plastic bags, sewing materials and fertilizers for making Insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria,
  15. Transactions of pickles, wet blues and crust made by leather processing factories,
  16. The import of chemically processed clothes used for the sewing of Insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of Malaria,
  17. Government imported wheat,
  18. Palm oils used for food,
  19. Sale of Milk and bread,
  20. Drugs, medical supplies and equipments,
  21. Agricultural fertilizers, pesticide chemicals, selected seed,
  22. Pension fee Services,
  23. The sale of Airplane tickets by travel agencies,
  24. “Injera”,
  25. Publication and printing of books,
  26. Sale of Processed leather to Shoe factories by leather processing factories,
  27. Manufacturing of Stoves,

Please remember that laws change very frequently in Ethiopia. So, make sure you get the latest list form the government office or website.

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My next blog entry will be on Thursday Oct. 14, 2010.
Mullkam Samint!

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Boat Docked in a Tiny Mexican Fishing Village

I got the email below from a friend, and wanted to share with all of you out there …

In a nutshell, appreciate what you have, and be content with what you are blessed with.

A Boat Docked in a Tiny Mexican Fishing Village
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took them to catch the fish.

“Not very long.” they answered in unison. “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?” “We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man,
you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants
and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!

From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting”,
answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Mexicans.

And the moral of this story is:

Know where you’re going in life…. you may already be there.

The beginning and the end of truth is truth.

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My next blog entry will be on Thursday October 07, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Announces Transparency Report

On Tuesday September 21, 2010, Google announced their newest tool, the Transparency Report, which illustrates where and when Google sites are blocked.

Everyday Google receives requests from governments to take down certain content or hand over personal user data for an investigation.

Google believes that this new tool will show the extensive amount of government requests for censorship and data handovers worldwide.

What would Google accomplish by making this tool public? I believe that is to deter continued censorship; and in the process gain the trust of people all over the world.

Google Transparency Report will document not just government demands for Google to take down sites and hand over information, but also how often Google complies with these demands.

When a company such as Google publicly documents incidents with their service and how/when they responded, it gives them more accountability and thus more credibility.

It is re-assuring to know that Google has made its transparency report public, giving us the chance to see which country is blocking and censoring search results, and any information on the Internet.

Looking at the report, there is no a single African country listed in the interactive map reported for the period of 6 months, January 2010 to June 2010:

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/governmentrequests/?p=2010-06

You can also see the report by country for a specific period of time in this graph:

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/traffic/

Below is what is found in Google’s website

Transparency Report

Transparency is a core value at Google. As a company we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that we maximize transparency around the flow of information related to our tools and services. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual.

We’ve created an interactive map of Government Requests that shows the number of government inquiries for information about users and requests for Google to take down or censor content. We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.

Our interactive Traffic graphs provide information about traffic to Google services around the world. Each graph shows historic traffic patterns for a given country/region and service. By illustrating outages, this tool visualizes disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it’s a government blocking information or a cable being cut. We hope this raw data will help facilitate studies about service outages and disruptions.

So, what do you think? Isn’t it great to know who has blocked that important information you were looking for? I do really appreciate this service. Thank you Google for yet another great tool!

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 30, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!


September 23, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopia Devalued Its Currency (The Birr) by 17 Percent Against the US Dollar

Ethiopia has devalued her currency, the Birr.

The Birr (ETB) has been declining in its value for the past several years now. During the communist Ethiopia era (1974 to 1991), the currency was held at a constant exchange rate of $1 USD to 2.10 ETB.

The current government devalued the Birr back in 1993 to about 1 USD = 5 ETB. Since then, the Birr has been falling against the dollar. For example, about 2 years ago, in 2008, the exchange rate was $1 USD to 9.50 ETB. Then, $1 USD was trading at about 13.75 ETB for the past year or so.

Now, in its most recent adjustment on September 1, 2010, the Central Bank of Ethiopia has set the exchange rate at $1 USD to 16.35 ETB (that is about 17% devaluation).

Birr to other currencies converter is found here. You can also find other currency converters here:

Yes, when the Birr is devalued, it is good for those of us living abroad as our money goes further. However, for the vast majority of Ethiopians who are living in the country (now over 80 Million), life will get expensive as Ethiopia is a net importer of goods; from gasoline to machinery, to consumer goods.

I hope that the Central Bank of Ethiopia (http://www.nbe.gov.et and http://nbebank.com) will find the best equilibrium for the exchange rate as a sharply fluctuating rate is not good for any nation.

Below is an article by Bloomberg news regarding the devaluation:

Source: Bloomberg

Ethiopia devalued its currency, the birr, by 17 percent against the dollar, the third such move in the past 14 months, according to the National Bank of Ethiopia.

The exchange rate was quoted at 16.351 per dollar today compared with 13.628 yesterday, according to the website of the Addis Ababa-based central bank. It was trading at 11.381 on July 10 last year.

The devaluation will crimp imports and make it easier to boost foreign currency reserves. Ethiopia needs to raise its reserves to 3 months of import cover from 2.3 months to cushion its economy from external shocks, a June report from the International Monetary Fund said.

There is a “need for a 10 percentage point real exchange rate depreciation” in order to achieve that goal, the IMF said in the report.

Ethiopia’s trade deficit was expected to grow to $7 billion in the fiscal year to July 7 from $6.3 billion the year before, according to IMF figures.

Where is the ETB exchange rate heading? As I mentioned in my previous post, the Birr exchange rate to the dollar is estimated at 22. It is being artificially kept at a higher level.

The above Bloomberg article also suggests that, the the Central Bank of Ethiopia might need to devalue the currency to about 18 ETB to the dollar in the near future. So, those of you residing abroad, wait a while before purchasing a big ticket item in Ethiopia; and those planning to sell in Ethiopia and bring your proceeds abroad might want to sell now before the ETB is devalued again.

Ethiopian Professor Seid Hassan Murray State University Department of Economics and Finance

Photo: Professor Seid Hassan

An Ethiopian professor of Economics, Seid Hassan, has written a detailed analysis of the exchange rate adjustment. You can read the article by clicking here.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 23, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do Billionaires Spend Their Money?

I have come across some people, including some Ethiopians, who want to live beyond their means. Some actually keep dreaming to become millionaires. That is a great dream. But, if one plans to become a millionaire, saving and working starts at an early age.

The common trend among all millionaires and billionaires is that they tend to be very frugal with their money – after all that is why they have a lot of it because they save it and invest it.

According to the article below, there are 1,011 Billionaires in the world. One of them is an Ethiopian born Mohammed Al Amoudi.

