Daily Archives: March 9, 2020

 Huawei prévoit 10 tendances pour le photovoltaïque intelligent en 2025

SHENZHEN, Chine, 9 mars 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dans les cinq à dix ans à venir, les énergies renouvelables vont assumer un rôle plus important en tant que source d’énergie principale pour les réseaux électriques. L’énergie solaire, notamment, a un avenir particulièrement prometteur puisqu’elle est la forme d’énergie renouvelable la plus notable. Toutefois, comme les énergies renouvelables représentent une plus grande proportion de la production totale d’énergie, garantir la sécurité, la fiabilité et la rentabilité des actifs de production d’électricité deviendront la principale priorité.

Face au développement rapide des technologies TIC en plein essor, telles que l’IA, le cloud, les Big data et la 5G, et compte tenu de toutes les dernières tendances en matière de technologie de l’électronique de puissance, Huawei s’est impliquée auprès d’experts de ce domaine et a publié 10 tendances émergentes en termes de techniques au service du photovoltaïque intelligent en 2025. Ces tendances couvrent quatre dimensions : le coût actualisé de l’électricité (LCOE selon l’anglais), la convivialité du réseau électrique, la convergence intelligente, ainsi que la sécurité et la fiabilité. Ces tendances visent à pousser l’industrie à adopter des solutions intelligentes et vertes, et à donner un aperçu de l’innovation et de la croissance spectaculaire du secteur des énergies nouvelles.

Tendance 1 : la numérisation

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : plus de 90 % des centrales photovoltaïques seront numérisées à l’échelle mondiale.

Malgré l’essor du marché mondial du photovoltaïque (PV), les centrales PV comportent encore de nombreux « dispositifs idiots », allant de la production d’électricité aux communications. Ces dispositifs ne peuvent pas faire l’objet d’une surveillance efficace, ni donner l’alerte en cas de dysfonctionnement. Le développement rapide des technologies numériques telles que la 5G et le cloud devrait entraîner la numérisation complète de plus de 90 % des centrales photovoltaïques à l’horizon 2025, ce qui permettra une gestion simple, intelligente et efficace des centrales PV.

Tendance 2 : des modernisations intelligentes basées sur l ‘IA

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : plus de 70 % des centrales photovoltaïques vont utiliser des techniques d’IA.

L’intégration en profondeur de l’IA et du PV va faciliter la détection mutuelle et l’interconnexion des dispositifs et va améliorer la production d’électricité et l’efficacité du fonctionnement et de l’entretien grâce à une optimisation de la collaboration. Les techniques d’IA peuvent offrir de nouvelles possibilités prometteuses aux systèmes PV, notamment : l’identification et la protection dynamiques des dysfonctionnements des modules et des dispositifs photovoltaïques grâce à des algorithmes de diagnostic basés sur l’IA ; l’optimisation des algorithmes de suivi avec des données considérables sur les centrales et l’auto-apprentissage pour permettre des rendements plus élevés ; et la synergie de stockage solaire assistée par l’IA pour optimiser automatiquement les revenus des centrales de stockage d’énergie photovoltaïque. À mesure que le LCOE continuera de diminuer et que la complexité du fonctionnement et de l’entretien (F&E) augmentera, il y a de très fortes chances que les techniques d’IA soient largement appliquées dans les centrales PV.

Tendance 3 : des centrales photovoltaïques sans personnel

 Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : plus de 80 % du travail dans les centrales photovoltaïques sera effectué sans personnel

Face à la montée en puissance de l’intelligence artificielle et de l’Internet des objets (IdO), les produits et services intelligents apporteront une plus grande commodité à l’ensemble de la solution photovoltaïque. Grâce à l’intégration des expériences des experts et à l’auto-apprentissage continu, l’IA sera largement déployée pour remplacer les experts de F&E dans de nombreuses fonctions de diagnostic et de prise de décision. L’inspection par drone et le F&E automatisé par des robots permettront de gérer les travaux de F&E dangereux et répétitifs qui requièrent un haut degré de précision continu, pour assurer une productivité et une sécurité accrues dans les centrales photovoltaïques. Selon les estimations, l’avenir des centrales PV devrait se faire entièrement sans personnel.

