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The Access and Benefit-Sharing Agreement on Teff Genetic Resources
Written by Regine Andersen and Tone Winge   
Thursday, 10 January 2013

 How Ethiopia Lost Control of Its Teff Genetic Resource

This report tells the story of an agreement on access to teff genetic resources in Ethiopia, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, that was hailed as one of the most advanced of its time. This agreement between the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and the Dutch company Health and Performance Food International was entered into in 2005. It was seen as a pilot case of the implementation the Convention on Biological Diversity in terms of access and benefit sharing, and expectations were high. And yet, implementation of the agreement failed. The Dutch company was declared bankrupt in 2009. And, as a result of several circumstances, Ethiopia was left with fewer possibilities for generating and sharing the benefits from the use of teff genetic resources than ever before. How was this possible? Exactly what happened, and what can we learn? How can we ensure that future access and benefit-sharing agreements will have better prospects of success? These are the central questions of this report, which provides an in-depth analysis of the course of events with regard to the agreement as well as a related patent on the processing of teff, and concludes by deriving recommendations concerning future access and benefit-sharing agreements as well as for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  

Do Ethiopians Really Need Human Rights?
Written by Alemayehu G. Mariam   
Monday, 02 August 2010
Al Mariam If the silenced majority inside of what has become Prison Nation Ethiopia (PNE) could talk, what would they tell President Obama and Secretary Clinton about US human rights policy? Would they pat them on the back and say, 'Good job! Thank you for helping us live in dignity with our rights protected'? Or would they angrily wag an accusatory finger and charge, 'You speak with forked tongue. You wax eloquent on your lofty principles to us in the morning while you consort with thugs and murderers in the afternoon.'
The Quagmire of the Opposition and the Way Forward
Written by Messay Kebede   
Monday, 14 June 2010

Messay KebedeIt is now totally clear that the form of opposition based on the goal of winning parliamentary elections is a dead-end, obvious as it is that the leadership of the TPLF has never contemplated the prospect of sharing power with the opposition, let alone ceding defeat to the verdict of the ballot-box. Ethiopians face two choices: either to resign themselves to the idea of an indefinite rule of the TPLF or to rise up and confront the regime with their own violence. There is, however, a third possibility, which is non-violent resistance and whose essential characteristic is the refusal to cooperate through such actions as massive strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, etc.

Can the new strategy be the recourse to non-cooperation? I am reluctant to say yes, not so much because I doubt the efficiency of the method in dealing with a dictatorial regime as because I do not think that we have leaders––with the notable exception of Birtukan––able to launch and guide this form of protest. It seems that nothing is left except the adoption of armed struggle as the only viable alternative.

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First Prize of 2005 AISI Award

First Prize of the African Information Society Initiative - 2005
CyberEthiopia was awarded the First Prize of the 2005 Africa Information Society Media Awards (AISI) introduced in 2003 to encourage more informed coverage of the Information Society and the Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).

Political Internet Censorship

Political Internet Filtering in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to actively engage in political censorship of the Internet. Since May 2006, the top five most popular Ethiopian web sites (including CyberEthiopia) and several blogs have been blocked across the nation. The apparent objective is to prevent the dissemination of information that is critical of the regime.
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