Al Amoudi has chosen to invest a lot of money in Ethiopia (now over 2 Billion dollars). He is the second employer, after the government, in Ethiopia. Politics aside, I have seen first hand how the investment by Al Amoudi has paid off for so many. Some people have stated businesses by either getting grants from his office or working for one of his companies.

Unofficial website about Al Amoudi is found here.

Check out the following 2 links (videos) to see how the generosity of Al Amoudi has helped a lot of people in Ethiopia:

For those who are foolishly spending their hard earned money with out any financial plan, the following article by Investopedia’s Jean Folger is a must read.

7 Spending Tips From Frugal Billionaires

By Jean Folger, Investopedia
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Carlos Slim Helu (Carlos Slim), a telecom tycoon and billionaire with well-known frugal tendencies, has a net worth of U.S.$60.6 billion according to Forbes. Assuming no changes in his net worth, he could spend $1,150 a minute for the next 100 years before he ran out of money. To put this in perspective, he could spend in 13 minutes what a minimum-wage earner brings home after an entire year of the daily grind.

Granted, the world’s billionaires (all 1,011 of them) are in the debatably enviable position of having, quite literally, more money than they can possibly spend, yet some are still living well below their means, and save money in surprising places. Even non-billionaires (currently 6,864,605,142 of us) can partake in these seven spending tips from frugal billionaires.

Keep your home simple

Billionaires can afford to live in the most exclusive mansions imaginable – and many do, including Bill Gates’ sprawling 66,000-square-foot, $147.5 million mansion in Medina, Wash. – yet frugal billionaires like Warren Buffet choose to keep it simple. Buffet still lives in the five-bedroom house in Omaha that he purchased in 1957 for $31,500. Likewise, Carlos Slim has lived in the same house for more than 40 years.

Use self-powered or public transportation

Thrifty billionaires including John Caudwell, David Cheriton and Chuck Feeney prefer to walk, bike or use public transportation when getting around town. Certainly these wealthy individuals could afford to take a helicopter to their lunch meetings, or ride in chauffeur-driven Bentleys, but they choose to get a little exercise and take advantage of public transportation instead. Good for the bank account and great for the environment.

Buy your clothes off the rack

While some people, regardless of their net value, place a huge emphasis on wearing designer clothes and shoes, some frugal billionaires decide it’s simply not worth the effort, or expense. You can find David Cheriton, the Stanford professor who matched Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to the venture capitalists at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (resulting in a large reward of Google stock), wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the furniture company Ikea, avoids wearing suits, and John Caudwell, mobile phone mogul, buys his clothes off the rack instead of spending his wealth on designer clothes.

Keep your scissors sharp

The average haircut costs about $45, but people can and do spend up to $800 per cut and style. Multiply that by 8.6 (to account for a cut every six weeks) and it adds up to $7,200 per year, not including tips. These billionaires can certainly afford the most stylish haircuts, buy many cannot be bothered by the time it takes or the high price tag for the posh salons. Billionaires like John Caudwell and David Cheriton opt for cutting their own hair at home.

Drive a regular car

While billionaires like Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation) enjoy spending millions on cars, boats and planes, others remain low key with their vehicles of choice. Jim Walton (of the Wal-Mart clan) drives a 15-year-old pickup truck. Azim Premji, an Indian business tycoon, reportedly drives a Toyota Corolla. And Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea drives a 10-year-old Volvo. The idea is to buy a dependable car, and drive it into the ground. No need for a different car each day of the week for these frugal billionaires.

Skip luxury items

It may surprise some of us, but the world’s wealthiest person, Carlos Slim (the one who could spend more than a thousand dollars a minute and not run out of money for one hundred years) does not own a yacht or a plane.
Many other billionaires have chosen to skip these luxury items. Warren Buffet also avoids these lavish material items, stating “Most toys are just a pain in the neck.”

What we can learn

Some of the world’s billionaires have frugal tendencies. Perhaps this thrifty nature even helped them make some of their money. Regardless, they have chosen to avoid some unnecessary spending (at least on their scale) and the 6,864,605,142 non-billionaires out there can follow suit, eliminating excessive, keep-up-with-the-Jones style spending.  No matter what a person’s income bracket is, most can usually find a way to cut back on frivolous spending, just like a few frugal billionaires.

So, what do you think? Do you spend your money foolishly or do you have a financial plan?

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 16, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Owely: Instant Screenshot Capture & Sharing

I am sure that people need to capture screens of computers from time to time. Whether for report writing, or the need to backup of information, screenshots are great way to capture the moment.

There are many services for capturing screens – just to mention a couple – MS Paint, and Photoshop. One of my favoured ways to capture screens is by using a program called Owely (http://www.owely.com).

Owely is a hassle free and instant screenshot capturing service tool. It allows you to take a screenshot of the whole desktop or part of the screen, mark some comments on them, and then share them with your friends by sending links from within your Owely account. The process takes only a few seconds.

Here are the steps you need to follow to create screenshots:

1/ Go to http://www.owely.com

2/ Download and install the desktop client

3/ Log into your account

Note: Owely sits on your system tray where you can easily use it to capture a screenshot

4/ Create the desired screenshot

Note: Once you create a screenshot, you will be sent to the screenshot edit mode where you can draw on it, write a text, or crop the image

5/ Add a title and a description for your completed screenshot before uploading them directly to Owely

instant screenshot

You can use Owely for the purpose of taking notes, and webdesign collaborations.

Similar tools:

  • Screenpresso
  • Talon
  • SnapCasa
  • SuperScreenshots

So, what tool do you use for screen capture? Please share with us.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 09, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , | Leave a comment

How Your Wireless Network is Getting Hacked

These days, it is not uncommon to see a network of computers connected using wireless Hi-Fi technology. It is a simple process – you give your router a unique ID and secure the network with a password, so that, your network is safe and secure against any unauthorized person from accessing your machine.

Now you have set up a “secure” network and are relaxed and not worried about hackers, are you really safe? Well, not 100%. What? I have taken all the basic steps to protect myself, but how can the hackers get to my machine? Well, this is a valid question.

Please be aware of some hacking techniques could be used to gain access to your machine’s network. One of the techniques hackers use when hacking wireless networks is sniffing. What is sniffing?

Sniffing

Sniffing is the simple process of intercepting wireless data that is being broadcast on an unsecured network.

If you are at home, and your network is likely to be secured if you have already configured your network as such. However, places like hotels, libraries, Internet cafes and coffee shops are not secure.

