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Professor Ali Mazuri: Pre-eminent African Scholar, OSA Member and 2008 OSA Conference’s Keynote Speaker October 30, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Literature, Oromo Studies Association, OSA, Professor Ali Mazuri.
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The following is a statement from the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) on the passing away of Prof. Ali Mazuri.

 

With great sadness, members of Oromo Studies Association, along with all who are interested in African studies, heard about the passing on October 12, 2014 of Ali Mazrui. At the end of his life, he held the position of Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York. He was a towering intellectual, a giant, a versatile and erudite scholar whose work played a major role not only in shaping Africans’ perception of themselves, but also the view of Africans in the eyes of the world. Ali Mazrui was unmatched in his influence on African scholarship from the 1960s to the time of his death. He travelled the globe as a teacher, filmmaker, speaker and author. He was the first African scholar to publish three books in a single year (1967); he stood out as a very creative political scientist, able to express his ideas with eloquence and charm, and he was also a courageous scholar who, among other challenges, publicly criticized Idi Amin, the brutal dictator of Uganda in 1972, while others remained silent. Professor Mazrui was teaching at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in those years. Bonnie Holcomb, one of the founders of OSA, was at Makerere at that time and an eyewitness to his brave public speeches in opposition to Amin.

Professor Ali Mazrui was the most prolific scholar. His expertise was broad – including African politics, international political culture, political Islam, globalization and Africa’s relations with other continents, especially with Europe and Asia. He was also a highly-successful film maker. His 1986, nine-part television series, entitled The Africans: A Triple Heritage, was extremely popular and influential. In this series and in its accompanying book, Professor Mazrui demonstrated that Africans have been among the most dehumanized and exploited people in human history due to a combination of the slave trade, the ravages of colonialism, and the global racial discrimination to which Africans had been subjected as the legacy of the colonial era.

While Professor Mazrui did not reflect upon the Oromo condition in Ethiopia in his television series – only mentioning them briefly in the book that accompanied the series – he publicly expressed regret for this lapse in 2008 when he addressed the members of the Oromo Studies Association as a Keynote speaker. As a newcomer to the field of Oromo studies, Professor Mazrui was eager to learn about Oromo society. It was an OSA member, Professor Seifudein Adem, who introduced Professor Ali Mazrui to Oromo studies, after which Mazrui delved into Oromo issues.

It was in a spirit of seeking to understand Oromo issues and correcting his previous scholarship of the region, that he warmly accepted the Oromo Studies Association invitation to be Keynote speaker at its 2008 annual conference.. He delivered an impressive address at OSA in Minneapolis, MN on July 26, 2008. It was at that time that he became a member of OSA, demonstrating his genuine commitment to learning about the Oromo society. The 2009 Journal of Oromo Studies (Volume 16, Number 1, distributed by The Red Sea Press) featured his remarks at the OSA conference and focused on aspects of his scholarship which impacted Oromo Studies.

Ali Mazrui authored more than 30 books and hundreds of articles writing extensively on African politics, political economy, modernity, state building and nation building, violence, political instability, and Africa’s vulnerability to foreign domination and exploitation. He always wrote in lucid and entertaining prose, using spicy turns of phrase to reduce complex ideas and numerous facts into accessible food for thought. His fascinating interpretation of historical events, his thought-provoking generalization about the African condition and his optimism about the capacity of Africans, including the Oromo, to shape their own future, left behind an unparalleled legacy of impressive scholarship. He was a stellar African scholar who was well-known and well-connected around the globe. He wrote in English for the purpose of presenting Africa to Africans and to the world.

Ali Mazrui, this most famous global African scholar, was buried in Mombasa, Kenya, the place where he had been born on February 24 in 1933, 81 years ago and where his umbilical cord lies buried. He was laid to rest at his family’s graveyard on October 20, 2014. His death is a great loss to his vast extended family and to all who cherish the flourishing of African studies. The OSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, on behalf of OSA members, express their deepest condolences to his family members and all those who have been nourished by his extensive scholarship as well as his infectious love for debate. He respected the opinions of all people, even those who challenged him, even those who unkindly and unfairly attacked him. May his soul rest in peace. May our Waaqa comfort his family members and all those who knew the great scholar and shared his strong optimism about the capacity of Africans, including the Oromo, to improve their condition.

Despite his passing away, his writings, his elegant prose, poetic language and his powerful ideas, will continue inspiring and informing current and future generations.

May his soul rest in peace!

The Oromo Studies Association

 

Related Articles:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/20/ali-mazrui

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Ali-Mazrui/28889396430

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Mazrui

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Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis: Ancient Oromo History October 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Social System, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, State of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library.
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The Meroitic Ethiopian Origins of the Modern Oromo Nation

By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

First published in: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articl … leID=21760

Subsequently published in: Oromo Studies Association, 2005 Conference Proceedings, Washington D.C., 2005, 10p
Online mention: http://oromostudies.org/Proceedings/OSA.Proceeding.2005.pdf

The present text has been slightly edited.

