Ethiopia: A Story of the African Sky, an African Plane Lost On African Soil


The Ethiopian Airlines crash in March was mourned as a global tragedy because dozens of countries were affected. In the subsequent furore over the plane's manufacturer and its alleged negligence resulting in a similar previous crash, 'Africa' has receded further to the margins of the story. The author explains why and finds in the list of passengers a sobering glimpse of Africa in 2019.

Two planes forever bound in pain and infamy. Of that, there can be no doubt, if experts conclude that Indonesia's Lion Air (JT) 610 and Ethiopian Airlines (ET) 302 were doomed by the same software glitch in the Boeing 737 Max's anti-stall system.

A tempest on an unbearable end to hundreds of lives. Lost on two continents, an ocean apart, within five months.

Tragedy on this scale always invites reflection. One dissimilarity caught my eye. All 181 passengers lost on the Lion Air flight except one - an Italian - were Indonesian. The 149 passengers who perished on the Ethiopian flight a month ago hailed from 35 countries.

Media were quick to expound on "35" in the aftermath of the crash. A grisly index for the global expansion of air travel; an emblem for our interconnected...

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