Shannon Abeda, Eritrea’s First Winter Olympian
December 21, 2017
Shannon Abeda has secured his spot on the Eritrean team, after qualifying for the, ‘PyeongChang 2018’ Winter Olympic Games- in both the slalom and giant slalom events.
The first Eritrean ever!
BY WENDY-ANN CLARKE |
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/winte ... -1.4459979
Shannon-Ogbani Abeda will soon don a ski suit hued with the vibrant colours of the Eritrean flag as the country makes its Winter Olympic debut this February.
Born and raised in Alberta by immigrant parents from the East African nation, the 21-year-old has spent most of his life nestled in the Rocky Mountains and grew up barrelling down its powder-white slopes.
Although oceans away from the native land his father and mother fled in the early 1980s when they came to Canada as refugees, the computer science student says he wears both national identities with pride.
“I have grown up here with a lot of friends who are Canadian but I also have that connection inside to who I am as an Eritrean,” says the Calgary-based Abeda, who made the decision to compete for his parents’ birth country in 2011.
“I’ve been very humbled by the response and support I’ve received, especially from the Eritrean-Canadian community. They look up to me and I never imaged myself being in that position.”
Qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea in both the slalom and giant slalom events, Abeda who in addition to training is taking courses part-time through Athabasca University and the University of Calgary, has secured his spot on the Eritrean team under alpine skiing’s so-called basic quota rule. It grants all National Olympic Committees the right to enter one male and one female competitor, provided they meet the minimum performance standard.
It has been an arduous journey for the second-generation Canadian, who first came onto the world stage at 16 years old, representing Eritrea at the 2012 Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. He says that event opened his eyes to the level of international competition he’d be facing.
After overcoming the disappointment of not qualifying for the Sochi Games in 2014, a knee injury a year ago put Abeda’s 2018 Olympic dream in jeopardy. Due to the physical and mental tolls of the injury, he says he went through a period of uncertainty about his future in the sport, but he managed to persevere.
“It was a very difficult process to get where I am today,” Abeda says about his six-year journey to the Games. “I’m still trying to let it sink in that I qualified and that I will be fulfilling my Olympic dream.”
Known mostly in sport for the Summer Olympic disciplines of distance running and cycling, Eritrea was an Italian colony before being annexed by Ethiopia in the 1950s. The nation regained its independence in 1991 and made its Olympic debut in 2000. It won its sole medal in 2004 when runner Zersenay Tadese captured bronze in the men’s 10,000 metres.
Flooded with messages of support from Eritreans across the globe, the pressure to perform has at times weighed on Abeda. But he says his parents have been a constant source of support, assuring him that although this marks a significant moment in their country’s history, it’s primarily a personal victory for him as an athlete.
For Abeda’s mother, Ariam, and father, Welday, having a son compete for a country rattled by war and still so close to their hearts in some ways brings the Calgary family’s story full circle.
“Eritreans have gone through 30 years of war where a lot of people lost their lives,” says Welday, an engineer working in the Alberta oil and gas industry. “Now with Eritrea being its own country, our children and our grandchildren can represent it. That’s good for Eritrea and also for other first- and second-generation immigrants who might be encouraged to get involved in winter sports.
“We’re looking forward to Shannon inspiring kids from other nations that don’t have snow to dream that they can represent their country of birth or their parents’ country and we’re excited about that.”
Abeda has little chance of winning a medal, but coach Helmut Spiegl believes the now-healthy skier should still have a strong showing when he hits the slopes in South Korea.
“The goal will be to make the final,” says Spiegl. “It will be a difficult task but definitely possible.”
Born in Austria, Spiegl has lived in Canada for 35 years and has coached for both the Canadian and Australian national teams. He has worked with Abeda for the last five years and says the two have developed a strong bond.
“A very exciting moment for us was going to an Eritrean tailor in Calgary to get measured for our Eritrean traditional outfits,” says Spiegl who is scheduled to march with Shannon under the Eritrean flag during the parade of nations at the Games’ opening ceremony. “I’ve known the [Abeda] family for many years now and we’ve grown close. For me to be a part of this occasion is going to feel very special.”
Solar Eritrea: E-tech installing Solar Power Grids at Lightning Speed
By Semir Seid
http://www.shabait.com/categoryblog/254 ... ing-speed-
One of the biggest challenges to bringing Africa’s technology up to speed, is making electricity available across the continent. Fuel can no longer be an option for developing nations, as national incomes have to be earmarked, for many developmental projects.
To generate all of the energy a country needs, there have to be alternative sources of energy; such as renewable and environmentally friendly solar power. The goal now, is to bring electricity to as many Africans as possible, encourage innovation, and drive aggressive economic growth, with solar power. In Eritrea, the use of solar energy, started in the year 1995. Eight years ago, there was only 2% coverage of solar energy, but now the figure has increased into 10%.
With the global demand for cheap electricity growing in the last two decades, the introduction of renewable energies had to be considered. In Eritrea, many endeavors have been made in the past, to support the fuel-based electricity grid and provide a stable power supply across the country. Solar power projects are underway in many places, to respond to the country’s growing demand of energy and comply with the seventh goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of 2030, which promote affordable and clean energy. Adopting this cost-effective technology, would reduce the global electricity consumption of buildings and industries- by 14 percent.
