Tag Archives: Addis Ababa

One week down

15 Jul

 So back inNairobi. It’s crazy that my time inKenyais almost up. I’ve had a varied and interesting week. It started in the city. I visited John Cheburet, who produces the organic farmer radio programme on Monday. He uses FrontlineSMS to communicate with farmers. Straight from there, I went back to Jomo Kenyatta international and flew to Kisumu, a city in the western province on the shores of lake Victoria. I think flying low over the lake as we came into land was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Perfect timing, the sun was setting. I was whisked off in a taxi towards Mumias where I spent the next three nights, actually living within the huge Mumias sugar factory. Bright lights, steaming chimneys, noisy engines, all amid miles and miles of sugarcane. Quite a sight. The main purpose of my trip was to conduct interviews with small scale farmers which involved a lot of travelling down narrow uneven roads- fortunately I wasn’t driving. I’ve made some enlightening discoveries and interviewed some fascinating people. very excited about getting back and putting the documentary together. Get ready for a photo overload on here too! In terms of my planning, so far so good. I’ve been lucky enough to meet great people every step of the way who have been a massive help to logistics! But I’m scared about speaking too soon when I’m only half way through. I’ll be back in the countryside on Monday. So until then I’ll be soaking upNairobiandAddis Ababa…

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The plan cont’d…

29 Jun

Where was I? Ah yes, Back in Nairobi…

After a week in Kenya I will fly on to Addis Ababa for a week which will be a little more familiar for me after spending nine weeks there in 2010.

No more flights in Ethiopia. I will drive down to Kofele…

…on to Zeway

Then it’s back to base in Addis Ababa and on home.

Hopefully with my first documentary under my belt!

10 little days!..

All maps from lovely Google

A pinch and a punch…

1 May

The first of May.

One year ago I was in Addis Ababa…

It was the week before I traded the city for the country and went to meet some very inspirational farmers. It was also the week I made the most expensive apple crumble of my life in an attempt to introduce my Ethiopian hosts to some British cooking. (6 apples =  £6.00 )

Time goes so quickly. Which is why I’m thinking more and more about my trip this Summer. Still no flights booked, but the whole of July is free-ed up and ready. I’m still conversing with some very interesting people and hope to have more details shortly.

Today I listened to this interesting radio documentary courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio and America Abroad Media. I recommend that you do too…

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/syndicate.php?name=minnesota/news/programs/2009/12/15/midday/midday_hour_2_20091215_64

Connecting Ethiopia

17 Apr

http://www.ethiotube.net/nvlab/player/player.swf?config=http://www.ethiotube.net/nvlab/econfig.php?key=745740d4e8c771e011e1

Ethiotube: Linking Ethiopian farming communities to export markets

Connections are being made between producers in Africa and the international market all over the continent. So it’s probably not suprising that things are moving fast in Ethiopia too, like the video shows. Forging these connections is important when 85% of Ethiopians rely on small scale, ‘back yard’ style agriculture for their income.

It’s especially significant considering the other side of agriculture in the country. Something that that Guardian article you can read by clicking on the link above talks about. Agriculture is also big business in Ethiopia. The government have sold huge swathes of land to national and foreign investors looking to grow food cheaply. Berhanu Kebede (Ethiopia’s ambassador to the UK) writes…

“The key is to achieve balance. Commercial farms tend to become hubs that link smallholders to value chains and help spread knowledge and best practice to other farms. So the debate is not about big versus small. We will continue to support commercially viable small farms, which offer increased food supplies, jobs and incomes in both the farm and non-farm economy. This will help Ethiopia achieve wider economic development and prosperity.”

In Ethiopia, mobile technology and agirculture have yet to collide in a big way. I hope to keep looking at the reasons behind this. But you can certainly see from the video that there’s great potential for their use in developing agriculture in the country.

Which leads me to me and an update on my research. I’m currently eagerly searching for ICT4D projects in Ethiopia, and also concentrating on discerning what exactly the situation is there now in regards to NGOs administering support. Still coming across fascinating projects every day via Twitter and a host of new followee’s. Just a shame they’re not in Ethiopia!

Apologies for the video being a little bit melodramatic. Nice to see some shots of Addis Ababa though..which actually, while I’m at it, is not an ancient city like the video sort-of suggests. Addis Ababa is little over one hundred years old. The name itself means ‘New Flower’ in Amharic

…Not that I wish to be pedantic!