“There is no better legacy than writing a book like this,” Dr. Tesfaye Lema in a book launching event at Haramaya University

Haramaya University published a book entitled “Plant Disease Epidemiology and Management,” authored by Professor Chemeda Fininsa and launched it on November 14, 2022.

The event was attended by higher officials of the university, the vice chair of the board of Haramaya University, a representative of US embassy, the university staff, invited guests, and the authors’ family.

At the Book launching ceremony, it was stated that Professor Chemeda Fininsa is the most experienced teacher and researcher in the college of Agriculture and Environmental Science in Haramaya University, and served the country for thirty seven (37) years in higher education institutions teaching and different positions, including presidency.

Witnessing long years’ service and diligence of Professor Chemeda Dr. Tesfaye Lema, vice president for research affairs, said in his opening speech that writing an academic book of a high quality to be used by post graduate students as textbook, by researchers as a reference and by policy makers and development practitioners as a guide is a daunting task because it requires a set of different skills such as research, critical thinking, effective writing, and human relation skills. “There is no better legacy than writing a book like this,” says Dr. Tesfaye.

Dr. Tesfaye went on, saying, “We hope and believe that the achievement we are celebrating today will inspire and encourage our senior professors to engage in similar endeavors and write research-based academic books in their respective fields of specialization, as it helps them to pass their acquired and accumulated knowledge and wisdom to the next generation for use.”

Indicating that the United States is working to strengthen the long-standing strong relationship between the United States and Ethiopia, Anne Stevens, a representative from the United States Embassy in Addis Abeba, who participated in the launching ceremony via video conference, stated, “We are happy of the financial support we made for the publication of the book written by Professor Chemeda because he is one of the alumina of USA universities, and thus, he is sharing the knowledge he got from the United States to the people of Ethiopia.”

Professor Chemeda Fininsa, the author, has presented his reflections regarding the book by saying that, as everyone understands, writing a book is very difficult even though he successfully accomplished writing the book after passing through ups and downs with the help of his family, and colleagues from Haramaya University, and the USA. Professor Chemeda added that the motivation that he has to not reserve his effort, knowledge, and experience, to postgraduate students in particular and policy makers at the country level in general, made him strong to face and pass all the challenges. At the end of his speech, he presented his thanks to Haramaya University, all who helped him during the writing process, and the organizers of the colorful launching ceremony.

Following the presentation of internal and external reviewers’ reviews, questions and reflections were forwarded to the author, and the book was finally recognized by Professor Emana Getu, vice chair of the board at Haramaya University, and Professors Mengistu Urge, vice president for academic affairs, Jeylan Woliyie, vice president for students and administration affairs, and Dr. Yisihak Yousuf, vice president for community engagement and enterprise affairs.

 

Source: HARAMAYA University

Ethiopia Prepares to Host UN Internet Forum Amid Tigray Blackout

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Ethiopia is set to host the U.N.’s annual Internet Governance Forum later this month, despite an ongoing communications blackout in its war-damaged Tigray region. The government-imposed blackout in the Tigray region has left six million people without phone or internet access for nearly two years.

The November 28 forum is expected to draw over 2,500 delegates to Addis Ababa, one of the largest international gathering in Ethiopia’s capital in years.

Those not able to attend in person will be able to log in virtually to hear sessions dealing with topics such as “connecting all people” and “meaningful access” to the internet.

People living in Tigray will not be tuning in, however. The northern region was subjected to one of the world’s tightest communications blackouts, when war broke out between the federal military and forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or the TPLF, in November 2020.

A peace deal struck earlier this month commits the federal government to restoring the services, but the blackout is still firmly in place.

As a result, the U.N.’s decision to hold the event in Ethiopia has raised eyebrows. On November 15, Senator Jim Risch, who chairs the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, described the decision as “wrong,” saying the forum should be held in a country that “doesn’t regularly block its citizens’ internet access.”

This week, technology minister Huria Ali defended Ethiopia’s role as host. She said that reforms undertaken by her government since it replaced a coalition led by the TPLF in 2018 mean Ethiopia currently enjoys “freedom of expression unparalleled in its history.”

“To mention a few, always sites that were blocked by the previous government were unblocked,” she said. “Political prisoners were freed, and all the exiled politicians were invited back home, the 2020 election was by any standard the election where opponents freely aired their agendas.”