Most of the time, sniffers target public places and hang out close to where Hi-Fi networks exist. There is even an activity known as Wardriving that involves driving around a city picking up wireless data, basically “drive by shooting”.

You can only be fully protected if you avoid unsecured wireless networks. If this is not the option, then the next best thing to do is to be careful about what information you send on an unsecured network.

The Final Words

Although there are a few other ways to crack Hi-Fi network, like spoofing and encryption cracking, sniffing is the most widely used technique to attack networks. New exploits are found constantly, making it difficult to ever ensure that you are 100% protected.

If you are especially a public figure, you will need to be extra careful. Most attacks happen not because the hackers are sophisticated geeks, but because someone was negligence to secure their network and/or logged in at some shady Internet cafe some where.

I strongly advise you to be extra vigilant and take proper steps to secure your network by using a long and highly randomized encryption key, never accessing a wireless network system while you are away from home or office. In short, never log in to a machine connected using Hi-Fi technology if the network is not yours.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 02, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethiopia The First in Africa with AMHS Extended Service from Radiocom, Inc.

Ethiopian Airlines and The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority have made us proud once again. I was happy to see this news release recently and wanted to share it with my readers. It feels good that Ethiopia is leading the aviation industry in Africa.

Recently, Ethiopian Airlines was ranked as the #1 profitable airliner in Africa, and #16 in the world. At this time of depressed economy, it is truly inspiring to read such good news from Ethiopia.

Press Release:

August 5, 2010 – Ethiopia, one of the first African Countries to transition from AFTN to AMHS, decided to do so with the assistance of ICAO and chose Radiocom, Inc as the supplier of excellence to design, supply, install and set to work an AMHS Extended Service. This turnkey installation was carried out by the Radiocom, Inc. experts, who put forward a solid well designed project to suit Ethiopia’s immediate needs, with the possibility of further expansion as required.

The contract was signed in 2009 and after the initial presentation to the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) carried out in Addis Ababa in June last year, the fine tuning began, the system was assembled in Radiocom, Inc. headquarters pre shipment, where the system was thoroughly tested. Once the equipment had arrived in Addis Ababa and customs formalities were under way, a team of 6 engineers and technicians flew to Addis Ababa to commence the installation. Additionally, the system for ECAA was complemented with two specific application data banks DBAIS and AeroBilling (see below).

For this contract, four (4) locations had to be equipped, ECAAs headquarters in Addis Ababa and a number of locations around the Bole airport, Mekele airport, Bahir Dar airport and Dire Dawa airport. Bandwidth needs had to be a big consideration (see below).

Additionally the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority requested the installation of an AMHS Training Facility. This is the first TRAINING CENTER of its kind in AFRICA; it is fully equipped to handle the training of in house personnel as well as hosting international training courses for neighboring countries. This is a service that is very needed in the region and could prove to be a very important, positive and popular asset for ECAA.

Both systems installed are AMHS Extended Service, with specific benefits when evaluating bandwidth requirements. The Radiocom, Inc. system is based on X.400 and X.500 protocol sets particularly X. 400 P3 communicating between the Message Transfer Agent (MTA), the Message Store (MS) and X.400 P7 communicating between the MS and User Agents (UA). This means low bandwidth requirement for communication between the MTA/MS in Bole and the remote location terminals in Mekele, Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa (all hundreds of miles away) need not be more than 9.6Kbit/s, and not the high bandwidth requirements that HTTP based systems require (for the same communication links with the remote location terminals, at least 64Kbits/s may be needed). This helps keep the cost of communication usage right down.

The complete system was left operational on April 30th, 2010 by the Radiocom, Inc. personnel. A further visit was carried out in June for final system acceptance.

Radiocom, Inc. supply a complete range of optional AMHS data banks, including a AIS data bank (DBAIS), a Meteorological data bank (DBMET) an Equipment Systems and Services data bank (DBESS) and an Airport Services Billing data bank (AeroBilling).

Radiocom, Inc. is looking forward to working with more African nations in their transition from AFTN to AMHS. This is a rapidly expanding region and Radiocom Inc. who has a good relationship with ICAO is ready to support their efforts to achieve a speedy and smooth transition throughout the continent.

Source: Radiocom, Inc.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday August 26, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | Leave a comment

Ethiopia: Utilizing Solar and Wind Power Energy

The old all you can eat buffet technology and careless consumption is now going on a diet. The financial disaster of the past couple of years have taught many people to live with in their means of income. Companies and individuals are trying to find out ways to cut their expenses and save money. As a result, many entrepreneurs are coming up with great green solutions. Out of the many green solutions, I am most interested in are the following:

  • Solar Power Energy
  • Wind Power Energy, and
  • Wave Power Energy

Solar and Wind Power Energies are abundantly available in Ethiopia and all over Africa. I believe that it is just a matter of time for the African countries to catch up with these technologies. Israel, Denmark and Germany are great example countries for innovative utilization of solar and wind energy.

Wave energy is too complicated and expensive for even developed countries like Canada to undertake.

No wonder that I was excited when I read that Ethiopia was working on a Wind Power Energy project.

State electricity company Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) is considering an ambitious proposal for the construction of a 300 MW wind farm in eastern Ethiopia near the Djibouti border.

The Ayisha Wind Power Project is a planned joint venture of foreign and Ethiopian companies led by Dr Peer Ederer of Germany, director of the Human Capital Center at the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank, and scientific director of the European Food and Agribusiness Seminar. It has an estimated cost of $600 million, to be covered by a combination of funding from the African Development Bank and private capital.

The idea is to use local skills and resources as much as possible and to this end three local Ethiopian firms and engineering students at Mekelle, Bahir Dar, Adama and Addis Ababa universities are expected to participate in the technical and technological aspects of the project.

If it goes as planned, the wind farm could be developed within three years and Ederer says, “there are also plans to establish a wind turbine production industry in Ethiopia under the auspices of the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ)”.

EEPCo is currently developing a 120 MW wind power project in the Ashegoda area in the northern Tigray state and has plans for other smaller projects in other parts of the country.

Until now, Ethiopia has relied on hydropower to meet its energy needs but following a rapid increase in demand in recent years this has proved to be inadequate.

Do you have any favoured green technology? Is there any green technology you can take with you to Africa? Share with us.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday August 19, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

China’s Solution for Mass and Green Transportation: Build Straddling Buses

There are more than 1.4 billion people in China. The economy is growing, many have become millionaires and even billionaires just in the past 30 years. Along with growth, comes infrastructure and transportation challenges.

