In a country where disability is perceived as inability by many, there are few people who demystify this old established stereotype. Indeed Yetnebersh Nigussie is one among these very few brave personalities. The 35 years old advocate of human rights, inclusiveness and gender equality lost her eyesight at the age of five. 

However, her disability has never deterred her from moving up in education. It did little to stop her from rising to global prominence. It indeed didn’t hamper her from achieving her dreams and aspirations, and making contributions to the betterment of societies. 

Yetnebersh has always been vocal about issues of rights and exercised leadership since she was a teenage girl. While attending secondary school, she had also been vocal through different clubs. Later, when she joined the Addis Ababa University (AAU) in 2001, where she studied law, Yetnebersh’s extracurricular activities expanded. She chaired the AAU Anti-AIDS movement for several years. She later founded AAU’s Female Students Association in 2006 and served as its first president. Yetnebersh who also holds a master’s degree in Social Work promotes human rights fearlessly pushing for the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as well as women. She is an outstanding advocate of the rights of PWDs enshrined in the UN Convention.

Over the years Yetnebersh has received a number of national and international awards one of which being the AMANITARE award which she received in 2003 in South Africa for her strong advocacy work for girls’ education. Yetnebersh was recently named a joint winner of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize” sharing the honor with Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismavilova, Colins Gonsalves, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, and American environmental lawyer  Robert Bilott. EBR’s Mikiyas Tesfaye sat down with Yetnebersh to talk about her journey in life. 

Friday, 01 December 2017 06:00
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Although cotton is one of the oldest cultivated agricultural commodities in Ethiopia, recent trends show that the demand from textile factories is only met partially from local sources. Out of the three million hectare of land suitable for cotton, less than 10Pct is currently cultivated. 

In order to reverse the situation, Ethiopia introduced a new cotton development strategy in October 2017. The strategy, which delineates targets and activities to be carried out in the next 15 years, foresees the growth of cotton production to satisfy local demand and engage in export. One of the institutions responsible for the implementation of the strategy is the Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI). Yared Mesfin, Deputy Director General of TIDI talks to EBR.

Friday, 01 December 2017 03:00
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Despite its huge potential, little attention has been given for the coffee sub sector in Ethiopia, in which close to 30Pct of the population are engaged directly and indirectly. But in recent years, government started to step up in order to boost coffee production and export as well as promoting value added coffee. One of the steps is re-establishing the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Development and Marketing Authority last year. The Authority, which is accountable to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is expected to enhance the sector’s development as well as making Ethiopian coffee and tea products competent in the global market. EBR’s Mikiyas Tesfaye spoke to Sani Redi, Director General of the Authority, about the changes that are coming to the coffee sub sector.

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 03:00
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