Tendance 4 : un soutien dynamique aux réseaux électriques

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : les centrales photovoltaïques vont évoluer en passant de l’adaptation au réseau au support du réseau.

L’augmentation du taux de pénétration de l’énergie interfacée avec l’électronique de puissance va ébranler la solidité du réseau électrique, ce qui entravera l’application plus large des systèmes photovoltaïques. Au cours des cinq prochaines années, les centrales PV doivent progressivement évoluer en passant de l’adaptation au réseau électrique au soutien du réseau électrique. Pour ce faire, les onduleurs doivent posséder des capacités telles qu’une grande adaptabilité au rapport de court-circuit (SCR), une capacité de contrôler le courant harmonique avec une marge de 1 %, le maintien de l’alimentation en haute/basse tension et le réglage rapide de la fréquence, qui sont nécessaires pour la connexion au réseau.

Tendance 5 : le solaire + le stockage

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : la proportion de systèmes photovoltaïques couplés au stockage de l’énergie dépassera les 30 %.

Grâce à la plus grande pénétration des nouvelles sources d’énergie, les réseaux électriques auront des exigences de plus en plus strictes en termes de régulation des fréquences et d’écrêtement des périodes de pointe. Parallèlement à cela, le coût des batteries diminue en raison des progrès technologiques. Le stockage de l’énergie devrait fonctionner de concert avec les systèmes photovoltaïques et devenir un élément essentiel. Selon les prévisions, la proportion de systèmes PV comprenant un stockage de l’énergie dépassera les 30 % à l’horizon 2025.

Tendance 6 : des centrales électriques virtuelles

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : plus de 80 % des systèmes résidentiels seront connectés à des réseaux de centrales électriques virtuelles (VPP selon l’anglais).

Au cours des cinq ans à venir, les technologies TIC, telles que la 5G, la blockchain et les services cloud seront largement appliquées dans les centrales électriques décentralisées, formant ainsi des VVP au service de la gestion collaborative et participant à la programmation, aux transactions et aux services auxiliaires des systèmes électriques. Le développement de la technologie VPP inspirera de nouveaux modèles commerciaux et attirera de nouveaux acteurs du marché dans des environnements photovoltaïques décentralisés, servant de moteur de croissance pour le PV décentralisé.

Tendance 7 : une sécurité active

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé: le détecteur d’arc électrique (AFCI) deviendra un élément incontournable des systèmes photovoltaïques décentralisés installés sur les toits et sera intégré dans les normes industrielles internationales.

Face à l’élargissement de l’application du photovoltaïque décentralisé, la sécurité des bâtiments et des personnes est devenue un souci majeur. Les risques d’arcs photovoltaïques provoqués par le mauvais contact des nœuds des modules PV, les mauvaises connexions des connecteurs PV, ou par des câbles usés ou cassés, sont devenus une question urgente dans l’industrie. Pour atténuer ces risques, l’AFCI va devenir une fonction standard pour les systèmes PV décentralisés installés sur les toits, et elle sera intégrée dans les normes industrielles internationales.

Tendance 8 : une très haute densité de puissance

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé la densité de puissance des onduleurs va augmenter de plus de 50 %.

Pour faire face à la tendance à la baisse du LCOE du solaire, il faut des exigences plus élevées en matière de puissance d’un seul module et un entretien facile de l’onduleur. Pour y parvenir, une plus grande densité de puissance est nécessaire. Grâce aux avancées de la recherche sur les semi-conducteurs à large bande interdite, tels que le carbure de silicium (SiC) et le nitrure de gallium (GaN), ainsi qu’aux algorithmes de contrôle de pointe, la densité de puissance des onduleurs devrait augmenter de plus de 50 % au cours des cinq prochaines années.

Tendance 9 : une conception modulaire

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : les composants essentiels tels que les onduleurs, les systèmes de conversion d’énergie (PCS) et les dispositifs de stockage de l’énergie adopteront une conception modulaire.