In trying to have a green technology that can transport many people in an already existing infrastructure, Chinese developers have come up with a paradoxical, environmentally-sound solution to speed up traffic. How you may ask? Their answer is to build straddling buses.

Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment company is developing a 3D Express Coach that will allow smaller cars to drive underneath it – just like a tunnel.

The new bus dubbed, the “Straddling Bus” is a light-rail train system and will stand about 4.5 metres high with two levels. Passengers will board the upper level while smaller vehicles less than 2 metres can drive right through.

Facts about the Straddling Bus:

  • Powered by electricity and solar energy
  • Can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h
  • Can carry 1200-1400 passengers at a time
  • Each bus will cost $500 million yuan (approximately $73 million USD)
  • Construction of the first 115 miles of track will begin in Beijing’s Mentougou district at the end of 2010

The future potential of this technology is very promising. I can see many countries ordering these buses from the Chinese firm. Canadian metro cities could definitely benefit from using these buses.

Ethiopia’s population is growing fast and such buses could be very well utilized in Addis Ababa. I hope that these great buses will be available in my life time in Addis.

For more information, check the following links:

http://www.engadget.com

http://www.chinahush.com

Gallery of Images at Yahoo

My next blog entry will be on Thursday August 12, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

August 5, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Come Out and Celebrate Ethiopian Day on August 28, 2010 in Burnaby, BC

Last weekend (July 25-26), the Caribbean Festival in North Vancouver took place. I wrote about that event in my earlier post.

The Caribbean Festival in North Vancouver is a great example that shows how a small group of people can accomplish myriads of work. We Ethiopians should learn from other minority groups in town on how we can collaborate on a variety of projects and events. We, as a community, have been living in the lower mainland as permanent residents since the mid 1970’s. However, our presence is not felt at any level.

We must work together for the betterment of our community. For instance, the Somali community started coming to Canada and USA in the 1990’s, some 15 years after our community settled in Canada. Ethiopians have been coming for education and trade to the USA since the 1900’s – yes for more than 100 years now, but still the Ethiopian community in the USA is not as strong as it should be. However, the Somali community is way stronger than the Ethiopian community. Even though I don’t endorse all the illegal activities and rude behaviours that the Somalis are famous for, I admire and envy their closeness as a community.

When it comes to the Somalis’ community, we must and need to be like them – however, we must avoid their other negative personalities. I am not generalizing that all Somalis have bad personalities. This is my only experience and I am not painting all Somalis with the same brush.

The vast majority of Ethiopians are very law abiding people. So, if one is a decent citizen, then what makes it so difficult to be united under the community umbrella? I hope to explain this in the future. Also, anyone is welcome to submit an article explaining why we failed as a community so far.

Ethiopian Community in Vancouver BC Organizes the First Annual Summer Festival

The new Ethiopian Community of BC directors have planned a great event this August. It will be “The First Annual Ethiopian Summer Festival” and will be held in Burnaby, BC on August 28, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

For Google Map, please click here

For Google Street View, please click here

I am really excited that our community leaders have organized this event. It is way overdue. This is the first annual event in 35 plus years! I wish every one a great time and I thank the organizing committee from the bottom of my heart.

I look forward to seeing you all at the event.

My next blog entry will be on Thursday August 05, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopians: Come Out And Celebrate The Caribbean Day Festival In North Vancouver

In my previous post, I wrote about the Surrey Fusion Festival. I attended this fusion event. Again, it was a great event with many nations participating. I was sad, as last year, that Ethiopia was not represented. This year, South Africa and Nigeria were there.

I was also disappointed at the number of Ethiopians who attended. In my count, there were less than 10 Ethiopians. Such events are great and I encourage all to come out and participate.

At this fusion festival event, I met some Sudanese Nubians, who are already working to participate in the 2011 fusion Festival – great to hear that. I am hoping that the Ethiopian community of BC will participate next year.

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July 22, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopia Hopes to Qualify for 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil After Signing a New Coach

The 2010 FIFA Wold Cup has come and gone. What a great feast of soccer it was!

I love soccer very much and was able to watch most of the world cup games. Most of the time, there were 3 or 2 games a day, and usually at odd hours of the day, like 4:30AM, 7:30AM and 11:30AM Pacific. It was very challenging to watch the games live due to the time differences, however, thanks to CBC Video On Demand services, I was able to watch the games at http://www.cbc.ca

Ghana gave Africa its best shot, but thanks to crazy FIFA rules, they were out too early. I believe that FIFA needs to change its rules when it comes to such very decisive games as the world cup. Ghana’s last minute shot that was unfairly blocked by the Uruguay’s defender hand from getting behind the net, was an obvious goal – in my eyes, such cheap plays must not be allowed and instead it should be assumed as a goal. Well, that is history for now, just wanted for Ghana to win and trying to vent here.

God willing, we will be able to see the next world cup in 2014 in Brazil.

Encouraged by great African soccer team performances in South Africa, Ethiopia has made a good step towards improving its soccer standing, or may be perhaps qualify for the 2014 FIFA games in Brazil, by hiring a new coach.

Ethiopia’s New Coach

Yes, Ethiopia has hired a great coach. His name is Iffy Onoura, 42, a Glasgow native, with a UEFA Pro licence, and graduate of Bradford University. He is a no non-sense, high tempered, British, who is always focused on getting the job done.

Photo: Iffy Onoura, the new Ethiopian soccer coach

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July 15, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Is Addis Ababa Really One of the Cheapest Cities in the World for Expats?

Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, has been ranked as one of the cheapest cities in the world by Mercer’s 2010 Cost of Living Survey.

Mercer’s Top 50 expensive cities are found here.

Addis Ababa is ranked at 208th position out of the 214 cities surveyed. According to the survey, “the cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expats – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked”. Based on this fact, I expected Addis Ababa to be in the top 20.

Please keep in mind that the survey is for expatriates, not for local people. Typical expats in Addis Ababa include embassy officials, NGO employees and those in other similar positions.

I must say that I do not agree with the report when it comes to Addis Ababa. How can Addis Ababa be one of the cheapest cities in the world? A decent family home, say, 6 bed room house with 2,200 sq. ft with 7,000 sq. ft lot is going for $200,000 to 700,000 USD depending on the location of the property. You can check house for sale and rental prices at Ezega’s website.

The exchange rate for $1 USD is about $13.75 EBR (Ethiopian Birr).

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July 8, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopians: Be Part of the Fusion Festival in Surrey

Happy Canada Day to everyone!

Last year, I attended a great event in Surrey, called “Fusion Festival”. It was a great event as there were many fusions of nations that participated. There were countries from Asia, Europe, Caribbeans and South America. The only African nation that participated was Kenya despite Ethiopians numbering at least ten times the population of Kenyans in the lower mainland.