This paper deals, among others, with the development of Meroitic studies, the Meroitic civilization, the destruction of the city of Meroe, the dispersal of the Meroitic people after the collapse of their state, the Christianization of the post Meroitic states in Ethiopia (i.e. Northern Sudan / it is to be reminded that the modern state of Abyssinia is fallaciously, illegally and criminally rebaptized ‘Ethioipia’), the migration of the remnants of the Meroitic people in the direction of the Blue Nile, and their possible relation of ancestry with the modern Cushitic language speaking Oromo nation. It must be stated clearly at the outset that the issue of Meroitic ancestry of the Oromo nation has not yet been considered, much less published in an academic journal or scholarly books. The paper was first presented in an academic conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association. Footnotes have been added in view of the aforementioned publication (see Pdf).

1. The Development of the Meroitic Studies, the History of Kush and Meroe, and the Efforts to Decipher the Meroitic Writing

Interest in what was Ethiopia for the Ancient Greeks and Romans, i.e. the Northern territory of present day Sudan from Khartoum to the Egyptian border *1, led to the gradual development of the modern discipline of the Humanities that long stood in the shadow of Egyptology: the Meroitic Studies.

Considerable advances had been made in academic research and knowledge as the result of the exploratory trips of the Prussian pioneering Egyptologist Richard Lepsius *2 (1842 – 1844) that bestowed upon modern scholarship the voluminous ‘Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien’ (Monuments from Egypt and Ethiopia), and as the direct consequence of the series of excavations undertaken by E. A. Wallis Budge *3 and John Garstang *4 at Meroe (modern Bagrawiyah) in the first years of the twentieth century, by Francis Llewellyn Griffith *5 at Kawa (ancient Gematon, near modern Dongola, 1929 – 1931), by Fritz Hintze *6 at Musawwarat es Sufra, by Jean Leclant *7 at Sulb (Soleb), Sadinga (Sedeinga), and Djebel Barkal (ancient Napata, modern Karima) in the 1950s and the 1960s, by D. Wildung *8 at Naqah, and by Charles Bonnet at Kerma. The pertinent explorations and contributions of scholars like A. J. Arkell *9, P. L. Shinnie *10, and Laszlo Torok *11 that cover a span of 80 years reconstituted a large part of the greatness and splendor of this four millennia long African civilization.

Yet, due to the lack of direct access to original sources and genuine understanding of the ancient history of Sudan, the legendary and historical Ethiopia of the Greeks and Romans, which corresponds to what was ‘Kush’ for the Hebrews (mentioned many times in the Bible) and ultimately ‘Kas’ for the ancient Egyptians *12 (mentioned in thousands of hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic texts), we face a serious problem of terminology when it comes to Ancient Sudan’s earlier historical periods.

We are confined to such terms as Period (or Group) A (3100 – 2700 BCE), *13 Period B *14 (2700 – 2300 BCE that starts with Pharaoh Snefru’s expedition, *15 which marks indeed the beginning of the time-honored and multi-faceted relationship between Kemet-Egypt and Kush), and Period C *16 (2300 – 2100 BCE), for one millennium of Ancient Sudanese (Ethiopian or Kushitic) History. For the said period, thanks to Ancient Egyptian texts, we have a plethora of ethnic names and state names referring to populations living in North Sudan’s territory (notably Wawat, Irtet, Setjiu,Yam, Zetjau, and Medjay *17); but we fail to correctly establish to whom these names exactly refer as ethno-linguistic groups (Kushitic? Nilo-Saharan? Western Hamitic?).

Subsequent periods of Ancient Sudanese History are also denoted in conventional manner, as this is highlighted by the term Period of Kerma *18 (2100 – 1500 BCE); this period is named after the modern city and archeological site, 500 km in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border.

Slide7

What we know for sure is that, when the first Pharaohs of the New Empire invaded and colonized the entire area down to Kurgus *19 (more than 1000 km alongside the Nile, south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border), they established two top Egyptian administrative positions, namely “Viceroy of Wawat” and “Viceroy of Kush/Kas”. Wawat is the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel or properly speaking, the area between the first and the second cataracts, whereas Kas is all the land that lies beyond. With the collapse of the Kerma culture, comes to end a first high-level culture and powerful state in the area of Kush.

Slide8

Slide9

We employ the term ‘Kushitic Period’ *20 to refer to the subsequent periods:

a) the Egyptian annexation (1500 – 950 BCE), which involved a permanent effort to egyptianize Kush that triggered in turn ceaseless Kushitic revolutions against the Pharaohs,

Slide12

b) the Kushitic independence (950 – 800 BCE), when a separate state was formed around Napata *21, present day Karima, 750 km south of the Sudanese – Egyptian border,

Slide11

c) the Kushitic expansion and involvement in Egypt (800 – 670 BCE, which corresponds mostly to the XXVth – ‘Ethiopian’ (meaning literally Sudanese) according to Manetho *22 – dynasty of Egypt, when the Theban clergy of Amun made an alliance with the Kushitic ‘Qore’, i.e. the Kings of Napata, who ruled Kush and Upper Egypt based on their two capitals, Napata and Thebes *23, (the alliance was directed against the pact that the Heliopolitan clergy of Ra had made with the Libyan princes who thus strengthened the separate state of Lower Egypt),

Slide14

d) the Kushitic expulsion from Egypt, following the three successive invasions of Egypt by Emperors Assarhaddon *24 (in 671 BCE) and Assurbanipal *25 (in 669 BCE and 666 BCE) of Assyria, who made an alliance with the Heliopolitan *26 priesthood and the Libyan princes against the Theban clergy and the Kushitic kings, and

Slide15

e) the subsequent Kushitic state’s decline – period during which took place the successive invasions led by Psamtik/Psammetichus II of Egypt *27 (in 591 BCE) and by the Achaemenid *28 Persian Shah Kambudjiyah / Cambyses *29 (in 525 BCE).

