Chef Ilona Daniel: Bringing the Cuisine of Ethiopia to P.E.I., Canada

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“My trip to Ethiopia was an unexpected blessing that has changed my life, as all of my travels do,” Chef Ilona Daniel of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

By Stephen Brun (The Guardian) |

It has been about a month and half since I’ve returned from Africa, and I’m still finding new lessons and perspectives from my brief, yet transformative trip.

I was invited by Philip Baker, Canadian ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, to be the hosting chef for the Canada 150 celebrations at the Canadian embassy in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.


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Creating a menu utilizing both Canadian and Ethiopian ingredients was no small feat. As a chef, two skills one must continually hone are the ability to be adaptable and a sense of imagination. The concept of Canadian cuisine is one I often reflect upon, as it can be very difficult to clearly define. We are a nation which celebrates diversity in culture, and cuisine is a cornerstone of cultural identity. We have roots and traditions that range from our First Nations to the countless waves of immigrants from all corners of the earth. I wanted to express my love for as much of our cultural tapestry as possible, while keeping it simple, straightforward and approachable.

I knew lobster was a key ingredient; what better way to champion and celebrate Prince Edward Island? It was a surreal moment in my career, preparing lobster rolls in Africa, and is still something I can hardly believe I had the opportunity to do. The nearly 1,000 guests of the ambassador loved our lobster, I must joyfully share.

Another important, and in many ways the most treasured part of my trip, was the request to work with local women to prepare this meal. Part of the diplomatic mission for Canada in Ethiopia is to help raise the status of women and children. I shared my knowledge, skills and stories with female cooks and expressed the wisdom I have learned along the way, which has allowed me to develop a strong personal brand. Ultimately, I feel I am the one who learned the most. Life is truly a wonder when viewed through the lens of simplicity, and authenticity. I enjoyed cooking and sharing stories with my kitchen crew. I will never forget it.

Continue reading this story at The Guardian
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Ethiopia Asks for Extension of Saudi Amnesty Deadline for Undocumented Migrants

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ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―Ethiopia has asked for an extension of the 90 days amnesty deadline that will expire Wednesday issued by Saudi Arabia for illegal migrants to return to their original countries.

Speaking to an Ethiopian state-affiliated media outlet Radio Fana, spokesperson for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Meles Alem says Ethiopia has managed to make 45,000 of its undocumented citizens return home and gave to another 110,000 Ethiopian travel documents.

Both figures are still a minority of the estimated 400,000 undocumented Ethiopians living in Middle East’s largest economy in jobs ranging from maids to construction sites workers.

Meles says with an unknown number of undocumented Ethiopians remaining in Saudi Arabia, the Ethiopian government has presented a proposal to Saudi authorities to extend the amnesty deadline.


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With a growing population currently at around 30 million and a squeeze in international oil price Saudi Arabia is on a drive to indigenize its’ work force currently dominated by millions of illegal and legal migrants.

The approaching deadline recalled painful memories Ethiopians in the last deportation debacle in November 2013 when a deportation round by Saudi authorities on illegal migrants left many Ethiopians in Saudi detention camps or back home penniless.

Ethiopian government has already dispatched a dozen diplomats in its embassy in Riyadh and consular offices in other Saudi cities to give consular advice to stranded Ethiopians.

With an eye to curbing illegal migration, the Ethiopian government last month signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia government for an overseas employment agreement to help future legal Ethiopian migrants.

It has also put advertorials in Ethiopian electronic media urging relatives of Ethiopians illegally residing in Saudi Arabia to persuade them to return ahead of the expiry of the Amnesty deadline.

Source: China.org.cn
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Travel Guide: Where to Stay, See and Eat in Ethiopia

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Guide: Traveling to Ethiopia serves as the gateway to all history lessons and books documenting the history of this amazing country, and you will have the front row seat, experiencing this joyous cultural ride.