Les onduleurs, les PCS et les dispositifs de stockage de l’énergie sont des composants essentiels d’une centrale photovoltaïque, qui ont une répercussion considérable sur la disponibilité de l’ensemble du système de la centrale PV. Au fil de l’augmentation de la capacité et de la complexité des centrales photovoltaïques, l’approche traditionnelle de la maintenance sur site, assurée par des experts, sera trop coûteuse. La conception modulaire va se généraliser car elle permet un déploiement flexible, une extension en douceur et un entretien ne demandant pas d’experts, ce qui réduira considérablement les coûts de fonctionnement et d’entretien et améliorera la disponibilité du système.

Tendance 10 : sécurité et fiabilité

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Élément clé : la sécurité et la fiabilité sont devenues des exigences nécessaires pour les installations photovoltaïques.

L’augmentation de la capacité cumulée des centrales photovoltaïques à l’échelle mondiale et la complexité de plus en plus grande de l’architecture des réseaux entraînent une augmentation des risques pesant sur la sécurité des centrales PV. Par ailleurs, les exigences liées au respect de la vie privée des utilisateurs et à leur sécurité sont plus strictes pour les centrales PV décentralisées. Toutes ces tendances laissent entendre que les centrales photovoltaïques doivent disposer de capacités de sécurité et offrir des gages de sérieux en termes de fiabilité, de disponibilité, de sécurité, de sûreté, de résilience et de confidentialité.

Le désir d’explorer, que partagent tous les êtres humains, ne connaît pas de limites. Nous aspirons toujours à atteindre de nouveaux sommets, à plonger dans des profondeurs plus grandes et à rechercher de nouvelles vérités. La convergence des technologies de la 5G, du cloud et de l’IA façonne un monde où tout est détecté, connecté et intelligent à une vitesse plus rapide que nous ne l’imaginons. En dressant la liste des dix principales tendances de l’industrie photovoltaïque pour 2025, Huawei compte bien jouer son rôle en incitant à la création d’un monde vert et intelligent, dans lequel le potentiel illimité des nouvelles solutions énergétiques pourra être largement partagé par toute la société.

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Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

SHENZHEN, China, March 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Over the next 5 to 10 years, renewable energy will assume a more prominent role as a main power source for power grids. Solar power, in particular, as the most noteworthy form of renewable energy, has a particularly bright future. However, as renewable represents a greater proportion of total energy production, ensuring safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness across power generation assets will become the upmost priority.

With the rapid development of emerging ICT technologies, such as AI, cloud, big data, and 5G, and in full consideration of the latest trends in power electronics technology, Huawei has engaged with experts in the field and has released 10 emerging technical trends for smart PV in 2025. These trends encompass four dimensions: lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), power grid friendliness, intelligent convergence, and security and trustworthiness. The trends aim to drive the industry toward intelligent, green solutions, and provide insight into innovation and soaring growth in the new energy industry.

Trend 1: Digitalization

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 90% of global PV plants will be digitalized.

Despite the booming global PV market, there are still many dumb devices in PV plants, from power generation to communications. These devices cannot be effectively monitored, nor can they provide fault alarm. With the rapid development of digital technologies such as 5G and cloud, it is expected that more than 90% of PV plants will be fully digitalized by 2025, making it possible for PV plants to be simple, intelligent, and efficient management.

Trend 2: AI-driven Smart Upgrades

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Over 70% PV plants will apply AI techniques.

The in-depth integration of AI and PV will facilitate mutual sensing and interconnection between devices, and will improve power generation and O&M efficiency through collaborative optimization. AI techniques can offer promising new avenues for PV systems, including: proactive identification and protection of PV module and device faults with AI diagnosis algorithms; tracker algorithm optimization with massive plant data and self-learning for higher yields; and AI-aided solar-storage synergy to automatically optimize PV-storage plant revenue. As LCOE continues to decrease and O&M complexity increases, AI techniques will be highly likely to widely apply in PV plants.

