Friday, September 29, 2006

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