By Melissa Henderson (EBONY) |

Ethiopia is located in the ‘Horn of Africa’ along the northeast region of the continent and contains more than 70% of Africa’s mountains. Ethiopia, also known as the Cradle of Mankind, is home to the oldest humanoid on earth, the ancient Aksumite Empire, Ark of the Covenant, and countless historical museums and churches including Debre Birhan Selassie Church. Ethiopia stands at the forefront of African nations as it was the only African country to withstand European colonization during the ‘Scramble for Africa’ and is a founding member of the United Nations. Addis Ababa, which means ‘New Flower’, is often referred to as the ‘Political Capital of Africa’ as it is the headquarters for the African Union. The flourishing capital of Ethiopia offers a variety of authentic restaurants, theaters and the burial grounds of Emperor Selassie I. If touring Addis Ababa takes your breath away, just wait until you visit the countless rock-hewn churches in Lalibela and the beautiful castles of Gondar. Traveling to Ethiopia serves as the gateway to all history lessons and books documenting the history of this amazing country, and you will have the front row seat, experiencing this joyous cultural ride.

Ethiopia stands at the forefront of African nations as it was the only African country to withstand European colonization during the ‘Scramble for Africa’ and is a founding member of the United Nations. Addis Ababa, which means ‘New Flower’, is often referred to as the ‘Political Capital of Africa’ as it is the headquarters for the African Union. The flourishing capital of Ethiopia offers a variety of authentic restaurants, theaters and the burial grounds of Emperor Selassie I. If touring Addis Ababa takes your breath away, just wait until you visit the countless rock-hewn churches in Lalibela and the beautiful castles of Gondar.


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Continue reading this story at EBONY
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An Ethiopian Tale: A Story of a Young Man who Cheated Death Twice to Graduate from Texas Heart Institute

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This is a story of a young Ethiopian man, named Mesfin Yana, who cheated death twice, yet persevered through an incredible journey of self-development and success.

By Diane Alexis Dollar (Forever on the Fly) |

One of the nicest perks of being a pilot are the fantastic airline privileges. Flying standby and jump seating can be stressful if you’re in a time crunch. However, if you have the time, waiting a few hours its well worth a free flight. This morning I have been waiting almost six hours to board my flight to Houston, but at least it has given me time to jot a few things down! This will be my first time visiting the city of Houston, and I can’t think of a better reason than family. Mesfin Yana (goes by Mesfin) has no idea that I am coming to his graduation muahah. He has always loved to surprise people with his presence so I figured I would give a taste of his own medicine! The Texas Heart Institute is home to some of the most influential heart surgeons and researchers in history. Mesfin will be one of the graduates of the 2017 Cardiovascular Perfusionist class. And for those of you who do not know, a Cardiovascular Perfusionist runs and operates the heart and lung machines used during open heart surgery. The program is world class and well known for it’s rigorous training course and the extensive clinical hands on experience it gives it’s students. You could imagine how incredibly proud I am of his accomplishment.

Growth is so relative. You can turn nothing into something, something into more, more into something greater and so on. Up and up to infinity you could grow, but every step is nonetheless growth. And no stage is any less important than the last. You can’t skip a step. There is no going from nothing to infinitely incredible. Hard work and perseverance through struggle in the pursuit of something greater is the only way to go. I don’t know any other human being on this wonderful planet that we call Earth who understands this more than my brother Mesfin Yana. This is a story of a young man who cheated death twice, yet persevered through an incredible journey of self development and success.


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Mesfin was born and raised in a small village located in southern Ethiopia. At a young age he was plagued with a bad case of strep throat-mind you his village was lacking a quirky pediatrician to administer a quick round of antibiotics and a popsicle to send him on his merry way.

Continue reading this story at Forever on the Fly
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The 29th AU Summit Starts in Ethiopia’s Capital Today

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ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―The 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union (AU) kicks off at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The 29th summit, which will take place from June 27 to July 4, will be held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.”

The Pan-African bloc in a statement on Monday indicated that, the 34th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) will be held during the first two days of summit, June 27 and 28.

The PRC meeting is expected to prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Executive Council, which is scheduled to take place from June 30 to July 1.