Trend 3: Unmanned PV Plants

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 80% of the work in PV plants will be unmanned.

With the ascendance of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent products and services will bring convenience to the whole PV solution. With integrated expert experiences and continuous self-learning, AI will be widely deployed to replace O&M experts in many diagnostic and decision-making functions. Drone inspection and robot-based automatic O&M will handle dangerous and repetitive O&M work that requires a continual high degree of accuracy, for enhanced productivity and safety in PV plants. As is estimated, it is expected that PV plants in the future will be fully unmanned.

Trend 4: Proactive Support for Power Grids

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: PV plants will shift from grid-adapting to grid-supporting.

The increasing penetration level of power-electronic-interfaced energy will undermine power grid strength, hindering the broader application of PV systems. Over the next 5 years, PV plants must gradually evolve from adapting to the power grid, to supporting the power grid. To this end, inverters should possess capabilities such as wide short circuit ratio (SCR) adaptability, capability to control harmonic current within 1%, consecutive high/low voltage ride-through, and fast frequency regulation, which are necessary for grid connection.

Trend 5: Solar + Storage

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: The proportion of PV systems coupled with energy storage will exceed 30%.

With the greater penetration of new energy sources, power grids will have increasingly stringent requirements for frequency regulation and peak shaving. In the meantime, battery costs are decreasing with technology advancement. It is projected that energy storage will work in tandem with PV systems, and become a critical component. Projections indicate that by 2025, the proportion of PV systems with energy storage will exceed 30%.

Trend 6: Virtual Power Plants

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 80% of residential systems will connect to Virtual Power Plant (VPP) networks.

Over the next 5 years, ICT technologies, such as 5G, blockchain, and cloud services, will be widely applied in distributed power plants, forming VPPs for collaborative management, and participating in the scheduling, transaction, and auxiliary services for power systems. The development of VPP technology will inspire new business models and attract new market players in distributed PV scenarios, serving as an engine of growth for distributed PV.

Trend 7: Active Safety

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) will become a must-have feature in distributed PV rooftop systems, and will be incorporated into international industry standards.

With the broader application of distributed PV, building and personal safety has become a major concern. PV arcing risks caused by the poor contact of nodes in PV modules, poor connections from PV connectors, or aged or broken cables, have become a pressing matter in the industry. To mitigate such risks, AFCI will become a standard function for distributed PV rooftop systems, and will be incorporated into international industry standards.

Trend 8: Higher Power Density

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Inverter power density will increase by more than 50%.

With the trend of lower LCOE of solar, there calls higher requirements in higher power of a single module and easy inverter maintenance. To achieve this, higher power density is required. With breakthroughs in research of wide-bandgap semiconductors, such as SiC and GaN, as well as advanced control algorithms, inverter power density is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 5 years.

Trend 9: Modular Design

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Core components such as inverters, PCS and energy storage devices will adopt modular design.

Inverters, PCSs, and energy storage devices are key components in a PV plant, which greatly affect the availability of the entire PV plant system. As the capacity and complexity of PV plants increase, the traditional, expert-driven approach for onsite maintenance will be too costly. Modular design will become mainstream, as it enables flexible deployment, smooth expansion, and expert-free maintenance, greatly reducing O&M costs and improving system availability.

Trend 10: Security and Trustworthiness

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Security and Trustworthiness has become a necessary requirement for PV plants.

The increase in the cumulative capacity of global PV plants, and greater complexity of network architecture, which makes the network security risks of PV plants increasing. In addition, there are more stringent requirements for user privacy and security for distributed PV plants. All these trends suggest that PV plants need to possess security and trustworthiness capabilities in terms of reliability, availability, security, safety, resilience, and privacy.

Our common desire to explore as human beings, knows no limits. We are always looking to soar to new heights, plunge to deeper depths, and seek out new truths. The convergence of 5G, cloud, and AI technologies is shaping a world where everything is sensed, connected, and intelligent at a speed faster than we think. By listing the top 10 trends for the PV industry for 2025, Huawei hopes to play its part in inspiring the creation of a green, intelligent world, in which the boundless potential of new energy solutions can be broadly shared across society.