Slide16

Slide17

The entire Kushitic period is considered as terminated with the completion of the transfer of the capital city at a much safer (and more distant from Egypt) location far in the south, namely at Meroe, in the area of present day Bagrawiyah beyond the point whereby Atbarah river unites with the Greater Nile. This event occurred at the end of the reign of Qore (King) Nastasen *30 between 335 and 315 BCE.

Slide2

We call ‘Meroitic’ the entire period that covers almost 700 years beginning around 260 BCE with the reign of the successors of Nastasen, notably Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes *31 (the most illustrious among the earliest ones and the first to be buried at Meroe / Bagrawiyah), and ending with the end of Meroe and the destruction of the Meroitic royal cities by the Axumite Abyssinian Negus Ezana *32 (ca. 370 CE). It is easily understood that the ‘Kushitic’ period antedates ‘Meroitic’ period, but both appellations are quite conventional.

The ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) entered into a period of cultural, intellectual, and scriptorial radiation and authenticity relatively late, around the third century BCE, which means that the development took place when Meroe replaced Napata as capital of the Kushites / Meroites. Before that moment, the ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) used Egyptian hieroglyphic writing for all their scriptorial purposes, be they administrative, economic, religious and/or monumental – royal. The introduction of the Meroitic alphabetic hieroglyphic writing spearheaded the development of a Meroitic cursive alphabetic scripture that was used for less magnificent purposes than palatial and sacred relief inscriptions. The first person to publish copies of Meroitic inscriptions (then unidentified) was the French architect Gau *33, who visited Northern Sudan as early as 1819. Quite unfortunately, almost two centuries after the discovery of the first Meroitic inscriptions, we are left in mysteries with regard to the greatest part of the contents of the epigraphic evidence collected in both scriptural systems.

The earliest dated Meroitic hieroglyphic inscriptions belong to the reign of the ruling queen Shanakdakheto *34 (about 177-155 BCE), but archaeologists believe that this scripture represents the later phase of a language spoken by Kushites / Meroites at least as far back as 750 BCE and possibly many centuries or even millennia before that (hinting therefore at a Kushitic / Ethiopian continuity from the earliest Kerma days at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE). The earliest examples of Meroitic cursive inscriptions, recently found by Charles Bonnet in Dukki Gel (REM 1377-78) *35, can also be dated in the early 2nd century BCE. The latest text is still probably the famous inscription from Kalabsha (Ancient Egyptian Talmis) mentioning King Kharamadoye (REM 0094) *36, which dates back to the beginning of the fifth century CE, although some funeral texts from Ballana *37 could be contemporary or even posterior.

Slide19

Despite the fact that F. L. Griffith identified the twenty three (23) Meroitic alphabetic writing signs already in 1909, not much progress has been made towards the ultimate decipherment of the Meroitic *38. Scarcity of epigraphic evidence plays a certain role in this regard, since as late as the year 2000 we were not able to accumulate more than 1278 texts in all types of Meroitic writing. If we now add to this fact the lack of lengthy texts, the lack of any bilingual text (not necessarily Egyptian /Meroitic, it could also be Ancient Greek / Meroitic, if we take into consideration that Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes *39 was personally well versed in Greek), and a certain lack of academic vision, we understand why the state of our knowledge about the history of the Ancient Meroites is still so limited.

Slide21

Linguistics and parallels from other languages have been repeatedly set in motion in order to help the academic research. Griffith and Haycock *40 tried to read Meroitic, through use of (modern) Nubian – quite unsuccessfully. K.H. Priese *41 tried to read the Meroitic texts, using Eastern Sudanese (Beja *42 or Hadendawa *43) languages – also unsuccessfully. On the other hand, F. Hintze *44, attempted to compare Meroitic with the Ural-Altaic group (Turko-Mongolian languages) to no avail. More recently, Siegbert Hummel *45, compared the “known” Meroitic words to words attested in languages of the Altaic family which he believed was a substrate language of Meroitic; as this hypothesis is totally wrong, no result came out of this effort. At times, scholars (like Clyde Winters *46) were driven to farfetched interpretations, attempting to equate Meroitic with Tokharian, after assuming a possible relationship between the names Kush and Kushan *47, the latter being the appellation of a sizeable Eastern Iranian state of the late Arsacid *48 (250 BCE – 224 CE) and early Sassanid *49 (224 – 651 CE) times. However, one has to conclude that the bulk of the researchers working on the Meroitic language never believed that the language of the Ancient Sudanese (Ethiopians) could ever be a member of the so-called Afro-Asiatic group of languages (the term itself being very wrong and quite fraudulent).

