On recent rumors about Ethiopian Airlines

It is not just an exaggeration but a distortion of statistical
outcomes and an outright "fake news", to use Trumps words, to trump-up
charges against the competent and hard working persons of impeccable
integrity. The end result from ET's performance during this decade
testifies to my positive comments. I speak from past positions as
follows but am not presently engaged.

Apart from being involved at ET's top level management in the sixties
and seventies, I have served ET indirectly for ten years while in
AFRAA, fifteen years while SITA and another ten years as a member of
the board. This brings my years of service to an astounding
11+10+15+10=46 years. And, this is without giving credit to the
support I gave ET in supplying technicians and pilots from the air
force during my service there at very high command/management level.
You will understand if I feel slighted when ET is insulted in the
manner painted above. Some facts available to those who wish to know
follows.

Over the past near decade, ET's human resource has grown to near 15
thousand. Considering attrition due to retirements, resignations and
defections, well over 10 thousand Ethiopians were trained and usefully
employed in high paying jobs. To give you an idea of the investment
required to achieve this level, a couple of million Birr per pilot for
1000 pilots and a half million per technician for three times the
pilot number wouldn't be an exaggeration. Give credit to the present
management for having achieved this measure of success from earnings
abroad, as what is earned in the country doesn't cover expenses let
alone be available for investment.

Therefore, to pick up some fifty names from 15000 and project a
distorted picture is criminal to my way of thinking. You should, in
all fairness, adopt a similar stance against such harmful elements.  I
have experienced "Tigre phobia" in my time as CEO, nearly 5 decades
ago. At that time, an examination of about 450 management personnel
revealed that it was unfounded. In fact Amhara preponderance was at
the expense of Oromo. If the present state were thoroughly examined,
the situation wouldn't be different, I would guess. The reason is not
bias in hiring but, by the ever standing policy ET follows, ensuring
that the best the country offers is engaged. The sector that offers
good education to healthy and and competitive human resource gets the
opportunity.  And, if ET didn't follow this policy it wouldn't exist,
as it couldn't prevail over international competition.

In this respect, the Oromo, to which I partially belong, have had an
entire generation exposed to an education system that does not lend
itself to producing what ET needs. And, I would not be surprised if
presently Oromos are at a disadvantage. We should try to influence the
regional government to see reality and not pursues a harmful dogma.
Semret Medhane (Col Ret'd)
August 2018
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