At that event, each country had its own two tents – one tent was to sell food, cultural items, etc. and the next door tent was basically an information booth about that particular group. Despite the few thousand of us Ethiopians living in the Vancouver area, we did not have a presence at the event. I really felt bad that we Ethiopians in diaspora are still half sleep, perhaps, I should say fully asleep.

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July 1, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Planning for your Children Higher Education

Getting a higher education is one of the dreams of all Canadians, including Ethiopians in Canada.

Going to university or college in Canada is not easy for first generation Ethiopians, and all immigrants. Some first generation Ethiopians have managed to graduate from universities and colleges in Canada despite all the difficulties of making a living. Some even have done their PhD. I am proud of them all.

The tuition cost is not that much expensive if you are enrolled in a government funded higher educational institution. What eats a lot of your money is the living expenses. On the other hand, the cost of post-secondary education keeps rising. Experts predict the cost of four years of University at a mid-level university will be over $100,000.00 by the year 2020.

Higher education determines not only your children’s future earning power, but their quality of life too. Therefore, how do you go about getting higher education for yourself or your children? How do you save money? When can you start saving for your children education? Is there a limit to how much you can save within or outside RESP?

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June 24, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , | Leave a comment

Kenyan-Born Harvard Professor, Calestous Juma Says: “Invest in High Speed Internet” to African Leaders

Kenyan-Born Harvard University Professor, Calestous Juma, says information and communication technologies are the foundations for Africa to meet its developmental needs

In late January 2010, Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa hosted the 14th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) heads of state.

The theme of the summit was “Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development”.

Kenyan-born Calestous Juma, who is director of Science, Technology and Globalization at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, said although most African countries had been saddled with inadequate information technology, the situation is improving gradually.

“Up to now information has been probably the most costly resource on the continent. But, this is changing very fast. We’ve seen a dramatic impact that mobile phones have had on Africa economic scene as well as political scene. But, with the arrival of fiber optic cable, Africa now has this possibility of accessing high speed internet,” he said.

Photo: Calestous Juma

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June 10, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Ethiopian Role Model Entrepreneur – Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

Old truck tyres never die, they just turn into sandals

What do you do with your old tyre from your car or truck? Chances are you will throw it out in the garbage. No wait! Some one wants it! Yes, a young Ethiopian entrepreneur has made a carrier for herself, and 50 plus of her employees.

Meet an Ethiopian role model – Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu – who has combined the Internet’s selling power with nimble business practices more often associated with Asian countries, the idea has been turned into an unlikely international hit. Bethlehem, 30, quit her job as an accountant, to launch Sole Rebels.

Her company, Sole-Rebels, has received an International Fair Trade Certification. This means, she pays her employees decent wages, and follows labour codes. Even her employees have health benefit packages.

Bethlehm’s success has allowed her to expand and construct a solar-powered factory, adjacent to her old factory.

Her suppliers deliver old truck tyres and tubes to her factory; and she has hired women to spin, weave and dye locally-grown cotton, jute and hemp using skills passed down through generations. The results have been astonishing. Sole-Rebels thrived in the global market with no outside support, other than a government line of credit to help meet large orders.

Workers at Bethlehem’s SoleRebels factory — located in the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa — cut, sew and glue to fulfil Internet purchases from customers as far away as Canada and Australia.

Bethlehem_Bethy_Sole_Rebels_Founder_Photo

Photo: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, co-founder of SoleRebels,
eco-friendly footwear company from Ethiopia, is highlighted
in this week’s CNN’s African Voices. (Screen shot from CNN)

Bethlehem has sold many thousands of pairs of handmade flip-flops, boat shoes, loafers and Converse-style trainers to foreign customers.

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June 3, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

The 19th FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11, 2010. The World Cup is a premier international football / soccer tournament.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams.

This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process.

Italy as the defending champions, and South Africa as a host nation are automatically qualified. The rest 30 countries qualified after beating their regional competitors.

World_Cup_2010_FIFA_South _Africa

The total 32 countries participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup are:

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May 27, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Tips on How to Choose Secure Passwords for your Online Accounts

I thought about writing this post after my cousin was tricked by a Nigerian Phishing Scam, as I reported last week.

In this post, I try to list some basic requirements in order to select secure passwords, keeping in mind that the chosen passwords can easily be remembered, and are secure.

Passwords are the key to many systems and applications. Your password helps to prove who you are, ensure your privacy, and protect the privacy of data you may have access to.

Compromised passwords are one of the means by which unauthorized people gain access to a system. Someone logging on under your name has access not only to your computer files, but may also have access to your personal information (e.g. financial info, social insurance number, bank information, and any other sensitive information) and may impersonate you to send malicious e-mails.

It’s important to choose a strong password and protect it as there are many password-cracking programs readily available on the Internet.  A strong password makes it reasonably difficult to guess the password in a short period of time by humans or by automated password cracking programs.

So, how do you choose a secure password and how do you protect it?

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May 20, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Cousin in Ethiopia Fell Victim to a Nigerian Phishing Scam

Recently I received an email, supposedly from my cousin. The subject said, Please Help Me. I never got an email with such subject line from my cousin in the past; so I was very curious to find out what kind of help she needed.

I opened the email as soon as I saw it. The email read as follows:

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May 13, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

San Jose: Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America 2010

The Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) has announced its 27th annual sports and cultural event to take place from June 27 to July 3, 2010. Yes, San Jose, California will be the host this year.

The “S” in ESFNA once stood for “Soccer”, but over the years, that did change to “Sport” so that other sports could be added. However, lately, the event has become more than sports. Therefore, the website’s (http://www.esfna.org) translates ESFNA in Amharic as, “Ethiopian Sports and Cultural Federation in North America”. I agree with the translation and it really makes sense.

Ethiopian_Sports_Soccer_Federation_in_North_America_Tournament

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May 6, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , | Leave a comment

50 Worst of the Worst (and Most Common) Job Interview Mistakes

The world economic meltdown has affected everyone around the world. Canada has not been immune to this never ending problem. USA has been hammered by economic disasters. Europe is now going through a difficult time; in particular Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy. Perhaps, more countries could be affected in the coming months.

To the contrary, I have not heard such economic problems coming from developing countries. Eastern Europeans seem to be doing fine. Asian countries are okay, perhaps with the exception of japan. Africans are okay. South Americans are fine.

