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Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons.

A Tragedy: Africans Mourn Those Lost on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

Erasure, racist narratives and plain irresponsibility have dominated western media coverage of the plane crash.

The tragic news of the Ethiopian Airlines carrier heading to Nairobi from Addis Ababa crashing shortly after takeoff dominated headlines and timelines from Sunday through today. Here's what we know about the incident so far.


The Boeing 737 Max 8, flight 302, held 157 people, including the crew, hailing from over 30 countries, BBC reports. There were no survivors.

The safety of the Boeing model has been called to question as a Lion Air carrier of the same model crashed into the sea near Indonesia killing 190 people just under 5 months ago.

According to investigators, the flight recorders have been recovered from the site of the crash. Ethiopian Airlines also released a statement Monday, declaring they have grounded their fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8s "until further notice."

"Although we don't yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution," the airline states.

Major media outlets from the western hemisphere led the coverage of this incident—which in turn came with erasure, unwarranted blame and plain irresponsibility.

It's expected that outlets will tailor coverage according to their various audiences, but that still does not warrant ignoring the loss of black bodies—as Kenya lost the most nationals out of all the European countries that were highlighted instead.

Broadcast outlets also attempted to push the narrative that this tragedy was a result of a "poor safety record"—which in Ethiopian Airlines' case is untrue. Aviation expert Alex Macheras had to make that clear on TRT World in the clip below.

"Shifting the tenor with which African stories, tragic or otherwise, are reported in western media requires an acknowledgement of both African humanity and of all the social forces that have conspired to erode it in the public consciousness," Hannah Giorgis writes in an analysis for The Atlantic. "It demands accountability, not to western audiences for whom proximity is the only shortcut to empathy—but to black victims and the readers who would most easily join their ranks."

The names and stories of the deceased are slowly coming to light after the families of those lost have been informed of their loved ones—including 28-year-old pilot Yared Getachew.

"With his impeccable record as a pilot, he was one of the youngest in Ethiopian Airlines history to captain a Boeing 737. As a confident captain, his seniority at Ethiopian Airlines comes with an accomplished record of 8,000 hours flight time, and has made us incredibly proud of his achievements," his family says in a statement. "We ask for you to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult time."

Pius Adesanmi, an acclaimed Nigerian writer, professor and public intellectual, was an other passenger on this flight. Brittle Paper adds that Adesanmi was traveling on his Canadian passport, as he was a professor at Carleton University. He was known for his satire and critique on Nigeria's political and social systems and was a popular columnist for Premium Times and Sahara Reporters. An author, books of note include Naija No Dey Carry Last (2015) and You're Not A Country, Africa (2011)—which landed him the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing for nonfiction. He was also a recipient of the Canada Bureau of International Education Leadership Award.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. Take a look at more names of those who were lost below.






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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Responds to Trump's Claims of Being Snubbed for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says that Trump's issue with the Nobel Peace Prize recipient 'must be taken up in Oslo, not Ethiopia'.

UPDATE 01/13: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is currently in South Africa to seek mediation from President Cyril Ramaphosa in light of the deadlock with Egypt over a potential hydropower project on the Nile River.

At a press briefing in Pretoria, Ahmed responded to questions around President Donald Trump's recent claims to having been snubbed for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize although he was allegedly instrumental in "saving Ethiopia", according to the BBC.

Last year, Ahmed was awarded the prize largely for his role in ending the two-decade long border conflict with neighbouring country Eritrea.

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Ethiopia's Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali poses after being awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony 2018 at Oslo City Town Hall on December 10, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Erik Valestrand/Getty Images)

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Accepts Nobel Peace Prize Amidst Wave of Protest

The leader, who has been called a 'reformist' has been met with criticism from those who believe his efforts have not brought about tangible change.

Following the announcement of his win October, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed formally received his Nobel Peace Prize during the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway on Tuesday for his efforts to "achieve peace and international cooperation."

During his lecture, Ahmed addressed the ongoing quest for "peace," which he has been credited for fostering between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea following two decades of hostility between the two nations.

"For me, nurturing peace is like planting and growing trees," said Ahmed in his speech. "Just like trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires unwavering commitment, infinite patience, and good will to cultivate and harvest its dividends." Ahmed was praised by chairperson of the Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, for representing a "new generation of African leaders who realise that conflict must be resolved by peaceful means."

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Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun in "Noyé." Photo: Ben Depp.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Makwa x Maraza x AKA, Joeboy, Zlatan, Nadia Nakia, TOBi x The Game, Yilian Canizares, Aewon Wolf and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Trump Plans to Extend Travel Ban to Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Eritrea & Three Other Countries

Here's what the travel ban could mean for these nations.

On Tuesday it was announced that Donald Trump's administration plans to extend its infamous travel ban to include seven new countries, many of them in Africa.

The countries named on the list, include Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and the Eastern European nation of Belarus. Politico first broke the news.

According to The Washington Post, the move would likely not be a complete ban on citizens looking to enter the US, however it could place various visa restrictions on some government officials and on those seeking certain type of visitor and business visas.

Some nations could also be banned from participation in the diversity travel lottery program, which grants green cards. Trump has threatened to sack the program in the past.

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