E-tech, established in 2004 with a mission of introducing technology and transferring knowledge, has been assembling and providing computer and computer appliances, to educational and other institutions. The goal of the company, is to make standard quality products. E-tech, is an efficiency-oriented company and gradually aims to increase this motive, through experience and knowledge gathering. At the moment, E-tech is focusing more on projects of assembling solar panels and proving solar energy to development sites. Recently, this company has been able to install, 2 megawatts of solar powered energy in the Adi Halo site, in a short period of time. Since 2014, E-tech has been fully committed to spreading its new capacity of providing solar energy to agricultural and other national development sites, assisted by its local employees. The solar energy project administered by E-tech, uses a hybrid system- it can connect and flow to the electrical grid, operated by generators.
Major Aklilu Habtemariam, head of E-tech projects across the country, said that the Adi Halo site solar project installed in just three months, has the potential to supply power to nearby villages, factories as well as educational and health institutions. Another 2 megawatts solar energy, is to be set up in the same area, to boost future economic activities on the site. Major Aklilu further said, that there is a national plan for the solar power generated from the panels, to be synchronized with the national grid, though the process of electrification varies, depending in the day and night operations. The Fuel Save Controller (a component in the generators), controls the procedures of the flow of power and likewise interchanges it, between the main power supply generators and the installed solar power panels. Despite the big amounts of initial investments, for the solar panels, their durability is certain to last for decades and the only running cost will be, a regular sanitation procedure. The solar panels will remarkably reduce, the daily fuel consumption per day, by lowering the operation hours of generators.
It is believed that the solar energy panels, can generate up to 75% of the needed power supply in day time, with the generators covering the remaining 25%.
Solar energy projects are largely part of the national development plans and are conducted across the country's development sites. E-tech, has plans for 80-120 megawatt future solar energy projects. It has plans of four and eight megawatt solar panel installations, both in Gergera and Kerkebet, respectively. Nonetheless, the high temperature in the eastern and western lowlands of Eritrea, lowers the insulation of the solar panels, reducing the energy to be generated. In the highlands, the insulation is higher and more reliable. Sometimes in the summer, clouds make it harder for the solar panels to charge and supply power. At these times, a hybrid energy power generation is used, to help keep a consistent flow of energy.
Most of the employees of E-tech, are graduates of the EIT College, which include civil engineers, designers, electricians and others. There are up to 400 employees, deployed in similar projects throughout the country. These employees are directly recruited from the College and most are new, to the practical application of the solar energy installations. The synergy among these employees, is highly commended by the head of the company. The employees admit, that they have gained an interesting experience in a limited period of time.
Solar energy systems, are presented in many forms and megawatts. The home-based solar energy systems, are so small. They cannot even produce sufficient energy for a fridge, but they can supply each home with lights, a mobile-phone charger, and, if households can afford it, a small, super-efficient flat-screen TV.
Introducing efficient renewable energy such as solar power, minimizes the electricity consumption fee, per kilowatt. If properly utilized, it makes a big difference on households and organizational saving patterns, and boosts the economy of the country. E-tech is a locally established and gradually evolving technological company, with a vision to grow into regional and international technology company. Major Aklilu said, that E-tech plays a massive role inside the country’s development tracks and is working efficiently, to initiate competitive grounds in the region and internationally. This company has proven, that it can provide advanced technology and develop its human resource, that is contributing to the national development.
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ATS / Eritrean Merhawi Kudus: Africa’s Third Best Cyclist of the year.
Africa Top Sports
LOUIS MEINTJES: AFRICAN CYCLIST OF THE YEAR 2017
December 20, 2017
http://www.africatopsports.com/2017/12/ ... nnee-2017/
The winner was known, since Wednesday. Louis Meintjes was named African Cyclist of the Year 2017, by the jury of sports directors, coaches, leaders, African riders, African and European journalists chaired by former French champion Bernard Hinault.
The South African rider, of the UAE Emirates team, is ahead of Rwandan Joseph Areruya (Dimension Data) and Eritrean Merhawi Kudus.
" It's an immense honor. I am very grateful for the support of the peoples, of Africa. I hope I can carry the African flag high, in 2018 ", was the first reaction of Meintjes, who had already won the award in 2013. He becomes the first rider, to be distinguished twice.
Tesfom Okubamariam, the winner last year, finished 8th.
The African Cyclist of the Year Award, has been held since 2012, by the organizers of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo to recognize
" the rider who, by his results on the continent and on the rest of the planet, has contributed the most to shine and to make African cycling known."
The Top 10
2. Joseph Areruya
3. Merhawi Kudus
4. Tshgabu Grmay
5. Salaheddine Mraouni
6. Willie Smit
7. Meron Teshome
8. Tesfom Okubamariam
9. Amine Ahmed Galdoune
10. Meron Abraham
Previous African Cyclist of the Year Award, Winners
2012: Natnael Berhane
2013: Louis Meintjes
2014: Mekseb Debesay
2015: Daniel Teklehaimanot
2016: Tesfom Okubamariam
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