Ethiopia politics and culture
The erosion of democracy, tales from the diaspora, and the impact of tourism on tribal societies
Ethiopia is courted by the west as an outpost of strength and democracy in a chronically unstable region. But Meles Zenawi’s government stands accused of crushing dissent, imprisoning its opponents and stifling the free press. Published in New Internationalist.
Donald Fullwood, a Jamaican Rastafarian, moved to Ethiopia 30 years ago to rediscover his spiritual African roots. Eshetu Mamo, a member of Ethiopia’s ancient population of black Jews, seeks a return to his own spiritual homeland in Israel.
Ethiopia’s South Omo valley is home to some of the most remote and ‘exotic’ tribes in Africa. With the increase in tourism, is the region becoming a vast human zoo?
Harar, the walled Muslim city in the eastern badlands of Ethiopia, is a melting-pot of cultures and religions that confounds preconceptions. In a mainly Orthodox Christian country, the fourth holiest city in Islam has become an icon of multicultural friendship. I head into the maze of winding streets to discover some of the city’s hidden treasures.
Tim and Kim Otte left Holland for the shores of Ethiopia’s Lake Tana to start an eco-tourism and community development project. The result, a cluster of grass-thatched lodges with views over copper-coloured waters, provides the local community with an investment for the future, and guests with serenity and natural beauty beside Africa’s third-largest lake.