Message from the Director
Encouraging female participation
Education announcement 
Narrowing the information gap
Joined up justice in Ethiopia
Gender revisited in British Council Ethiopia

Office closures                                                         British Embassy news




2004 is the British Council’s seventieth anniversary. What does a 70-year-old organisation look like? I hope very different from what it was seventy years ago. The British Council has been in Ethiopia for at least 50 of the last 70 years, and during this time has brought together hundreds of thousands of young Ethiopians as part of our Ethiopia UK partnership agenda. In the early 1970s I was in Ethiopia as a teenage student and have enjoyed being back in a transformed Ethiopia. I am wondering how best to celebrate our 70th anniversary.

We should do something different or unusual. We are on the lookout for a really original way of celebrating, so why not email us with your ideas? No matter how mad it might seem, just drop us an email with a description of what we should do. We promise to look at all serious suggestions:

What will the next 70 years bring? I am not sure it is wise or lucky to offer a prognosis, however I don't think I can go wrong by guessing that the next 10 years will be very different from the last 10, and that being globally connected and being young will be important. For myself, a middle aged youth, I am hopeful that we will see increased access to global networking and dialogue through increased connectivity, so that young people can engage across borders without frontiers. I wish you a very young and energetic 2004 and a wonderful Christmas break and invite you to send us your ideas by email on how to celebrate our 70th anniversary before the end of January 2004.

Michael Moore






The British Council is the United Kingdom’s principal agency for cultural relations with other countries. We were established in 1934 and nearly 70 years later we are present in 218 towns and cities in 109 countries.






Encouraging female participation
Program Title: Women political skills
Objective: To encourage the participation of Ethiopian women in political elections
Number of Participants: 188, to date

“It is a very useful training – a woman has to know her rights and obligations. We are learning how women have the right to participate in elections and to be elected. “ Meseret is a participant in a project organised by the British Council and the Active Learning Centre, designed to encourage the maximum participation of women as voters and candidates in the 2005 elections.

4200 women in the regions of Ethiopia are involved. All the main political parties and some NGOs working in the area of civic education have nominated teams of women for this large cascade-training project. At the beginning of 2003 a team of 28 core trainers were trained by the Active Learning Centre and a two training manuals developed. During the second tier of cascade training taking place now, the core group is training a second team of 160 ‘regional’ trainers who will then go on to train the 4200.

The barriers against women’s involvement in the political process are formidable as one participant describes: “The idea that we have to stand in front of people and speak is very important – it is the first time we have tried to do this.” Training provides the knowledge and skills, which gives women the confidence to speak out. The work of women like Meseret who travelled four days to take part, will be vital to wider female participation in 2005: “I come from a place where we don’t have television, radio or newspapers. I am learning so that I can go and teach others. I want to share what I have learned”







Short term courses

Management of Performance and Reward: Systems to motivate and develop your people
Date:    9 - 27 February 2004
           14 June - 2 July 2004
             4 - 22 October 2004

Fees: 4,000 + VAT
Duration: 3 weeks

British Council seminars

Knowledge transfer: Higher education and industry links
28 March - 2 April 2004

New Internet resources


Q&A with Menna Worede

How do I apply for a place on a course at an institution in the UK?
If you are planning to do a full-time undergraduate degree course, foundation degree course, Diploma of Higher Education or HND/HNC in the UK, you will almost certainly need to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS). Applications for postgraduate study are generally made through the institution concerned and not through UCAS.

For further information please visit I also give education counselling every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday. You can call me on +251 1 55 00 22 or email me on



Dates for January International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test is 17 and 29 January.

  • 17 January full for academic candidates but open for general training candidates
  • 29 January still open for registration

For further information please contact Deborah Abebe Education Support & Exams Officer at +251 1 55 00 22 or email her at



Ministry articipants

H.E. Mr. Bereket Simon
H.E. Ambassador Myles Wickstead


Narrowing the information gap

Program Title: Journalist and PR training
Objective: To promote access to information and networking among media leaders
Collaborators : British Council, Ministry of Information, the British Embassy
Number of Participants: 106

The programme held mid December proved to be an excellent forum for an open conversation involving government information managers and the media.  Over 106 participants took advantage of the opportunity to share information about their respective fields and discuss plans for collaboration in the future. “This makes me happy. I am so glad that the government PR heads I usually work with got a chance to hear about the process we go through in the newspaper. I believe this has helped us appreciate each other. We realise how much one needs the other; it is a mutual benefit,” said Journalist Hiwot, a reporter from The Daily Monitor

Among the many participants was H.E. Minister Bereket Simon, Minister of Information, lead advocate of the program and also moderator of the workshop. Together with the Ministry of Information and supported by the British Embassy, the British Council facilitated this crucial and well-overdue conversation. It began with an Open workshop with senior officials followed by a four-day training for private and government journalists, editors, and public relations managers. Professor Donald Trelfold, former editor of the Observer for 18 years, and Mr. Jonathan Fryer, both of whom have a wealth of experience of more than 40 years in the media world, led the discussions.