Slide22

So far, the only Meroitic words for which a solid translation had been given by Griffith and his successors are the following: man, woman, meat, bread, water, give, big, abundant, good, sister, brother, wife, mother, child, begotten, born, feet. The eventual equivalence between Egyptian and Meroitic texts was a strong motivation for any interpretational approach, recent or not. More recent, but still dubious, suggestions are the following: arohe- ‘protect’, hr- ‘eat’, pwrite ‘life’, yer ‘milk’, ar ‘boy’, are- or dm- ‘take, receive’, dime ‘cow’, hlbi ‘bull’, ns(e) ‘sacrifice’, sdk ‘journey’, tke- ‘love, revere’, we ‘dog’. It is clear that vocalization remains a real problem *50.

Slide23

Through the aforementioned we realize why collective works, like Fontes Historiae Nubiorum. Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region (vols. I – IV, edited by T. Eide, T. Haegg, R.H. Pierce, and L. Torok, University of Bergen, Bergen 1994, 1996. 1998 and 2000), are still seminal for our – unfortunately indirect, as based on Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Latin and Coptic texts – knowledge of Ancient Meroe.

Slide26

2. The End of Meroe

Amidst numerous unclear points of the Kushitic / Meroitic (Ancient Sudanese / Ethiopian) History, the end of Meroe and the consequences under which it happened still remain a most controversial point among scholars. Quite indicatively, we may mention here the main efforts of historical reconstitution.

Slide27

A. Arkell, Sayce and others asserted that Meroe was captured and destroyed, following one military expedition led by Ezana of Axum.

B. Reisner insisted that, after Ezana’s invasion and victory, Meroe remained a state under another dynasty tributary to Axum.

C. Monneret de Villard and Hintze affirmed that Meroe was totally destroyed already before Ezana’s invasion, due to another, earlier Axumite Abyssinian raid.

D. Torok, Shinnie, Kirwan, Haegg and others concluded that Meroe was defeated by a predecessor of Ezana, and continued existing as a vassal state.

E. Bechhaus-Gerst specified that Meroe was invaded prior to Ezana’s raid, and that the Axumite invasion did not reach further lands north of Meroe *51.

naqa-sudan

With two fragmentary inscriptions from Meroe, one from Axum, two graffitos from Kawa and Meroe, and one coin being all the evidence we have so far, we have little to properly reconstruct the details that led to the collapse of Meroe. One relevant source, the Inscription of Ezana (DAE 11, the ‘monotheistic’ inscription in vocalized Ge’ez), *52 remains a somewhat controversial historical source to be useful in this regard. The legendary Monumentum Adulitanum *53, lost but copied in a confused way by Cosmas Indicopleustes *54, may not shed light at all on this event. One point is sure, however: there was never a generalized massacre of the Meroitic inhabitants of the lands conquered by Ezana. The aforementioned DAE 11 inscription mentions just 758 Meroites killed by the Axumite forces.

map_of_sudan__new_

What is even more difficult to comprehend is the reason behind the scarcity of population attested on Meroitic lands in the aftermath of Ezana’s raid. The post-Meroitic and pre-Christian, transitional, phase of Sudan’s history is called X-Group *55 or Period, and also Ballana Period; this atypical appellation underscores the lack to historical insight that happens once more in the History of Ancient Sudan (Ethiopia).

Slide29

During the Ballana Period (X-Group) and contrarily to what happened for many centuries of Meroitic History, when the Meroitic South (the area between today’s Shendi *56 and Atbarah *57 in modern Sudan with the entire hinterland of Butana that was called Insula Meroe / Nesos Meroe, i.e. Island Meroe in the Antiquity) was overpopulated comparatively with the Meroitic North {the area between Napata / Karima and Abu Simbel *58 or further in the North, Aswan *59 (the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel was then called Triakontaschoinos *60 and politically, it was divided between Meroe and the Roman Empire)}, the previously under-populated area (i.e. the Meroitic North) gives us the impression of a more densely peopled region, if compared to the previous center of Meroitic power and population density (the Meroitic South). The new situation contradicts therefore the earlier descriptions and narrations by Dio Cassius *61 and Strabo *62.

Slide32

Furthermore, the name ‘Ballana period’ is quite indicative in this regard, because Ballana is located on Egyptian soil, whereas not far, south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border, lies Karanog with its famous tumuli that bear evidence of Nubian (not Kushitic / Meroitic) upper hand in terms of social anthropology. The southernmost counterpart of Karanog culture can be found in Tangassi (nearby Karima, which represented the ‘North’ for what was the center of the earlier Meroitic power). This means that for the period immediately after the destruction of Meroe (ca. 370 CE), the Meroitic North offers the archaeological evidence that serves to name the entire period (Ballana Period), whereas the Meroitic South seems to have been totally uninhabited.

In addition, in terms of culture, X-Group heralds a total break with the Meroitic tradition, with the Nubians and the Blemmyes/Beja outnumbering the Meroitic remnants and imposing a completely different cultural and socio-anthropological milieu out of which would later emanate the first and single Nubian state in the World History: Nobatia.