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Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

SHENZHEN, China, March 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Over the next 5 to 10 years, renewable energy will assume a more prominent role as a main power source for power grids. Solar power, in particular, as the most noteworthy form of renewable energy, has a particularly bright future. However, as renewable represents a greater proportion of total energy production, ensuring safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness across power generation assets will become the upmost priority.

With the rapid development of emerging ICT technologies, such as AI, cloud, big data, and 5G, and in full consideration of the latest trends in power electronics technology, Huawei has engaged with experts in the field and has released 10 emerging technical trends for smart PV in 2025. These trends encompass four dimensions: lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), power grid friendliness, intelligent convergence, and security and trustworthiness. The trends aim to drive the industry toward intelligent, green solutions, and provide insight into innovation and soaring growth in the new energy industry.

Trend 1: Digitalization

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 90% of global PV plants will be digitalized.

Despite the booming global PV market, there are still many dumb devices in PV plants, from power generation to communications. These devices cannot be effectively monitored, nor can they provide fault alarm. With the rapid development of digital technologies such as 5G and cloud, it is expected that more than 90% of PV plants will be fully digitalized by 2025, making it possible for PV plants to be simple, intelligent, and efficient management.

Trend 2: AI-driven Smart Upgrades

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Over 70% PV plants will apply AI techniques.

The in-depth integration of AI and PV will facilitate mutual sensing and interconnection between devices, and will improve power generation and O&M efficiency through collaborative optimization. AI techniques can offer promising new avenues for PV systems, including: proactive identification and protection of PV module and device faults with AI diagnosis algorithms; tracker algorithm optimization with massive plant data and self-learning for higher yields; and AI-aided solar-storage synergy to automatically optimize PV-storage plant revenue. As LCOE continues to decrease and O&M complexity increases, AI techniques will be highly likely to widely apply in PV plants.

Trend 3: Unmanned PV Plants

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 80% of the work in PV plants will be unmanned.

With the ascendance of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent products and services will bring convenience to the whole PV solution. With integrated expert experiences and continuous self-learning, AI will be widely deployed to replace O&M experts in many diagnostic and decision-making functions. Drone inspection and robot-based automatic O&M will handle dangerous and repetitive O&M work that requires a continual high degree of accuracy, for enhanced productivity and safety in PV plants. As is estimated, it is expected that PV plants in the future will be fully unmanned.

Trend 4: Proactive Support for Power Grids

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: PV plants will shift from grid-adapting to grid-supporting.

The increasing penetration level of power-electronic-interfaced energy will undermine power grid strength, hindering the broader application of PV systems. Over the next 5 years, PV plants must gradually evolve from adapting to the power grid, to supporting the power grid. To this end, inverters should possess capabilities such as wide short circuit ratio (SCR) adaptability, capability to control harmonic current within 1%, consecutive high/low voltage ride-through, and fast frequency regulation, which are necessary for grid connection.

Trend 5: Solar + Storage

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: The proportion of PV systems coupled with energy storage will exceed 30%.

With the greater penetration of new energy sources, power grids will have increasingly stringent requirements for frequency regulation and peak shaving. In the meantime, battery costs are decreasing with technology advancement. It is projected that energy storage will work in tandem with PV systems, and become a critical component. Projections indicate that by 2025, the proportion of PV systems with energy storage will exceed 30%.

Trend 6: Virtual Power Plants

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: More than 80% of residential systems will connect to Virtual Power Plant (VPP) networks.

Over the next 5 years, ICT technologies, such as 5G, blockchain, and cloud services, will be widely applied in distributed power plants, forming VPPs for collaborative management, and participating in the scheduling, transaction, and auxiliary services for power systems. The development of VPP technology will inspire new business models and attract new market players in distributed PV scenarios, serving as an engine of growth for distributed PV.

Trend 7: Active Safety

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) will become a must-have feature in distributed PV rooftop systems, and will be incorporated into international industry standards.

