Op-Ed: Ethiopia’s Red Sea Gate Demands Attention

Op-Ed: Ethiopia’s Red Sea Gate Demands Attention

By: Abdiaziz Ali Hussein

The Ethiopian Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health Dr Lia Tadesse accompanied by Saharla Abdulahi deputy Minister of health, officials from Somali Regional Health Bureau and other international and national representatives visited today Aw Barre Health Centre the Health Centre implemented the first-ever Caesarean Section (CS) that is implemented at Health Centre level in the record of the Region on January 11, 2021.

The delegate led by Dr. Lia Tadesse visited also the Goobablay health post of Aw Barre woreda. Aw Barre woreda with a population of close to half a million people according to the general statistics agency of Ethiopia is one of the woredas under a region that is historically marginalised, excluded major life-changing development packages enriched other regions like Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and SNNPR Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional states in the past 27 years that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition (EPRDF) ruled the country.

Aw Barre health centre found in the Aw Barre a town is the headquarter of the Aw Barre woreda, on the route of the Red sea gate of Ethiopia, and the ancient road to Zeila almost always went through. Dr Lia appreciated the role of the Aw Barre Community and pledged that Aw Bare Health Centre will be a Hospital soon.

Dr Lia has visited Aw Barre one day before she attends the 23dr National Health Conference that is happening for the first time in Jigjiga, the capital city of a region that had a history of marginalisation and oppression known as the Somali Regional State.

Aw Barre is more developed according to the majority of the regional woredas. And that is due to people in this woreda giving trust to education and it is the leading place in the region when it comes to community participation. Due to the wonderful community participation awareness that this community has in nature built almost all Secondary schools close to ten and operating till today including Aw Barre Secondary School, the first secondary school built by 100% community participation in the region almost 30 years ago and others that produce ocean students who are everywhere in the region, Ethiopia and the world as well.

The projects in Aw Barre that are built by the community participation is not limited to these schools but there are ocean projects and resource mobilisations that its hailers including the Diaspora living in North America, Europe, middle east are doing and recently brought huge containers of books to Aw Barre Secondary School and most recently to Lafaciise Secondary School, the second secondary school built by Community participation and gives services in the woreda.

It was on this day October 29 2020 one year ago, when his excellence Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia visited Aw Barre woreda and saw wheat and other crops are grown on 100,000 hectares of land out of the total 174,000 hectares of registered arable land in a recent record of the woreda cultivated by the Community rain-fed and with the minimum support of the government of Ethiopia. In this visit, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali pledged that the federal government will support agricultural production. Imagine the community that cultivated this huge land on rain and with minimum support could get the full support of the government like irrigation and other inputs produce? They would have produced a surplus and saved millions of hard currencies of the wheat importations for the country.

Aw Barre is one of the four Districts in the Somali region benefiting the Community Based Health Insurance the health insurance strategy of the health financing strategy that has started to remove financial barriers, enhance equity, increase health service utilisation rate and improve the quality of health care by increasing resources available for health facilities to ensure universal health coverage through primary health care by 2035 in 2020 close to ten years behind the major regions of the country (Elmi, 2021).

Aw Barre woreda with all that community moving stone and steel to build structures, saving money for the government of Ethiopia and the Region, mobilising the world wisdom, building their base and basic service, gets neither the encouragement nor regional multimillion projects that uplift the lives of the mankind they deserve from any Somali Regional Government that governs this region but I am enthusiastic the wise leadership of the current regional government will fix the social injustices and will give attention and what they deserve.

About Author

Abdiaziz Ali Hussein is a writer and educationalist. Mr Ali lives in Jigjiga, Ethiopia, and can be reached through abdiaziz172@gmail.com


Elmi, A. (2021). Determinants of Enrolment for Community Based Health Insurance in Awbare District Somali Region, Ethiopia: A Mixed-Method Study. In S. S. International, Abstract Booklet (pp. 16-17). Jigjiga: The 14th Somali Studies International Congress.


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