Much confusion characterized modern scholars when referring to Kush or Meroe by using the modern term ‘Nubia’. By now, it is clear that the Nubians lived since times immemorial in both Egypt and the Sudan, being part of the history of these two lands. However, the Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan ethno-linguistic group different from the Hamitic Kushites / Meroites. At the times of X-Group and during the long centuries of Christian Sudan, we have the opportunity to attest the differences and the divergence between the Nubians and the Meroitic remnants.

Following the collapse of the Meroitic state, the epicenter of the Nubian land, i.e. the area between the first (Aswan) and the third (Kerma) cataracts, rose to independence and prominence first, with capital at Faras, nearby the present day Sudanese – Egyptian border, around 450 CE. Nobatia institutionalized Coptic as religious (Christian) and administrative language, and Nubian language remained an oral only means of communication. The Nobatian control in the areas south of the third cataract was vague, nominal and precarious. Nobatia was linked with the Coptic (‘Monophysitic’) Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Slide38

This means something very important for the Christian History of Sudan (Ethiopia); Christianization did not come from Abyssinia, and there was no cultural or religious impact exercised by Axum on (Ethiopia) Sudan. As in pre-Christian times, Ethiopia remained the absolute opposite of Abyssinia. In the true, historical Ethiopia (Sudan), Christianization came from the North (Egypt). Abyssinia (which cannot be called ‘Ethiopia’ and which has absolutely no right to the name of Ethiopia) was a marginal and isolated, tiny and mountainous state that basically controlled the land between Axum and Adulis (on the Red Sea shore). And King Ezana’s invasion and destruction of Meroe was an occasional and inconsequential event that did not bring forth any immediate major result.

The Meroitic remnants underscored their difference from the Nubians / Nobatians, and the depopulated central part of the defunct state of Meroe rose to independence only later, in the first decades of the sixth century. Its name, Makuria, is in this regard a linguistic reminiscence of the name ‘Meroe’, but we cannot know its real origin and meaning. The remnant of the Meroitic populations inhabited the northern circumference of Makuria more densely, and the gravitation center revolved around Old Dongola (580 km south of Wadi Halfa), capital of this Christian Orthodox state that extended from Kerma to Shendi (the area of the sixth cataract), so for more than 1000 km alongside the Nile. But beyond the area of Karima (750 km in the south of Wadi Halfa) and the nearby famous Makurian monastery at Al Ghazali we have very scarce evidence of Christian antiquities. The old African metropolis of Meroe remained at the periphery of both, the Kushitic Ethiopian states of Makuria and Alodia and the Semitic Abyssinian state of Axum.

Makurians highlighted their ideological – religious divergence from the Nubians, by adopting Greek, not Coptic, as religious language. They even introduced a new scripture for their Makurian language that seems to have been a later phase of Meroitic. Makurian was written in alphabetic Greek signs. Risen at a time of Christological disputes and theological conflicts that brought about a forceful polarization between the Greek Orthodox and the Coptic ‘Monophysitic’ Patriarchates of Alexandria, the state and the Christian church of Makuria sided with the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria, in striking opposition to the Nobatian state and church that allied themselves with the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Further in the South, Alodia has long been called by modern scholars as the ‘third Christian state’ of Sudan, but recent discoveries in Soba, its capital (15 km at the east of Khartoum), suggest that Alodia rose first to independence (around 500 CE) and later adhered to Christianity (around 580 – 600 CE), following evangelization efforts deployed by missionary Nobatian priests (possibly in a sort of anti-Makurian religious diplomacy). In general, we know little about Alodia (or Aluwah or Alwa), and we actually don’t know whether they used a particular Alodian writing system.

The later phases of the History of Christian Ethiopia (Sudan) encompass the Nobatian – Makkurian merge (around 1000 CE), which was necessary for the two Christian states to defend themselves against the Islamic pressure coming manly from the North (Egypt), the islamization of Makkuria in 1317, and finally, the late collapse of Christian Alodia in 1505.

The question remains unanswered until today:

– What happened to the bulk of the Meroitic population, i.e. the inhabitants of the Insula Meroe, the present day Butana? What occurred to the Meroites living between the fourth and the sixth cataracts after the presumably brief raid of Ezana of Axum, and the subsequent destruction of Meroe, Mussawarat es Sufra, Naqah, Wad ben Naqah, Basa and all the other important cities of the Meroitic heartland?

3. Reconstruction of the Post-Meroitic History of the Kushitic Oromo Nation

Certainly, the motives of Ezana’s raid have not yet been properly studied and assessed by modern scholarship. The reasons for the raid may vary from a simple nationalistic usurpation of the name of ‘Ethiopia’ (Kush), which would give a certain Christian eschatological legitimacy to the Axumite Abyssinian kingdom, to the needs of international politics (at the end of 4th c. CE) and the eventuality of an Iranian – Yemenite (Himyaritic) – Meroitic alliance at the times of Shapur II (310 – 379), aimed at outweighing the Eastern Roman – Abyssinian bond.