So, I kept asking myself why these economic collapses are taking place in developed countries? I am not an economist, but I guess that most in the west have been living beyond their means, and the financial systems encouraged all to “have it all” attitude and indulge in debts. The results of such gluttony have been too disastrous and embarrassing to witness.

When times are tough, jobs are hard to come by. This means a lot of people are out of work and are now trying to find employment.

I thought the article below, written by Karen Burns, might be very helpful for all looking for that interview. But, many make huge mistakes before, during and after the interview; and I hope that this list will help you connect with an employer.

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April 29, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Traffic Laws in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is continually growing and the number of cars on the road is growing on a daily basis. Some of the cars should not be allowed to be on the road at all as they could be potential killers.

I have seen many cars, especially cabs, that transport people, that had mechanical and engine problems. If these cars were to experience brake problems, then a huge accident would undoubtedly take place.

Compared to other developing countries, Addis Ababa’s traffic problems are nothing to worry about. However, the recent traffic law changes in Addis triggered me into writing this post.

In Addis, most of the time, pedestrians don’t walk on sidewalks, even if sidewalks are available. For some reason, pedestrians like to share the road with cars. I don`t know why this continues to happen. The taxi and min-bus drivers also make the road too difficult to navigate as they violate too many traffic laws.

The good news is that something has been done about it. A revised traffic law is now in effect.

Photo: Addis Ababa’s Skyscraper

Photo: Addis Ababa near National Bank on Churchill Road

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April 22, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ethiopia Launches Electric Car

I read a good news this week that an Italian-Chinese business venture is opening a factory in Ethiopia to produce a practical and affordable electric car. Just last month, Rwanda launched its first bio-diesel bus.

Even though there is a power shortage, at the present time, in Ethiopia, especially in the capital city Addis Ababa, it looks like that this venture could be successful.

Ethiopia is only the second African country to launch an electric car, after South Africa.

Carlo Pironti, general manager of Free Style PLC, the company that will be producing the Solaris electric cars, said, ” Ethiopia’s current electricity shortages were not a major obstacle to operating an electric car”. He believes that in the future, “Ethiopia will have lots of power supply”. Free Style PLC has been doing business in Ethiopia for the past 15 years in the areas of renewable energy supplies, including solar and wind power.

For those who have concerns about Ethiopia’s power supply, Mr. Pironti said, “In any case, the car can be recharged by generator and by solar power.”

Photo: Solaris Elettra Electric Car in Addis Ababa

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April 15, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Visible Minorities in Canada

Canada is a great country to live in. It is blessed with natural resources. It is one of the few countries that allows other nations to come and live in its land. Canada has given me the opportunity to learn not only about Canada, but also about all the other cultures who have settled here. I am proud to call Canada my home and father land, and Ethiopia as my mother land.

Labels
One of the things I like about the English language is that, it is rich in vocabulary and any thing could be given a name and/or labelled. However, out of all the labels, there is one phrase I detest very much – it is the phrase, “visible minority“. This phrase has bothered me very much for many years.

What is Visible Minority?
Statistics Canada takes its definition of a “visible minority” from the federal Employment Equity Act, which is “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

I understand the fact that the phrase, “visible minority” is not a racist phrase. Yes, as an African living in Canada, that makes me a minority. But, do I have to be labelled as “visible minority”?

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April 8, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sending Money to Ethiopia

Sending money oversees is way to complicated! But, does it have to be? If you are sending money, for instance, to Europe from Canada or US, then you have many choices:

  • Money Orders – via banks, post office, etc.
  • Cash Transfers – via agents like Western Union, etc.
  • Bank Transfers – via banks in wires, cheques, drafts, etc.

These services are very expensive both to the sender and recipient. The sender pays outrageous service fees and the recipient also gets dinged service fees in addition to lower exchange rates.


Photo: 1985 Ethiopian Gold Coin – showing a value of $400 Birr – worth a lot more at the present!

But, if you are sending money to Ethiopia, your options are limited. Most people in North America send money to Ethiopia using local licensed agencies rather than big corporations. These local agencies are mostly run by other fellow Ethiopians.

The service fees by the corporations are way to high, and also small local agencies give you the best exchange rates.

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April 1, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethiopian Role Model: Joseph Kibur

In my early posts, I featured Danil W. Yohannes and Prof Sossina M. Haile as role model Ethiopians. While thinking about my next role model Ethiopian, a local, Vancouver based, outstanding Ethiopian crossed my mind. This gentle man is none other than Joseph Kibur.

Joseph_Kibur_Ethiopian_Role_Model
Photo: Joseph Kibur

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March 25, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Installing and Using Amharic Software in Windows 7

Microsoft recently released Windows 7, which included Amharic and many other African languages. I did cover that story in my post, entitled, “Microsoft to Release Windows 7 in Amharic, Ethiopian National Language, and Nine Other African Languages“, which you can read by clicking here.

I have not upgraded to Windows 7 yet, so I don’t have a personal experience to write my own review on how the system works and how good or bad it is.

Because many people have shown a great deal of interest in the Amharic system, I did a little bit of research and have found the following information:

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March 18, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Battle of Adwa and the Defeat of Fascist Italy – March 2, 1896

On March 2, 1896, Ethiopia accomplished no other Africans have ever done – Ethiopia was able to defeat Fascist Italy that crossed its boundaries for the purpose of looting and colonization.

On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, Ethiopia marked the 114th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa Victory. So, I decided to write a post about it. Ethiopia was the first and only country in Africa that defeated European colonial power during the ‘scramble for Africa’ rush.

Ethiopia, under Emperor Menelik II, decimated the invading Italian army at the northern town of Adwa. That victory became a symbol of independence and pride for all black people around the World, specially Africans. The victory was sweeter for African Americans, who were fighting racism in America at the time. The victory of Adwa was a huge event, and still it is in the minds of Ethiopians and Africans.

Because of Ethiopia’s triumph over Italy, many African nations have adopted Ethiopia’s flag (Green, Yellow, Red) in its various combinations.

From The archives of the New York Times on The Battle of Adwa.

Click on the links below to read from the New York Times Archives:

The above two news articles from 1896 are a must read and remind us all that we should never take our freedom for granted; and continue our best to cherish our freedom.

Related Video

Haile Gerima’s Video regarding Adwa is found here.

Thank you very much our forefathers for paying the ultimate sacrifice to save Ethiopia!

My next blog entry will be on Thursday March 11, 2010

Mullkam Samint!

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and Canadian Patriotism

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic games are progressing very well. Canada is currently ranked at fourth place in medial count rankings; behind USA, Germany and Norway.

