Open letter to the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines

19 November 2015

Attention: Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam
Chief Executive Officer
Ethiopian Airlines

Per Internet

Dear Mr. Gebremariam,

Loyalty awards

Having flown extensively with Ethiopian Airlines over the past 18 months, my current status as a ShebaMiles member is silver, but should be gold.

The miles flown recently on Thai Airlines have not been credited to my account. The fault for that may lie with Thai Airlines, but that the Ethiopian Airlines website fails to reflect the numerous attempts at entering the details in the Retrospective Mileage Credit Requests, is not. Nor is the futility of trying to notify the IT department of these issues through the Contact Us page. Entering the simplest details receives an “invalid characters” error message.

A visit to the Executive Profile page of the Ethiopian Airlines website has you as the Cheif Executive Officer, rather than the Chief Executive Officer.

It is fortunate that the service of the flight staff on the Ethiopian Airlines is vastly superior to that being provided to the company by its IT department.

As a frequent customer with Ethiopian Airlines, the level of frustration experienced using the website detracts from the overall experience that the flight staff work so hard to achieve.

Hopefully that is being remedied.


Roy R Dalle Vedove

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Let Africans fly
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Who’s next

There is almost universal consensus that the elimination of corruption will bring Africa to the fore, allowing it to take advantage of its demographic profile. The big challenge is democracy. The death of two leaders, one in Ghana and the other in Ethiopia, offers an interesting contrast.

On July 24th, within hours of the sudden end from cancer of Ghana’s president, John Atta Mills, his deputy, John Mahama, was sworn in with impressive constitutional calmness to replace him.

The death of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s authoritarian leader for the past 20 years, whose failure to implement a succession plan has left a power vacuum that portends potential problems for the country and the region. That will expose the West’s failure to promote the long term benefits of democracy where once the country had achieved stability following the ravaging starvation in the 1980s exacerbated by a similar political vacuum at the end of the Haile Selassie era.

The rest of Africa is jealous of Ethiopia’s proud heritage and success at avoiding colonisation in the Scramble for Africa during the latter stages of the 19th century.

It’s time to right a wrong.

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What price a life

The death of 34 rioting miners killed by police at a Lonmin mine in Marikana South Africa is in stark contrast to the 17 police injured by rioting youths at Amiens in northern France.

The South African police say that their response was in self defense, yet only one officer sustained minor injuries. Video footage reveals a panicked response, with the police firing live rounds at the onrushing crowd. The police in Amiens were armed with non-lethal rubber bullets.

Ultimately, if anyone is held accountable for the deaths, it will probably be the police officers who fired the shots. But this is really an issue of poor preparation and inadequate training exacerbated by bad management. Besides those who fired the bullets, senior government officials are also responsible should be held accountable.

One of the reasons Senegal elections this year were peaceful, disproving predictions ofviolence, is the police’s professional handling of the pre-election demonstrations. This was very different their poor handling of the demonstrations only months earlier, when voters objected to President Wade’s attempt to change the constitution.


The Senegalese police’s interim training paid dividends as they showed discipline and order in the face of clear provocation. Conflict was avoided, resulting in a smooth transition of power.




South Africa deserves better, and that will only start when the people in power start being held accountable for the deaths that they cause.

More at:
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Violence flares

Will South Africans’ anger boil over?

Cause to celebrate

Africa is the troubled continent. Somalia, Sudan, Mali, DRC, Nigeria – all riven by conflict. Many of the countries covering the Sahel are suffering starvation.

The appointment of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s most capable politician, to head the African Union (AU) commission brings hope.

A minister since 1994, she headed the ministry of health under Mandela, then foreign minister for 10 years, earning kudos for her quiet diplomacy, with her biggest success coming as minister of home affairs. Prior to her taking the portfolio, the ministry had been consistently ranked the worst in government. Last year, under her guidance was the first time in 16 years that it received an unqualified report from the auditor general.

She’s a great choice to turn the AU into a body that can resolve Africa’s many challenges.

More at:
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