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  • Written by World and Media

Analysis: Ethiopia Aid abuse allegations

Aid agency logos.[Updated December 31] Ethiopian donors are considering further probes of allegations, made by Human Rights Watch, that the Ethiopian government is using development aid to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential government programs on support for the ruling party.

The allegations were made in a report released on October 19, Development without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia.

"If you don't play the ruling party's game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid", said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

However, Irish Aid said on October 26 that its "examination, in consultation with the other major international aid donors in Ethiopia, does not support the Human Rights Watch allegations of widespread, systematic abuse".

John, O'Shea of GOAL said that a reference to GOAL in the report was "totally erroneous" and that GOAL had never encountered aid discrimination in the country, though he described the report as "damning".

The allegations provide a dilemma for donors. They can point to several achievements in recent years, while the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index released last month suggests that Ethiopia has been making strides in tackling corruption. How should donors respond?

  • Written by IRIN kt/kr/cb

Ethiopia: Five-year plan to halve new HIV infections

Amarat Mebrie, a 66-year old widow, is HIV-positive. Following her son’s death from an AIDS-related illness, she is the sole carer of his three young children, Awassa, southern Ethiopia.  Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN.[ADDIS ABABA] Ethiopia's government has come up with an ambitious plan to halve new HIV infections, quadruple its annual condom distribution and put 85 percent of people who need life-prolonging HIV medication on treatment within five years.

An estimated 1.2 million Ethiopians are HIV-positive. According to the government, the country's national prevalence is 2.4 percent, with stark differences between urban HIV prevalence, which stands at about 7.7 percent and rural levels of under 1 percent.

According to UNAIDS, Ethiopia has already managed to bring down new HIV infections by over 25 percent since 2001. The country's HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) says prevalence among young people is dropping.

  • Written by Linda Nordling and Nourou Dia

African centres hope to produce top mathematicians

The 'NextEinstein' initiative aims to set up 15 maths centres across Africa by 2020. Photo: Flickr/Giovanni.k.

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[CAPE TOWN] Senegal hopes to begin producing world-class African mathematicians with the first of three Africa-based mathematics training centres, which is due to open in September next year.

The Senegalese government has committed around US$1.3 million and donated a plot of land near Mbour on the country's coast for the centre, SciDev.Net was told last week.

Two other centres will be set up in Ghana and Ethiopia, according to an announcement by the Canadian government this month (6 July). Canada will provide US$19 million in funding for all three centres, to be channelled through the Ontario-based Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

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