Acknowledging the helpfulness of the discussions and calling for further action, H.E. Bereket Simon said, “The final responsibility of nurturing our media and its relationship with the government remains to be the prerogative of all Ethiopians.”

“We realize that the government too has its own responsibility in establishing favourable conditions for the development of the media,” H.E. Bereket Simon comments in an address to the program’s participants. “We are working towards building the capacity of public relations officers so as to facilitate a smooth flow and exchange of information.” More on Journalism:


H.E. Genet Zewdie, Ministry of Education
State Minister Nestanet Asfaw

H.E. Mr. Bereket Simon and British Council Assistant Director, Governance Abebe Chekol


Participants from the Gambella Region with British Council Governance Support Officer Bereket Loul

Wubah Mohammed Hussein from the Somali Region


Joined up justice in Ethiopia

Program Title: Joined up justice
Objective: To promote teamwork among employees of the Ethiopian criminal justice
Collaborators : British Council, the Federal Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice, the British Embassy, and UK's Eunoia Agency
Number of Participants: 250

This Ethiopia UK collaboration defines and enables efforts to enhance service delivery, combat corruption, and tackle the abuse of human rights in the Justice Sector. The Federal Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice, with funding from the British Embassy and facilitation from the British Council launched another phase of their “Joined Up Justice” project. The goal is ambitious because it seeks to make the individual journey of those seeking access or those under justice clear and transparent.

Between 2 and 11 December, a series of seminars were conducted by a team of UK experts with experience in the police force, prosecution office, courts and prison services in the UK. The seminars took place in Mekelle, Tigray and Addis Ababa. On various days, representatives from the Tigray, Afar, Oromiya, Gambella, Beninshangul, and Somali regions participated in the seminars.

Many of the comments following the seminars indicated their success. “British Council and British Embassy’s support is greatly appreciated. Putting all these bodies from all the regions together--the police, judges, prosecutors--and encouraging them to work together as one body is not an easy task. I must say that it has been a success thus far,” said H.E. Harka Haroye, Minister of Justice.

Another participant, Chang Teng, President of the Gambella Region Supreme Court, commented on the strong potential of the seminars: “I know that with more of these seminars we will have a new, improved justice system with more coordination amongst us.”

“All our objectives are the same,” noted Wubah Mohammed Hussein from the Somali region, “But we all worked as different bodies. This seminar has made us identify the problems we have and how to solve them through teamwork and communication.”

Joined up justice seminars are scheduled to take place again later on this year.  More on joined up justice;


Trainer Ian Russell with Tigray participant

Local consultant Lissane Yohannes with the participants



Gender revisited in British Council Ethiopia

Program Title: Why gender balance? 
Objective: To encourage gender balance in the daily work we do
Collaborators : British Council Staff, Active Learning Centre UK Expert
Number of Participants: 30

Why is gender balance a necessity in the workplace? How important is it to consider this balance in the projects we design? These and many other questions in regards to gender were answered in the 1-day workshop given to most British Council Ethiopia staff in December. Gil Long, and Rachel Mekuria, British Council Gender Manager took on the task of challenging entrenched attitudes.

The workshop covered the role of gender in development gave a clear understanding of gender terms and concepts, and offered solutions of how these can be incorporated in the work that we are involved in.

‘It is said that women hold up half of the sky… At least 50% of the world’s population are women…’ were the first words of Rachel Mekuria. Further educating us that women are an important input to the workplace and whose opinion and potential can impact beyond the 50% of their representation. She described Ethiopia’s signatory to the global agreements on women’s rights such as Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which on paper and in law guarantees women equal rights and protection from discrimination. Article 35 of the Ethiopian Constitution rules out this discrimination against women.  A lot of work is needed to make it real.

It was a chance to identify our strengths, weaknesses and how to go forward from here. ‘It was a helpful session, that helped me outline the key areas that I know I will take in to account when designing or co-ordinating my future projects,’ concluded Dr. Solomon Hailu Manager, English Language Teaching.

The workshop was full of heated conversations between us, but in the end all the exercises done together, presentations given and the opinions shared with each other made us realise that it was an issue that needed to be addressed in one way or the other and we all have a responsibility. Each one of us have an obligation to make this wrong right.






  7 January, Wednesday Ethiopian Christmas

  20 January, Tuesday Ethiopian Epiphany

Minister for Africa Chris Mullin will be here from 16-19 January

The International Development Committee will also to be here from 22-26 January

The Embassy will be closed on 7 January for Ethiopian Christmas



The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations.
Registered in England as a charity. Produced in Ethiopia by the British Council © 2003