With the broader application of distributed PV, building and personal safety has become a major concern. PV arcing risks caused by the poor contact of nodes in PV modules, poor connections from PV connectors, or aged or broken cables, have become a pressing matter in the industry. To mitigate such risks, AFCI will become a standard function for distributed PV rooftop systems, and will be incorporated into international industry standards.

Trend 8: Higher Power Density

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Inverter power density will increase by more than 50%.

With the trend of lower LCOE of solar, there calls higher requirements in higher power of a single module and easy inverter maintenance. To achieve this, higher power density is required. With breakthroughs in research of wide-bandgap semiconductors, such as SiC and GaN, as well as advanced control algorithms, inverter power density is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 5 years.

Trend 9: Modular Design

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Core components such as inverters, PCS and energy storage devices will adopt modular design.

Inverters, PCSs, and energy storage devices are key components in a PV plant, which greatly affect the availability of the entire PV plant system. As the capacity and complexity of PV plants increase, the traditional, expert-driven approach for onsite maintenance will be too costly. Modular design will become mainstream, as it enables flexible deployment, smooth expansion, and expert-free maintenance, greatly reducing O&M costs and improving system availability.

Trend 10: Security and Trustworthiness

Huawei Predicts 10 Trends in Smart PV for 2025

Key point: Security and Trustworthiness has become a necessary requirement for PV plants.

The increase in the cumulative capacity of global PV plants, and greater complexity of network architecture, which makes the network security risks of PV plants increasing. In addition, there are more stringent requirements for user privacy and security for distributed PV plants. All these trends suggest that PV plants need to possess security and trustworthiness capabilities in terms of reliability, availability, security, safety, resilience, and privacy.

Our common desire to explore as human beings, knows no limits. We are always looking to soar to new heights, plunge to deeper depths, and seek out new truths. The convergence of 5G, cloud, and AI technologies is shaping a world where everything is sensed, connected, and intelligent at a speed faster than we think. By listing the top 10 trends for the PV industry for 2025, Huawei hopes to play its part in inspiring the creation of a green, intelligent world, in which the boundless potential of new energy solutions can be broadly shared across society.

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All-Female Ethiopian Flight Crew Aims to Inspire

WASHINGTON – To celebrate International Women’s Day, an all-female flight crew from Ethiopian Airlines flew from Addis Ababa to Washington D.C. The flight marked the sixth consecutive year the airline has made the symbolically important flight with a female crew.

“Ethiopian Airlines aims to show African girls that there are no professions reserved for men only and inspire them to have no limits to their dream of becoming anything they set their hearts to,” said Rahel Assefa, marketing vice president for the airline. “In short, as we say back home at Ethiopian, on this day we fly to inspire.”

The largest airline in Africa has made hiring women a priority and said 40% of its employees are female including 32% of management positions. The airline has female pilots, aircraft technicians, engineers, flight dispatchers, load controllers and ramp operators.

Rahel said too often on the African continent girls are taught that their only worth is to be married and live a domestic life.

“When their brothers are sent off to schools, girls are mostly held back at home, to help out as well as groomed on how to be a good wife, a good mother, a good homemaker,” she said. “Much work is needed to educate parents and communities in general, that their daughters can be anything and everything their sons can.”

Captain Amsale Gualu, who piloted the transatlantic flight, became the first female captain in Ethiopian history in 2010. She said it is important for women to support one another in fields whether they are underrepresented.

“The main thing is networking. Women should have a connection among one another and exchange ideas,” she told VOA’s Amharic service. “The other thing is supporting each other. For example when we fly with an all-female crew, even when there are standard procedures, there are things that make you happy.”

Amsale said at the time of the first all-female flight in 2015, there were only eight female pilots at the airline. Today, she said, there are 20 with another 24 training in aviation school.

“The change has come. Women support each other, we have our own groups and we show that it is possible. And by supporting each other, showing that it is achievable is our responsibility,” she said.