Alluding to the blackout, Huria added that the government had been forced to take activities “to protect the country” during the conflict with Tigray, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and uprooted millions.

The blackout in Tigray is not the only shutdown in Ethiopia. Communications have also been turned off in parts of Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, where an armed group is battling the government.

Addis Ababa was left without internet for weeks in 2020, following a wave of violence that was sparked by the killing of a popular Oromo musician.

Felicia Anthonio, a manager at internet rights group Access Now, said the internet forum is an “opportunity” to highlight the blackout affecting Tigray.

“Ethiopia’s government has been responsible for a two-year-long internet blackout and must take urgent steps to restore full intent access in Tigray and all parts of the country,” she said. “The African Union and member states have a clear mandate to promote and protect human rights in Africa, and this is the moment for them to step up and help facilitate an end to this internet blockade.”

Redwan Hussein, the Ethiopian prime minister’s national security advisor, has said services are being restored to Tigray. But for now, the region remains cut off from the outside world.

 

Source: Voice of America

Renewable energy will need more investment, or Africa will stay dependent on fossil fuels

Renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics and onshore wind power can help sub-Saharan Africa meet its energy requirements from sources that have lower emissions than fossil fuels.

Currently, the sub-continent gets 0.01% of its energy supply from wind, 2% from solar, about 4%-5% from geothermal, 17% from hydro and 77% from fossil fuel. About 70% of current greenhouse gas emissions come from the global energy sector.

Clearly sub-Saharan Africa needs to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. Even though its greenhouse gas emissions account for only 3% of global emissions, the region’s reliance could be the source of a future carbon tsunami. This would happen if energy demand skyrocketed on the back of rapid population growthurbanisation and economic growth.

There are many who advocate a move to hydropower, which currently accounts for 17% of the continent’s energy mix. And the trend is to increase its share.

But I believe there are dangers in this. Based on my research, and the work of others, I would argue that there are three reasons to suggest that African countries need to diversify their energy sources and avoid a very high dependency on hydropower.

The main concern is climate uncertainty. This could potentially pose a threat to hydropower generation. Generating energy from hydropower depends on precipitation and temperature patterns. Heavier rains and more prolonged droughts will affect the ability of countries to produce hydropower.

The second concern is related: developing hydropower facilities takes decades. It’s hard to plan that far ahead when future climate conditions are uncertain.

And the third difficulty is that the region is vulnerable to water shortages and is already experiencing the consequences.

These obstacles call for energy diversification to solar, wind and geothermal. The cost of solar has declined by 85% and that of wind by 56% in the last year alone. This makes these technologies much more affordable and accessible.

But policy barriers currently impede the development, use and application of these low-carbon energy technologies.

Dangers ahead for hydropower

The intensity and duration of precipitation varies across sub-Saharan countries and regions. For example, in southern Africa in 2020 precipitation was less than the historical average for the region.

In other areas, wetter weather is expected through to 2100. In the eastern African region this period is projected to be wetter and accompanied by heavy rains. Variability between years and heavy floods can make managing dams difficult, and disrupt the electricity supply.

This has already been seen to happen. Heavy floods and wreckage have disrupted the operation of dams in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. In the case of Malawi, this significantly reduced hydropower generation capacity in 2019).

Variations between years in rainfall and evaporation affect stream flow and determine hydropower generation output.

As shown in this image, the historical data in selected sub-Saharan countries demonstrate the variations in hydropower generation. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which carries 42% of the global hydropower potential, shows fluctuations in production. For instance, the DRC’s hydropower generation capacity was reduced 6.1 TWh in 1996 to 4.7 TWh in 1998 (a fall of 22.95%). The hydropower generation capacity in Nigeria was reduced by 27.4% from 2007 to 2009 and 42.3% from 2005 to 2009. Similarly, Kenyan hydropower generation capacity was reduced by 60.6% from 1998 to 2000 and 37.14% from 2008 to 2009. These variations are significant.

The second challenge is that hydropower plants are long-term projects which could last up to 100 years. Under uncertainty about future potential impacts of climate change, it will be risky to build hydropower plants. They might not be sustainable.

