Friday, September 29, 2006

it's not meles' fault

It is easy to blame a country's problems on the country's leader...but it's not meles' fault. Meles and EPRDF took the baton but had no clue which way to march. Ethiopia was a weak country in 1991. The people were weak and beaten by fear and death from the previous regime. The government was in pieces scattered all around ethiopia. There did not exist any clear, straight path for EPRDF and Meles to take. So, here comes IMF and World Bank advisors with a defined plan of success for ethiopia based on their own interpretation of ethiopia's needs (cultural pluralism and consociationalism). Meles and EPRDF had to take their advise...what other choice did they have?....ethiopia was vulnerable and as leaders of Ethiopia Meles and EPRDF were vulnerable...they needed money from the World Bank and IMF and other democratic governments....moreover they needed to get into the globalization race and compete on an international level. So, how can you blame meles for dividing Ethiopia into ethnic was the mis-advice of development can only blame meles for being so foolish and easily blinded by money and power...however I think that is the case of most human get excited when you see a big government official or celebrity ...not because of their work...but merely because of their title and meles is a victim of being human. So ethiopians need to stop focusing so much on Meles, woyanes, EPRDF and need to focus on ethiopia's political structure-the constitution, the parliament, the courts- and we need extensive research on the effects of the new political structure on ethiopia's economy and society. We need to strengthen our political and economic structure so that it wont be vulnerable to human faults.

New government in Ethiopia based on cultural pluralism and consociationalism

*Looking at Ethiopia’s revolution of 1991; the Mengistu government collapsed because it was killing people
*There was a genocide in Ethiopia “the red terror” and people wanted the government out
*It was not a conflict between ethnic groups; it was a revolt against genocide
*When the transitional government (led by the EPRDF) was writing its new constitution and political structure, IMF/America/Western world advised
*IMF/World Bank assumed ethnic groups are separate communities
*They used objective indicators to realize that Ethiopia had many ethnic groups (80+)
*They assumed these ethnic groups were completely separate communities who were deeply divided
*They predicted tribal warfare and complete political instability unless the new government gave representation to the ethnic groups in parliament
*So they took 80 + tribes and condensed Ethiopia into 9 ethnic regions
*People became conscious of their ethnic identity and conscious of the economic and political gap between other ethnic groups
*It is the worst policy to hit Ethiopia and perhaps the worst to hit development
*Why? BECAUSE this new political structure marginalized 70+ tribes and now there is a need of NGOs and small non-profits to correct the disparity
*New theories of development: Millennium Villages: A New Approach to Fighting Poverty

Thursday, September 28, 2006

my sentiments this morning

why oh why is ethiopia so poor...yet so rich in natural resources... outside aid... NGOs... human resources. who is the dark man in the dark hooded cape stealing all of these resources. i need to find his underground storage house and retrieve all of ethiopia's riches.

it boggles my mind how mr. coffee man is an American business man from New York who also use to own an NBA basketball team...and im further boggled by his increasing fortune...he is climbing up the fortune 500 list.....the boggling continues with the news that coffee is the second most traded good after oil......why am i so boggled?...well coffee is believed to originate in Kaffa, Ethiopia...and moreover, there are no coffee farms in Brooklyn, New York....his fortune along with the fortune of other coffee business men originate from small remote farms located in developing countries......

So you've heard of fair trade.....(a new initiative to give a greater percentage of the profits to the farmers-who are the first to touch the coffee)....well i went to starbucks here in DC on Pennsylvania street and asked if they had fair trade coffee....her response, "it's not in season"....excuse me!....please, let me know when justice is in season??

why oh why is ethiopia so poor?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ethiopia: Quick Facts (Source: CIA World Fact Book 2006)

Our geographic coordinates are 8 00 N 38 00 E (north east from the center of the earth)
Area: 1.13 million square kilometers (a little less than twice the size of texas)
Parameter: 5,328 kilometers (bordered by sudan, eritrea, djibouti, somalia, kenya)
Land Area: 1.12 million square kilometers
Water Area: 7444 square kilometers
Land used for replantable crops (wheat, maize, rice): 10.01%
Land used for crops not replanted after each harvest (citrus, coffee, rubber): 0.65%
Irrigated Land (supplied artificially with water): 2900 square kilometers
natural resources: small amounts of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
3 major crops believed to originate in Ethiopia: Coffee, grain sorghum, castor bean
52 people/square kilometer
Population: 74 million (18th greates population in the world)
Annual Total Population growth: 2.31 % (above average in comparison to the world)
Annual Urban Population growth: 4.1%
Ethnicity: Oromo (40%) Amhara and Tigre (32%) Sidamo (9%) Shankella (6%) Somali (6%) Afar (4%) Gurage (2%) Other (1%)
Religion: Muslim (45-50%) Ethiopian Orthodox (35-40%) Animist (12%) Other (#-8%)
Literacy Rate: Total = 42.7%; Male = 50.3%; Female = 35.1%