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The Permanent Representatives’ Committee meeting will bring together all the Ambassadors of the 55 AU member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials, the AU Commission announced.

The main event of the summit, the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, is expected to take place from July 3 to 4.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian security forces have assured African leaders and summit participants for the peaceful deliberations of the event.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Addis Ababa City Administration, in a joint press communique issued on Friday, asserted that the east African country has completed all the necessary security preparations.

Source: Xinhua
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Ethiopia: East Africa’s New Economic Power

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Ethiopia has experienced an average economic growth of 10.8% per year in the past decade and it’s expected to overtake Kenya soon to become East Africa’s economic power.

By Gwendolin Hilse (DW) |

Ethiopia’s economy is growing so rapidly it may soon replace Kenya as the largest economic power in the region. But a large number of people in the country still live in poverty and many challenges remain.

The recent inauguration of the giant Hawassa industrial park was a special moment for Ethiopia’s government. Built with Chinese help, the park has modern halls where leather and textile products will be produced for the European and American market. Located 275 km south of the capital Addis Ababa, the park is expected to turnover 1 billion dollars annually and provide employment for more than 60,000 people.


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Ambitious plans

The plant in Hawassa is one of 16 industrial parks planned by Ethiopia’s government. In a push to revive the country’s economy, they are investing heavily in large infrastructure projects. In 2015, they rolled out a modern light railway in Addis Ababa – the first fully electric tram in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2020, a 5,000-kilometer rail network should connect the country with its neighbors and the port of Djibouti. To provide a regular source of electricity in a country where less than a quarter of people have access to power, the government is also constructing a vast dam on the upper reaches of the Blue Nile.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 800 US dollars (715 euro) per capita, Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost 6 million people depend on food aid.

But Ethiopia’s economy is booming. The country has experienced an average economic growth of 10.8 percent per year in the past decade and it’s expected to overtake Kenya soon to become East Africa’s largest economy. In 2014, consulting firm Deloitte & Touch spoke of an “economic miracle”.

The question is how sustainable this boom is in a country that has been under a state of emergency since October 2016 following protests against government policies and human rights abuses. The government has cracked down on dissent and arrested several opposition leaders.

Continue reading this story at Deutsche Welle (DW)
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Ethiopia’s Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie: The Exiled Prince from the World’s Oldest Monarchy

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Promoting the ties, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, believes both are “gateway” countries – Australia to Asia, and Ethiopia to Africa.

By Andrew Clark (The Australian Financial Review) |

On the face of it, Australia and Ethiopia have little in common. A poor country of 100 million people on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is scarred by coups, civil wars and famine.

But links range from Australian mining investments to eucalyptus trees ringing the capital Addis Ababa; from Australian “Whaler” horses providing mounts for the ceremonial guard, to both countries’ soldiers fighting alongside in the Korean War. And then there is the Australian-founded, funded and run obstetric fistula hospital, the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.


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Promoting the ties, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, President of the Crown Council and putative successor to the oldest throne in the world, believes both are “gateway” countries – Australia to Asia, and Ethiopia to Africa.

Australia is “a gateway to Asia and because of that to the world.” he says. Ethiopia is the oldest state in Africa with the oldest continuous Judeo-Christian bloodlines. It hosts the African Union, and ranks, after Brussels, as a major diplomatic capital, making it “the gateway for Africa”.

Australia: a global microcosm

Warming to his theme, Prince Ermias views Australia as “a microcosm of what the world may look like in the future because you have all types of people in this supposedly isolated and remote place”.

Arriving in Sydney, “what struck me the most was the multicultural nature of Australia. I found it more visually stunning than New York.” The Big Apple “is supposed to be a melting pot of the world but when I came to Sydney Airport and I was watching all those faces I just could not believe the interaction of people.”

This bilateral gateway status is part of one of the more intriguing foreign visits to Australia in recent years. Prince Ermias – his full name is His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie – is retracing the steps of his grandfather, Emperor Haile Selassie, near the 50th anniversary of a state visit to Australia in 1968.

Continue reading this story at The Australian Financial Review
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