Thirdly, competition for water between industries, energy, domestic use and irrigation is expected to increase the stress on water availability. Water scarcity would be a critical impediment to supplying Africa’s growing energy needs with hydropower. According to projections, the African population will reach 2.5 billion in 2050. An additional 1.7 billion people will need energy, water and food. As of 2021, out of a 1.4 billion population, 600 million people do not have access to electricity. The same water is used for drinking water, industry, irrigation and food production. This implies that water stress comes from a multitude of directions, including climate change and socioeconomic development.

More than 80% of the energy generation from hydropower comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. In my view, all should diversify their energy sources to other renewable to make their energy supply climate resilient and sustainable.

Barriers to solar and wind

Policy studies have identified five major barriers to the development and uptake of solar and wind technologies in sub-Saharan Africa:

institutional – lack of coordination between different organisations

technical – a trained labour force and expertise to implement, regulate and monitor technologies

socio-cultural – low acceptance of the technologies

financial barriers – lack of subsidies and incentives, and fragmented taxation

regulatory – weak bodies and problems with land leasing processes.

These barriers are intertwined and reinforce one another. For example, the lack of an independent regulatory system creates unpredictability and deters investment.

Next steps

There is a tremendous chasm between aspirations and policy execution in Africa. To close this gap the following steps need to be taken.

Policy barriers must be lifted and there needs to be better co-ordination between the various players.

Secondly, financial limitations must be eased. The debt-laden climate finance structure must be revised. Climate finance for the most vulnerable countries is scarce and the application process is long and cumbersome when the opportunity arises. Climate finance should be need-based and practical to help the most vulnerable and bridge the chasm between financial need and supply.

In addition, development banks and donors need to champion and invest in the areas considered risky by private businesses. They need to lay the business foundations to make the sector attractive for private investments. In return, governments must adopt policies and strategies that encourage private investments in solar, wind, and geothermal technologies.

 

Source: The Conversation Media Group Ltd

World Cup 2022: Senegal and Cameroon carry Africa’s best hopes

The men’s Fifa World Cup kicks off on 20 November in Qatar. Africa is allocated five spots in the month-long final stage of this elite competition, held every four years. Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia secured their places after a preliminary four-team round robin competition followed by a knockout phase.

Once again, many pundits are wondering if an African team can win it all at this unconventionally scheduled World Cup (it’s usually held mid year). No African team has ever qualified for the semi-finals. Only Senegal, Cameroon and Ghana have reached the quarter-final stage before.

It’s not lost on the African teams that they carry the burden of history to break the proverbial glass ceiling. Many would argue that 2022 is the time to change Africa’s World Cup story. The continent has always promised a great deal in the international showcase but delivered very little. Reasons for this include poor preparation, internal controversies, a bad disciplinary record, technical and tactical errors at crucial moments and recruiting foreign coaches at the last minute.

This time, however, there’s been stability in the coaching ranks and for the first time all teams will be led by home-grown coaches on the technical bench.

Looking at the pedigree of the African teams, and their respective opponents, Cameroon and Senegal stand the best chance to qualify for the second round and possibly beyond. Here’s a closer look at the teams’ chances.

Tunisia

Tunisia make their sixth World Cup appearance, having featured in 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018. The Eagles of Carthage topped their second round qualification group. In the third round, where the 10 African group winners faced off in March over two legs, home and away, Tunisia scraped past Mali on goal aggregate. Qualification still saw a change in manager, following a quarter-final exit in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

New coach Jalel Kadri guided his country through the play-offWahbi Khazri was Tunisia’s top scorer in qualification and will be relied on if Tunisia is to survive the star-studded sides in Group D (France, Australia and Denmark). It will need a major upset for them to progress to the second round, given their opposition’s pedigree.

Ghana

Ghana makes a long-awaited return to the World Cup having previously qualified in 2006, 2010 and 2014. In 2010 they became only the third African team to reach the quarter-finals. The Black Stars booked their ticket in the final stages after topping Group G in the second round of qualification, beating South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe to set up a third-round play-off against Group C winners and fierce rivals Nigeria, whom they beat in a dramatic match. The Black Stars will be led by new coach and former Ghana international Otto Addo, who was in charge during the play-off win. He featured in Ghana’s first World Cup appearance in 2006. The team will be up against Portugal, the Republic of Korea, and Uruguay in Group H. A rematch with Uruguay is a painful reminder of Uruguay’s handball that stopped a goal-bound shot, leading to Ghana’s elimination in 2010.

