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  • Meet the Dibabas: The Fastest Family on the Planet

    Ethiopia is a running-mad country—but it’s never seen anything like the Dibabas. Chloe Malle heads to Addis Ababa to meet the fastest family on the planet.

    The only sound at the top of the Entoto Mountains is the thwack of a cowherd’s staff against the tree trunks as he leads his small herd of oxen home. I am doing my best to keep pace with Tirunesh Dibaba, 30, and her younger sister, Genzebe, 25, two wisplike Ethiopians with wide smiles and a fiercely close bond who may be the most formidable female track stars in the world. In the late-afternoon light high above central Addis Ababa, we zigzag between the majestic eucalyptus trees, paying heed to the uneven ground below and staying alert for the not-uncommon hyena sighting—no problem, the sisters assure me, as long as you clap loudly and throw a rock in the animal’s direction.

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  • More African athletes will shine in Rio, but they won’t all be doing so for African countries

    Last month, Yasemin Can, a Turkish athlete made mincemeat of her opponents to clinch both the 5,000m and the 10,000m races at the European Championships in Amsterdam.

    The 19-year old, born in Kenya as Vivian Jemutai, is one of the many African athletes who will be a force to reckon with as they represent their adopted nations when the track & field events kick off this weekend.

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    Governing a nation is a grave responsibility which requires of leaders to personify wisdom, far-sightedness, integrity, leadership skills and an unswerving commitment to peace, democracy and development. A government cannot be deemed to be populist just because it claims that it possesses these attributes; it has to demonstrate in action that it is willing to submit to the will of the people and to conduct its affairs in a transparent and accountable manner. It’s only then that its response to any public demand can be prompt, reasonable and consensus-oriented. Even if the response is not to everyone’s satisfaction, the very fact that the process is participatory lays the groundwork for further dialogue. Such kind of thinking needs to take root in present-day Ethiopia. Anyone who tries to act contrary to this principle is bound to collide head on with the public.

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