Yet, this Iranian – Sudanese political alliance may have been only the later phase of a time-honored Iranian infiltration that could have taken the form of an (easily assessable by both civilizations and nations, the Meroites and the Iranians) heliocentric theology and imperial ideology. No less than 300-350 years before Ezana’s raid and destruction of Meroe, the famous Jebel Qeili reliefs of Shorakaror mark an impressive penetration of Mithraic artistic and religious concepts and forms.

Slide45

Whatever the reasons of Ezana’s raid may have been, we can be quite sure, when it comes to the destruction of Meroe, about two determinant points that impose a fresh approach and interpretation of the historical development:

a) the absence of any large-scale massacre is evident, and

b) the impressive scarcity of population in the old, central Meroitic provinces is a fact for the period that follows Ezana’s raid and the destruction of Meroe.

The only plausible explanation is that the scarcity of population in the Meroitic mainland after Meroe’s destruction must be due to a large scale migration to safer areas far from the reach of the king of Axum.

The only explanation to match the historical facts and the archeological evidence is that, following Ezana’s raid, the Meroites in their outright majority (at least for the inhabitants of Meroe’s southern provinces) fled and migrated to areas where they would stay independent from the Semitic Abyssinian kingdom of Christian Axum. This explanation hinges on the best utilization and interpretation of the already existing historical – archaeological data.

From archeological evidence, it becomes clear that during X-Group phase and throughout the Makurian period (so for many long centuries) the former heartland of Meroe remained mostly uninhabited. The end of Meroe is definitely very abrupt, and this makes obvious that Meroe’s driving force had gone elsewhere. The correct question would then be ‘where to’?

There is no evidence of Meroites sailing the Nile downwards to the area of the 4th (Karima) and the 3rd (Kerma) cataracts, which was earlier the northern circumference of Meroe and remained totally untouched by Ezana. There is no textual evidence in Greek, Latin and/or Coptic to testify to such a migratory movement toward the North. Christian Roman Egypt would certainly be an incredible direction, but if this had been the case, the migration would have been recorded in some texts and monuments due to its importance. To the above, we have to add the impossibility of marching to the heartland of Abyssinia, because this must have been for the migrating Meroites the only direction to avoid, and again if it had occurred, it would have been mentioned in some historical sources, Ge’ez, Coptic, Syriac, Greek or Latin.

Having therefore excluded all the migration alternatives as per above, we can examine the remaining possibilities. The migrating Meroites could therefore have a) gone either to the vast areas of the Eastern and the Western deserts , b) entered the African jungle or c) ultimately searched for a possibly free land that, being arable and good for pasture, would keep them far from the sphere of the Christian Axumites.

It would be very erroneous and highly unlikely to expect settled people to move to the desert. Such an eventuality would be a unique oxymoron in the History of the Mankind. Nomadic peoples move from the steppes, the savannas and the deserts to other parts of the steppes, the savannas and the deserts or preferably to fertile lands and settle there, at times crossing really long distances. However, settled people, if under pressure, move to other fertile lands that offer them the possibility of cultivation and pasture. When dispersed by the invading Sea Peoples, the Hittites moved from Anatolia to Northwestern Mesopotamia, crossing long distances; they did not cross shorter distance to settle in the small part of Central Anatolia that happened to be desert. The few scholars, who may think that Meroitic continuity can be found among the present day Beja and Hadendawa, are oblivious to the aforementioned reality that was never contravened throughout World History. In addition, the Blemmyes had never been friendly to the Meroites. Every now and then, they had attacked parts of the Nile valley and the Meroites had had to repulse them thence. It would rather be inconceivable for the Meroitic population, after seeing Meroe sacked by Ezana, to move to a land where life would be far more difficult and, in addition, enemies would wait them!

At this point, we should briefly examine Meroe’s surrounding environment, how it is today, and how it was before 1650 years, at the times of king Ezana’s raid. Modern technologies help historians and archeologists better reconstruct the ancient world; paleo-botanists, geologists, geo-chemists, paleo-entomologists, and other specialized natural scientists are of great help in this regard. It is essential to stress here that the entire environmental milieu of Sudan was very different during the times of the Late Antiquity that we examine in our approach. Butana may look like a wasteland nowadays, and the Pyramids of Bagrawiyah may be sunk in the sand, whereas Mussawarat es Sufra and Naqah truly demand a real effort in crossing the desert. However, in the first centuries of Christian era, the entire landscape was dramatically different.

During the Meroitic and Christian times, the entire Butana region, delineated by the rivers Atbarah in the northeast, United Nile in the north-northwest, and Blue Nile in southwest, was not a desert, but a very fertile and extensively cultivated land. We have actually found remains of reservoirs, aqueducts, various hydraulic installations, irrigation systems, and canals in Meroe and elsewhere. Not far from Mussawarat es Sufra there must have been an enclosure where captive elephants were trained before being transported to Ptolemais Theron (present day Suakin, 50 km south of Port Sudan) and then further on to Alexandria. Desert was in the vicinity, certainly, but not that close.