Ghana has harnessed several top overseas-born dual nationals to strengthen the squad. There are quality players but there’s also a lack of international experience and team cohesion, given the short window leading to the tournament. The team will revolve around the Ayew brothers in attack and Thomas Partey in midfield. Although this team looks good on individual talents, building a collective understanding and cohesion defensively is a challenge the coach has to deal with to stand any chance of progressing to the second round.

Morocco

Morocco is returning to the World Cup after faring poorly in the 2018 edition. They have appeared in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998 and 2018. This team should look to their 1986 squad for inspiration. They led their pool and were the first African team to qualify for the second round. Now coached by Walid Regragui, Morocco won all six matches in their group against Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sudan, scoring 20 goals and conceding only one. They then eliminated Democratic Republic of the Congo in the third round of the qualifiers.

Morocco is in Group F and will face off with 2018 runners-up Croatia, Belgium and Canada. Morocco can count on several star players – like Hakim ZiyechAchraf HakimiRomain Saïss and Yassine Bounou. Their talented team face Croatia in their opening match. It’s a game where they must aim to pick up at least a point before facing the highly rated Belgium, concluding with a must-win game against Canada to have a chance of progressing to the second round.

Cameroon

Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions have been consistently representing Africa at the World Cup, appearing in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, and 2014. They eliminated Mozambique, Malawi and Ivory Coast before setting up a playoff against Algeria, whom they beat sensationally with a goal in the 124th minute. Under legendary coach Rigobert Song, who appeared in four World Cups as a player, Cameroon will arrive in Qatar with some top-level talent spread around Europe, such as André-Frank Zambo AnguissaAndré Onana and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. There are also several potential breakout stars on the team.

Cameroon’s strength lies in its solid midfield play and potent attack, with a physically imposing style of play. In 1990, Cameroon became the first African team to make the quarter-finals. This year they face Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. Good results against Serbia and Switzerland can propel them to the second round and even further.

Senegal

Senegal shocked the footballing world when they brought down France in their 2002 World Cup debut and went on to qualify for the quarter-finals, the second African team to do so. The Lions of Teranga must be looking forward to their third cup under coach Aliou Cissé, who captained the 2002 team. In 2018, they fell short on disciplinary grounds. Hopefully they learnt from that bitter experience.

Reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions, Senegal breezed through the group stage unbeaten to set up a playoff with rivals Egypt, whom they faced in the Africa Cup of Nations final. On both occasions, Sadio Mané scored the winning penalty in nerve-jangling shootouts. In Qatar they will look to at least match their memorable quarter-final showing in 2002. Ranked 18th in the world, Senegal face Netherlands, Qatar and Ecuador in a group that should hold no fears for a strong side with good experience down its spine. The team sports the likes of Édouard Mendy, captain Kalidou KoulibalyIdrissa GueyeIsmaïla Sarr and the attacker Mané.

The downside is that Mané, runner-up for the Ballon d’Or player of the year award, might not participate due to an injury. But on a good day the Lions of Teranga present Africa’s best opportunity to advance in the World Cup. The team has many individual talents who have played together often and are characterised by a strong team spirit and never-say-die attitude.

 

Source: The Conversation Media Group Ltd

Impulse Dynamics Announces 100th Implant Milestone in China for CCM® Therapy

Experience Continues to Show CCM Therapy Addresses Clinical Need in Treating Heart Failure

MARLTON, N.J., Nov. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Impulse Dynamics, a global medical device company dedicated to improving the lives of people with heart failure, announced the 100th implant in China, signifying the opportunity for its innovative Optimizer® system delivering CCM® therapy in markets around the world. Cardiologist Prof. Guo Tao, Executive Director of Internal Medicine, Fuwai Cardiovascular Hospital, Yunnan Province, performed the 100th procedure and emphasized the role of this therapy in providing an option and hope to patients living with the debilitating reality of heart failure.