I am really glad to see that, finally, Canadians have shown their patriotic side. Such out pouring enthusiastic patriotism was never expected in Canada as Canadians are very polite and subdued people, who keep low profile, don`t usually brag, for example, as compared to Americans.

A few days ago, I went to down town and in surrounding suburbs to witness for myself first hand all the patriotic events I saw on TV. Sure enough, I too was carried away with the celebrations. Robson square was crowded, the whole down town was flooded, and is still flooded, with a lot of people as I write this blog.

Chants of “Go Canada Go!”,  impromptu performances of the Canadian National Anthem (O! Canada), visceral screams of “Whoooo!”, “Canada!”, and more have echoed throughout Vancouver, and neighbouring cities.

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February 25, 2010 Posted by | Canadian Patriotism, Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Patriotism, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Khat, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Canadian Home Renovation Tax Credit Explained

The Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) has left many homeowners wondering how this new credit available for tax year 2009 will impact their tax returns.

Here are some quick facts that can help you know what to expect if you have made eligible renovations to your homes and cottages.

The deadline for HRTC has now passed; but it is tax time and you will need to know what to claim. Please keep in mind that your renovations must have been done before February 1, 2010.

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February 18, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopian Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Meet Olympian Robel Teklemariam

Ethiopia’s Olympics history is astounding, to say the least. For decades, many Ethiopians have participated in the Olympics around the world and have made us all proud – these were all summer Olympics.

When it comes to the Winter Olympics, however, Ethiopia and many other African nations don’t actively participate due to lack of snow in the continent. For instance, there were a total of 9 African participants in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics from a total of 6 countries:

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February 11, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vancouver Winter 2010 Olympics Games Free Events

Olympics – whether Winter or Summer – is a great event.

Ethiopia has been participating in the summer Olympics for nearly 50 years now. Ethiopia has opened the floodgates for all Africans to participate in the Olympics.

I am very proud of the accomplishments of Ethiopian athletes. In the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, Ethiopia sent 12 athletes, and came home with 8 medals – that is by far the best a country could hope for. However, Canada did send 425 Olympians to Sydney, but came back with nothing. I remember the media hammering the Canadian Olympic Committee by comparing them to Ethiopians. Canada’s low performance in 2000 was improved in 2004 in Athens and again in 2008 in Beijing.

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February 4, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethiopians Now Eligible for USA H-2A and H-2B Non Immigrant Visas

Immigrating to the West is many nations’ dream. Ethiopians are no exception. In the past two decades, tens of thousands of Ethiopians have immigrated to the USA after winning the DV Lottery.

Many have come to Canada as refugees and after qualifying in family class category.

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January 28, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopian Role Model: Professor Sossina M. Haile

Ethiopia has many scholars in North America and Europe. One of my favoured Ethiopian professors is Sossina M. Haile.

Sossina Haile, Associate Professor of Materials Science.

Professor Sossina M. Haile
Professor of Materials Science
and of Chemical Engineering

California Institute of Technology
Steele Laboratories, Room 307
Materials Science, 309-81
1200 E. California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626)-395-2958

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January 21, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Professor Ephraim Isaac Extends his Greetings, Appeals for Unity of All Ethiopians

The year 2009 is now behind us. What a year it was! We witnessed many dramatic events in the last year around the world, Ethiopia included. Some events were very sad, some very stupid and some needed to happen.

Now, we must accept the year 2010 with great appreciation and positive outlook. The New Year celebration has triggered an Ethiopian Harvard Professor Ephraim Isaac to appeal to all Ethiopians …

He asks, “Why are we stuck on the philosophical values of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Marx? Why not respect and uphold the teachings of peace and reconciliation of our own wise teachers like, Zar’a Ya’aqob, Kristos Samra, Abba Gedas, and others?

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January 14, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians and Khat, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopian Vancouver Blog: Looking at My 2009 Posts

Since I started writing this blog on September 10, 2009, I have been contacted by many people with good words and encouragements. It feels good when I know that, many people are reading my posts and like what I have written so far.

I have decided to summarize my 2009 posts here in one post. Well, there were 17 posts for 2009 as started in September 2009. In 2010, I plan to write 52 posts at the rate of one a week.

Click on any of the following links to read in more details.

September 2009

Sept 10:  Happy Ethiopian New Year to All

Sept 17:  To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 1

Sept 24:  To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 2

October 2009

October 1:  To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 3

October 8:  Thanksgiving and Ethiopians in Vancouver

October 15:  Ethiopian Community of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada

October 22: Just How Big is the Internet? Let us Print the Entire Internet, Honey!

October 29: H1N1 Vaccination – Is it Good for me?

November 2009

November 5: Remembrance Day in Canada

November 11: The Contribution of Ethiopia and Other African Nations for World Peace During the WWII

November 19: Cool Things You Can Do with the Internet

November 26: Advertisements in North America – Prey Upon Fear – With An Ethiopian Eye

December 2009

December 3: Role Model Ethiopian – Daniel W. Yohannes

December 10: An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Is Greed Good Or Bad?

December 17: Just How Big is the Internet in China?

December 24: An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Are all African Presidents/Prime Ministers Corrupt?

December 31: Microsoft to Release Windows 7 in Amharic, Ethiopian National Language, and Nine Other African Languages

I plan to write some interesting topics in 2010.

If you have any topic in mind that you want me to write about, please let me know.

Do you like to suggest a topic and/or contribute an article? If so, please contact me in the form below.

May the New Year Bring Peace, Harmony, Unity, Love and Prosperity and Good Health to us all and to our motherland, Ethiopia and to our fatherland, Canada!

My next blog entry will be on Thursday January 14, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

January 7, 2010 Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians and Khat, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft to Release Windows 7 in Amharic, Ethiopian National Language, and Nine Other African Languages

Ethiopia, the second most populous nation in Africa (after Nigeria) has a population of 80 million this year (2009). There are 84 languages (these are totally different languages) and more than 200 dialects in Ethiopia. However, Amharic remains Ethiopia’s national language. It is estimated that 50% of the population speak Amharic (as first language and second language speakers).

Although Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world, its languages did not develop fully to express scientific words and phrases. Many attempts to translate text books into Amharic failed miserably.

So, English remains the primary business language of Ethiopia; and all subjects are taught in English from grade 7 and above, including colleges and universities.

Until recently, Geez fonts were not available in Microsoft Office packages. We had to buy and download the fonts from Ethiopian programmers’ websites. The idea of buying Geez fonts has made me very upset over the years. Mind you … when all the rich nations were getting free fonts, but poor Ethiopians, other Africans and Asians were subjected to really expensive charges just to get fonts.