We should not imagine that Ezana crossed desert areas, moving from the vicinities of Agordat, Tesseney (both cities being located in Eritrea), and Kessala (in Sudan) to Atbarah and Bagrawiyah, as we would do today. These lands were either forested or cultivated and used as pasturelands. For what the Meroitic Ethiopian state was in the middle – second half of the 4th c. CE, its capital was located quite close to the Abyssinian borders in the mountains beyond the modern Sudanese city of Kessala; the distance between the two capitals, Meroe and Axum, was much smaller than the distance between Meroe and its northern borders with the Christian Eastern Roman Empire.

In fact, the end of the Meroitic state is a historical irony; it was established with the transfer of capital from Napata to Meroe, ca. 750 years earlier, an act which was due to defense reasons and imposed only after the 6th c. BCE attacks that originated from the North (Egypt). By transferring their capital far to the southeast, the Ancient Kushites / Meroites of Ethiopia (Sudan) made it impregnable from the North; but by so doing, they exposed their capital to an attack from the southeast. However, one has to admit that, at the times of the Ethiopian – Kushitic capital transfer to the southeast (5th – 4th c. BCE), the presence of the Yemenite tribe of Habashat in the African coast land of Eritrea was insignificant and Axum did not exist.

Further expanding on the natural environment of the Ancient Meroites, we have to add that it would be highly unlikely for anyone to attempt to cross at that time the lands south of present day Khartoum, alongside the White Nile. In ancient times, impenetrable jungle started immediately in the south of Khartoum, and cities like El Obeid, Kosti, Sinnar, and Jabalayn are today located on deforested soil.

Contrarily to the aforementioned improbabilities (desert, jungle), the southernmost confines of the Meroitic state offered a certain possibility for migration, since pasturelands and arable land could be found alongside the Blue Nile Valley. Reaching that area, they would achieve safety from Axumite Abyssinia due to the greater distance.

Jungle signified death in the Antiquity, and even armies feared to cross forests and be forced to stay overnight there. We therefore have good reason to believe that, following Ezana’s raid, the Meroites, rejecting the perspective of forced christening, moved first southwestwards up to Khartoum. From there, they proceeded southeastwards alongside the Blue Nile in a direction that would keep them always safe and far from the Axumite Abyssinians whose state did not expand at those days as far in the south as Gondar and Tana Lake. Proceeding in this way and crossing successively areas of modern cities like Wad Madani, Sennar, Damazin, and Asosa, and from there on, they expanded in later times over the various parts of Biyya Oromo.

We do not imply that the migration was completed in the span of one lifetime; quite contrarily, we have reasons to believe that the establishment of Alodia (or Alwa) is rather due to the progressive waves of Meroitic migrants who settled first in the area of Khartoum that was out of the southwestern confines of the Meroitic state. Only when Christianization became a matter of concern for the evangelizing Nobatians, and the two Christian Sudanese states of Nobatia and Makuria were already strong, the chances of preserving the pre-Christian Meroitic cultural heritage in the area around Soba (capital of Alodia) became truly poor. Then, perhaps more than 100 years after the first migration, another wave of migration took place with the early Alodian Meroites proceeding as far in the southeast as Damazin and Asosa, areas that remained always beyond the southern border of Alodia (presumably between Khartoum and Wad Madani). Like this, the second migratory Meroitic Alodian) wave may have entered around 600 CE in the area where the Oromos, descendents of the migrated Meroites, still live today.

A great number of changes at the cultural – intellectual – behavioral levels are to be expected, when a settled people migrates to faraway lands. The Phoenicians had kings in Tyre, Byblos and their other cities – states in today’s Lebanese and Syrian coast lands, but they introduced a democratic system when they sailed faraway and colonized various parts of the Mediterranean. In their colonies, there were no more kings.

Ezana’s raid ended up with the extermination of some garrison and the Meroitic royal family. The collapse of the Meroitic royalty was an unprecedented event and a greater shock for the Nile valley. The Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia were all ruled by kings whose power was to great extent conditioned and counterbalanced by that of the Christian clergy.

With the Meroitic royal family decimated by Ezana, it is quite possible that high priests of Apedemak and Amani (Amun) took much of the administrative responsibility in their hands, inciting people to migrate and establishing a form of collective and representative authority among the Meroitic – Alodian Elders who thus retained the sacerdotal heritage without a royal – palatial contextualization. They may even have preserved the royal title of Qore within completely different socio-anthropological context and thus made it known to the ancestors of today’s Somalis when the next waves of migration brought the two Kushitic nations close to one another; and the Somalis preserved the term a Boqor within their language until our times.

4. Call for Comparative Meroitic-Oromo Studies

How can this approach, interpretation, and conclusion be corroborated up to the point of becoming a generally accepted historical reconstitution at the academic level? On what axes should one group of researchers work to collect detailed documentation in support of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos?

Quite strangely, I would not give priority to the linguistic approach. The continuity of a language can prove many things, and at the same time, it can prove nothing. Today’s Bulgarians are of Uralo-Altaic Turco-Mongolian origin, but, after they settled in Eastern Balkans, they were linguistically slavicized. Most of the Greeks are Albanians, Slavs, and Vlachians, who were greecized linguistically. Most of the Turks in Turkey are Greeks and Anatolians, who were turkicized linguistically.