“It is quite a coincidental milestone for us that the 10th patient implanted in our center also happened to be the 100th patient treated in China. I have paid very close attention to CCM therapy for more than 20 years now, but it wasn’t until recently we could clinically apply this technology. Under close clinical observation, our 10 CCM patients have improved even more than we anticipated. All the CCM patients in our center improved both symptomatically and on various objective indicators, which made both us and our patients very happy. Therefore, it seems from our experience that CCM is performing exactly as described in the foreign research — specifically, by modulating the exchange of calcium ions and thereby enhancing contractility of the myocardium in the acute period, then normalizing the expression of contraction-related proteins, which leads to reverse remodeling of the heart. Based on these results, we are now planning to expand the application of CCM normatively and actively while continuing to closely follow our implanted patients to obtain more clinical evidence of CCM to optimize its application so more Chinese patients can benefit from this latest innovative treatment.”

Prof. Zhang Shu, Chief Physician of Fuwai Hospital of the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Honorary Chairman of the Electrocardiology and Pacing Branch of the Chinese Medical Association, Director of the Cardiology Committee of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, and former President of the Asia-Pacific Heart Rhythm Society further commented “Currently there are almost nine million patients with heart failure in China, and many of them have not been optimally treated. Heart failure has also become the leading cause of death among cardiovascular and other major chronic diseases in China. I believe CCM will bring good news to Chinese patients. These successful initial experiences provide our doctors with good prospects of bringing hope to the patients they care for.”

“We are proud to see the growing acceptance of this technology in markets around the world,” said Mateusz Zelewski, MD, Impulse Dynamics´ VP International. “In reaching this milestone, we have connected with physicians, patients, and their families. We are inspired by the benefits of this therapy to our patients and continue to reinforce our commitment to address the immense need for advanced heart failure options for patients around the world.”

CCM therapy was approved in China late last year, and the first implant in the country was announced on November 1, 2021. The Optimizer system delivers CCM therapy, which consists of electric pulses applied to the heart between heartbeats and serves to enhance the performance of cardiac muscular contraction, making the heart work more efficiently without increasing the heart rate or the oxygen consumption of the cardiac muscle.

To date, CCM therapy has been used to treat heart failure in more than 7,000 patients worldwide and is available in 44 countries across the globe. The therapy has been studied in almost 2,000 patients and has appeared in more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. Ongoing studies are also underway to examine the safety and efficacy of CCM for patients suffering from heart failure with a left ventricular ejection fraction between 40 – 60 percent.

About Impulse Dynamics

Impulse Dynamics is dedicated to helping healthcare providers enhance the lives of people with heart failure by transforming how the condition is treated. The company is focused on delivering its proprietary CCM therapy, which is delivered by the company’s Optimizer device, the CE-marked, and FDA-approved treatment verified to improve the quality of life for heart failure patients. CCM therapy is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment option for many heart failure patients who otherwise have few effective options available to them.[1] To learn more, visit www.ImpulseDynamics.com, or follow the company on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘will,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘contemplate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘potential’’ or ‘‘continue’’ or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning potential benefits of CCM therapy, and the absence of risks associated therewith; the ability for CCM therapy and our products to fill a significant unmet medical need for patients with heart failure; and the short-term and long-term benefits of the Optimizer and CCM therapy in patients with heart failure, as well as to the physicians treating those patients. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contemplated in this press release include, without limitation: the company’s future research and development costs, capital requirements and the company’s needs for additional financing; commercial success and market acceptance of CCM therapy; the company’s ability to achieve and maintain adequate levels of coverage or reimbursement for Optimizer systems or any future products the company may seek to commercialize; competitive companies and technologies in the industry; the company’s ability to expand its indications and develop and commercialize additional products and enhancements to its current products; the company’s business model and strategic plans for its products, technologies and business, including its implementation thereof; the company’s ability to expand, manage and maintain its direct sales and marketing organization; the company’s ability to commercialize or obtain regulatory approvals for CCM therapy and its products, or the effect of delays in commercializing or obtaining regulatory approvals; FDA or other U.S. or foreign regulatory actions affecting us or the healthcare industry generally, including healthcare reform measures in the United States and international markets; the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; and the company’s ability to establish and maintain intellectual property protection for CCM therapy and products or avoid claims of infringement. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494150/

Attachments

Rohan More, Global VP of Marketing
Impulse Dynamics
856-642-9933
rmore@impulsedynamics.com

Harris Currie, Chief Financial Officer (Investor Relations)
Impulse Dynamics
856-642-9933
hcurrie@impulsedynamics.com

Ian Ségal, Public Relations
Impulse Dynamics
856-642-9933
isegal@impulsedynamics.com

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