‘Educate a woman, educate a nation’

Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S. Fitsum Arega said the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made it a priority to promote women to positions of power. His cabinet is made up of 50% women and the country now has a female president and chief justice of the supreme court.

“There’s an African proverb that says, ‘if you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation,’” Fitsum said.

He added that empowering women is a boost to the nation’s economy.

“When half of the population is empowered with higher education and actively engaging in the workforce in the formal economy, this accelerates technological innovation, productivity and economic prosperity, which in turn will have a far-reaching multiplier effect on families, communities and the entire nation,” he said.

Hostess and team leader on the flight Bizuayehu Yilma said there was a special feeling on board. She hopes it inspires women worldwide.

“Any woman can reach any position she aspires to reach,” she said. “This is not charity but the duty or the responsibility of all. Everyone should support us. This is a show of our strength and how we can stand on equal footing. So I think that we have given a big education to all.”

Source: Voice of America

US Strikes in Somalia Nearly on Par with Strikes in Iraq, Syria

PENTAGON – The pace of U.S. military strikes against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab in Somalia this year is nearly on par with the number of strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. has carried out 25 strikes against al-Shabab to date in 2020, including one Monday in the vicinity of Janaale, Somalia, that U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said killed four terrorists.

Data released to VOA by a U.S. defense official show the U.S. carried out 29 airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from January 1 to March 1, the latest date in which strike data was available. A full strike report from Operation Inherent Resolve is expected later this week.

Strikes in Iraq and Syria have significantly tapered off since the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State caliphate last March.

In 2019, there were more than 2,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, with at least 1,600 of those carried out in the first couple of months. U.S. Central Command has decreased troop numbers in Syria, where thousands of IS fighters are estimated to remain, but increased troop numbers elsewhere in the Middle East in an effort to counter the threat of Iran.

Meanwhile, AFRICOM conducted a record 63 strikes in Somalia last year. Most were against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab, which has an estimated 6,000 militants in Somalia, with a handful of strikes against Islamic State. There were 47 U.S. military strikes in Somalia in 2018.

“Airstrikes are preventative measures to ensure al-Shabab does not increase in size and strength,” AFRICOM spokesman Maj. Karl Weiss told VOA on Monday. “That said, airstrikes and kinetic operations are not the command’s primary effort in Somalia; our core activity is the training of Somali security forces.”

Despite the ramped up strike numbers in Somalia, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has appeared averse to adding more U.S. troops to Africa, where Islamic extremists have plagued the continent from Somalia to the Sahel.

The Pentagon is in the middle of a review of AFRICOM that could reduce the number of U.S. troops on the continent. The first troop change in Africa under Esper’s leadership withdrew conventional troops and replaced them with specialized military trainers.

Esper has said the move would leave “roughly the same number of troops on the continent,” while giving U.S. commanders the capability to bolster partner forces.

Members of Congress have pushed back against any potential troop cuts, saying a decrease could provide an opening for strategic competitors Russia and China. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have even called for an increase in the number of U.S. troops deployed to Africa.

Esper is trying to follow a shift started by his predecessor, Jim Mattis, away from counterterrorism toward strategic competition with China and Russia. During Mattis’ time as defense secretary, the U.S. pulled 100 to 200 troops from West Africa and was preparing for further cuts.

Defense officials said extremist groups in West Africa did not appear to pose a threat to the U.S. homeland, but they have since continued to pummel U.S. allies, especially in countries like Burkina Faso. A top general in U.S. Africa Command admitted to VOA at the time of the troop pullout that the U.S. and its allies were “not winning” the counterterror war for the Sahel.

AFRICOM Commander Gen. Stephen Townsend has said al-Shabab is the “largest and most violent” of al-Qaida’s branches worldwide. Defense officials have stressed that while al-Shabab does not possess the capability to strike the U.S. homeland, the group has the intent to do so.

“It is important to impact their ability to threaten peace and security in East Africa and prevent their threats against the U.S. from being a reality,” Townsend said in a press release last month.

Townsend and CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie testify together in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Source: Voice of America