Ethiopia's Sidama celebrate Chambalaalla

Ethopia’s Sidama celebrate their annual new year, Fichee-chambalaalla, during a turbulent time in Ethiopia’s recent history. With no official geographic zone registered as belonging to the Sidama, a zone autonomous from the central federal government, a right for all people and nationalities wirtten in to the countries constitution, protests are rife in and around their claimed capital city, Awassa.

The Ethiopian coffee highlands where china never rests

Ethiopia’s coffee is considered by many as the pinnacle of organic beans grown anywhere in the world. The Bhuna coffee ceremony is stitched in to Ethiopia’s fabric, with the smell of freshly roasted beans permeating every corner of this jewel in Africa’s crown. China, however, see less coffee and more revenue as they carve their way through the once lush rainforest, cutting huge swathes of land to build much needed transport routes. Not everyone, however, is in support of this government-driven initiative.

It was right in front of us

Covid – what’s more surprising is why it didn’t happen sooner.

Looking Back During Timkat in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia's Capital City

The last five years in Ethiopia should have been stable, expansive, and safe if a certain Nobel prize winner’s mandate was anything to go by, and to a large degree that has been the case. But with the forced formation of the Prosperity party, the proposed independence of Tigray by the TPLF, the militarisation of OLF Shane in Oromia, the jailing of high-value and socially active targets, the unreported terrorist activity on the southern borders, the divisive filling of Ethiopia’s largest dam, and the delaying of Ethiopia’s first democratic election, things in Ethiopia have perhaps been anything but. Arguably these issues were on the cards long before our Nobel laureate took centre stage, but one can’t help but ponder the future. Ethiopia’s unique trait for mass positive thinking means hope for stability and growth over the next few years remains as strong as ever. Nothing can seemingly hold back the country’s bold relationship with China and it’s audacious plans for Ethiopia’s overdue metamorphosis. But with Ethiopian nationalism as fierce as ever across the county, with divides deepening between independent ethnic groups, this nationalism could a be an ironic two-edged blade at the throat of a quest to build Africa’s jewel on the Nile.

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