Headline Jan 28, 2015/ ''' SAM DAILY TIMES : ''ON THE MARCH WITHOUT SHOES''



GREAT, GOOD, KIND AND GRACIOUS people,  the world over, -from every rank and file,  offered every assistance and help. 

We  thank them all, I thank every single one of them.

After global elections, it will be for the students of the world, students elected to their respective offices,  to decide.

 WE and I  have no blueprint for the future. The future has to come from the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless : !WOW!

WHY DO WE MAKE THE EFFORT? Why do you do what you do? Why do you put in the work?

We do what we do because it matters. Because its damn important. Little things. Big things. Little things that add up to big things.

LIFE for  most Ethiopians is improving. Fewer people are hungry. 

The number of those deemed by the UN to depend on food handouts fell from 4.5 million to  3.2 million in 2011.

GOING BAREFOOT IN  AFRICA often means injuries, worms puncturing the skin and putrefaction of the of the foot from disease.

But in the past few years shoes have been getting a foothold in even the poorest and most remote communities of Ethiopia.

Most students and children living high in the wild Adwa mountains in northern Ethiopia now have shoes.

With no cushion or support, they are little more than plastic slippers. But in cold rain they provide a surer footing and protect the soles of the feet from being sliced on sharp rocks and toes from being cracked in a fall.

Those who live higher up in the mountains have to climb rock faces every day to reach  schools  and  clinics far below in the valley.

Doctors in the distant town of  Hawzen say climbing accidents are the biggest cause of death among mountain students. So even the plastic slippers can save lives.

They cost about  $2 a pair  -which most families say they can afford.

In Ethiopia's capital , Addis Ababa, a shoe revolution is under way. The prime minister says that China  has  ''rescued''   Ethiopia with  billion-dollar loans for roads, dams and other public infrastructure projects.

A Chinese railway being built fro Djibouti, on the Red Sea, to Addis Ababa. It will replace an ancient  Italian Line.

The prime minster delights in a new Chinese-built, skyscraping headquarters for the African Union, letting him dub the city as continent's diplomatic capital. By the by. though conscious that:

Western aid has kept millions of his people from starving, he complains about the relative failure of Western investors to put their faith in Ethiopia's economy.  

Meles Zenawi, wants Ethiopia to produce shoes for the world. A cheap workforce is drawing Chinese and Turkish investors.

One attraction is leather. Ethiopia has one of the largest livestock industries in Africa. Investors say they wish the tanneries were better.

Ethiopia, with its present population of  82 million  people possibly doubling before 2040, may also become an attractive market.

A Chinese firm from Dongguan,  Huajian Shoes, is set to invest $2 billion. It has started to build a vast industrial estate at the edge of Addis Ababa where it intends to make shoes for Western brands.

Sceptics say Ethiopia's shoddy infrastructure make it hard to produce the volumes of shoes required.

If Huajian Shoes succeeds, other shoemakers may follow. Wages will be lower than in China and Ethiopian have a tradition of handicraft.

A small Ethiopian shoe company,  SoleRebels, is selling its wares globally through the internet.

Some of the shoes are made from leather, but most use  ''vegan friendly''  local cotton, jute and hemp. The shoes are made to-order. The firm says it can courier them off within  a week.

Its founder, Bethlehem Alemu, wants to turn her company into a global brand.

''I chose to make shoes because it showcases Ethiopia  -our natural materials, our weaving and our sewing,'' she says.

The only non-Ethiopian bits of her shoes are the glue and the rubber soles cut from old lorry tyres.

So, marching forward, even without shoes, is Sam Daily Times :  ''The Voice Of The Voiceless's''   real future. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Ethiopia.
See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Writing Things That Matter '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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