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December 31, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Are all African Presidents/Prime Ministers Corrupt?

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post entitled, “An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Is Greed Good or Bad?“. That post made me think about all the greed happening with in Africa, especially its leaders.

Why is that the leaders of Africa, once in power, they don’t want to give it up? I don’t really understand what the reasons are, but I suspect that they don’t want to give up the lavish life style they got accustomed to.

Corruption occurs in every nation. African leaders and in fact all the people of Africa are not immune to corruption. But, are all the leaders of Africa corrupt? I agree that the vast majority of African leaders are corrupt, but not all of them. One great African leader, who was not corrupt at all and lived a simple life, and loved by everyone in his country, by all Africans and by the entire world was Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.

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December 24, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Just How Big is the Internet in China?

In the past two tech posts, I covered how big the Internet was around the globe and some of the cool thing we could do on the Internet. To day, I just wanted to show how big the Internet is in China.

So, just how big is the Internet in China? The simple answer to this question is – It is soooooooo HUGE.

Here are some of the break downs …

Some Highlights:

As of June 30, 2009, there were more than 338,000,000 Internet users in China. Out of these numbers:

  • 162,000,000 were bloggers
  • 117,000,000 were mobile users
  • 84,500,000 were rural users
  • 52.5% were male and 47.5% were female
  • 90.6% use broadband connections
  • The average Chinese user spends nearly 17 hours a week on the Internet

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December 17, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Is Greed Good Or Bad?

Is greed acceptable? Why is that humans are so greedy? Why is the Western society so greedy and increasingly getting very corrupt? Even after many years of living in West, I find it very hard to understand.

I grew up in Ethiopia, where the culture is that of communal, not individual. As such, Ethiopians don’t boast around their individual accomplishments as same caliber person in the West would. This is nothing to do with being shy or lack of confidence, rather it is the cultural up bringing.

The financial crises that started in 2007, continuing right till now, probably is a blessing in disguise in the sense that we all must learn to live with in our means, appreciate what we have, don’t take our life for granted, and learn to save our legally earned money.

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December 10, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Role Model Ethiopian – Daniel W. Yohannes

Ethiopia’s population is now estimated at 80 million. There are more than 1.6 million Ethiopians living out side of Ethiopia. Out of these, about 600,000 live in North America (100,000 in Canada and 500,000 in the USA). The vast majority of Ethiopians reside in the East and West Coasts of the USA.

There are many prominent and successful Ethiopians in the USA. Most Ethiopians in the USA are university educated. In fact, a few years ago, a US study indicated Ethiopian-Americans as the most educated people in the USA (based on percentage).

So, from time to time, I will try to highlight some Ethiopian role models (whether in the USA or Canada or any other country). To day, I picked Mr. Daniel W. Yohannes.

The White House press release below pretty much summarizes who Mr. Yohannes is:

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December 3, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Advertisements in North America – Prey Upon Fear – With An Ethiopian Eye

The holidays are around the corner and advertisements are now seen and heard everywhere – on radios, TV and online. Therefore, I decided to discuss about advertisements and marketing in North America. Yes, in North America, I noticed that the advertisements are not the same as what I grew up with. The ads here are intended to scare people into action. So, here is my rant about advertisements from my point of view.

Ethiopian Ads
Growing up in Ethiopia, I really enjoyed watching advertisements on TV. For instance, I remember a Pepsi commercial featuring Pele, the greatest soccer player of all time. We would watch the slow motion kick of Pele and how he enjoyed drinking Pepsi after the game. I and all my friends consumed so many bottles of Pepsi during our teens, just to imitate Pele. Yes, the ad worked for Pepsi. It was innocent – kids and grown ups fell for it.

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November 26, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cool Things You Can Do with the Internet

In my first tech post, I discussed about the magnitude of the Internet. Yes, the Internet is huge. In fact, the word “Internet” is so huge that its first letter “I” is capitalized all the time. So, you might ask, how do we get the best out of the Internet? What can I use the Internet for?

A recent survey showed that the vast majority of people use the Internet for only email communications and searches. This means, a lot of people don’t use the Internet to its full potential. So, I have decided to post this article and give you some ideas on how you can further use the Internet.

Some of the things I personally use the Internet for include, but not limited to:

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November 19, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just How Big is the Internet? Let us Print the Entire Internet, Honey!

In addition to my ramblings about Ethiopian related socio-economic and political issues, I plan to write a maximum of one Internet /webmaster related post each month. All tech posts are scheduled to be published on the third Thursday of the month.

Therefore, today, as my first tech post, I just want to start by writing about the size of the Internet.

I launched this blog on September 10, 2009, just in time for the Ethiopian New Year. My first post was entitled, “Happy Ethiopian New Year to All!”. I published a few more posts after that – To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 1), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 2), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 3),  Thanksgiving and the Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC). Now it is time for a technology post, which I am very much interested in.

Before I start talking about how big the Internet is, I just want to say a few words about the history of Internet in the Vancouver area.

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October 22, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 3

In Part 2, I discussed mortgage insurance and what you need to do to protect your family. In Part 3, I will discuss Renting Vs. Buying a House.

Renting vs. Buying a House

I am glad to see that many Ethiopians have bought houses or condos in the Vancouver area. Buying a property takes a lot of guts. Some continue to rent, either because they can’t afford to buy or think renting is cheaper in the long term.

Now the question comes – shall I buy a house or am I better off renting? – This is a million dollar question. I suggest that you do your home work before you make a huge commitment as buying a house, and ask yourself the following questions:

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October 1, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 2

Last week, I discussed “To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 1“.

In this “To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 2” article, I originally wanted to compare buying vs. renting a house. However, late last week, Berhanu, one of the Vancouver’s Ethiopian community members, suddenly passed away.

Therefore, I have decided to dedicate this post to Berhanu and publish a timely article regarding mortgage insurance. The comparison that I planned on publishing today, Renting Vs. Buying, will be discussed in Part-3 next week.

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September 24, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Buy a House or Not to Buy – Part 1

Buying a house is everyone’s dream. It should not be any different among the Ethiopian community in Vancouver, BC, Canada. There are many Ethiopians who have bought a house or two in and around the city, and there are some who are presently looking to buy a house or a condo. In this article, I will try to explain the steps involved in buying a house in and around Vancouver.

Advantages of Owning a House

It is true that renting a house makes it easier to move out when you need to, and demands no or little responsibility for maintenance. However, renting brings with it the possibility of eviction, and you are on the mercy of the landlord when it comes to rent increases.

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September 17, 2009 Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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