People can preserve their own language in various degrees and forms. For the case of languages preserved throughout millennia, we notice tremendous changes and differences. Within the context of Ancient Greece, Plato who lived in the 5th – 4th c. BCE could never understand the Achaean Greek dialect which was spoken 800 years earlier at Myceanae and written by means of what we call today ‘Linear B’ (a syllabic, not alphabetic, writing system).

Egyptian hieroglyphics as a Holy Language (the Ancient Egyptian name of this writing system was ‘medu netsher’ which meant ‘the words of the God’) and as a sacerdotal scripture favored a certain archaism and a constant linguistic purification. However, we can be sure that for later Pharaohs, like Taharqa the Kushite (the most illustrious ruler of the Kushitic – Sudanese / Ethiopian dynasty), Psamtik and Nechao (the rulers of the ‘Libyan’ dynasty), and Ptolemy II and Cleopatra VII (of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty), a Pyramid text (that antedated them by 1700 to 2300 years) would almost be incomprehensible.

A. National diachronic continuity is better attested and more markedly noticed in terms of Culture, Religion and Philosophical – Behavioral system. The first circle of comparative research should encompass the world of the Kushitic / Meroitic and Oromo concepts, anything that relates to the Weltanschauung of the two cultural units/groups under study; this should involve a religious-historical comparison between the Ancient Kushitic / Meroitic religion and Waaqeffannaa. A common view of basic themes of life and a common perception of the world, same virtues and values, shared concepts and principles would bring a significant corroboration of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos. So, first it is a matter of history of religions, African philosophy, social anthropology, ethnography and culture history.

B. Archeological research can help tremendously too. At this point, one has to state that the critical area for the reconstruction of the suggested Meroitic migration did not attract the interest of Egyptologists, and of archaeologists specializing in Meroitic and Sudanese Antiquities. The area was indeed marginal to both civilizations, and to some extent it is normal that it did not attract scholars who could easily unearth other monumental sites elsewhere and have more spectacular results. The Blue Nile valley in Sudan and Abyssinia was never the subject of an archeological survey, and the same concerns the Oromo highlands. Certainly modern archeologists prefer something concrete that would lead them fast to a great discovery, being therefore very different from the pioneering 19th c. archeologists. An archeological surface survey would therefore be necessary in the Blue Nile valley and in the Oromo highlands in the years to come.

C. A linguistic – epigraphic approach may bring forth even more spectacular results. It could eventually end up with a complete decipherment of the Meroitic, and of the Makurian. An effort must be made to read the Meroitic texts, hieroglyphic and cursive, with the help of Oromo language. Meroitic personal names and toponymics must be studied in the light of a potential Oromo interpretation. Comparative linguistics may unveil affinities that will lead to reconsideration of the work done so far in the Meroitic decipherment.

D. Last but not least, another dimension would be added to the project with the initiation of comparative anthropological studies. Data extracted from findings in the Meroitic cemeteries must be compared with data provided by the anthropological study of present day Oromos. The research must encompass pictorial documentation from the various Meroitic temples’ bas-reliefs.

To all these I would add a better reassessment of the existing historical sources, but this is not a critical dimension of this research project.

I believe my call for Comparative Meroitic – Oromo Studies reached the correct audience that can truly evaluate the significance of the ultimate corroboration of the Meroitic Ancestry of the Oromos, as well as the magnificent consequences that such a corroboration would have in view of

a) the forthcoming Kushitic Palingenesia – or Renaissance if you want – across Africa,

b) the establishment of a Post -Colonial African Historiography, and – last but not least –

c) the Liberation of Oromia and the Representation of the Ancient Kushitic Nation in the United Nations.

Slide63

Notes

1. To those having the slightest doubt, trying for purely political reasons and evil speculation to include territories of the modern state of Abyssinia into what the Ancient Greeks and Romans called ‘Aethiopia’, the academically authoritative entry Aethiopia in Pauly-Wissowa, Realenzyklopadie der klassischen Altertumwissenschaft consists in the best and irrevocable answer.

2. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information … karl.html;http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Richard_Lepsius; parts of the Denkmaeler are already available online: http://edoc3.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/bo … start.html. Also:http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/LEO_LOB/L … 1884_.html. The fact that the farthermost point of ‘Ethiopia’ that he reached was Khartoum is of course quite telling.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._A._Wallis_Budge; he wrote among the rest a book on his Meroe excavations’ results, The Egyptian Sudan: its History and Monuments (London, 1907).

4. Mythical figure of the British Orientalism, Garstang excavated in England, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Sudan; Albright, William Foxwell: “John Garstang in Memoriam”, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 144. (Dec., 1956), pp. 7-8; Garstang’s major articles on his Meroe excavations are the following: ‘Preliminary Note on an Expedition to Meroe in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 3 (1911 – a), ‘Second Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroe in Ethiopia, I. Excavations’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 4 (1911 – b), ‘Third Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroe in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 5 (1912), ‘Forth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroe in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 6 (1913), and ‘Fifth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroe in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 7 (1914). His major contribution was published in the same year under the title ‘Meroe, the City of Ethiopians’ (Oxford). A leading Meroitologist, Laszlo Torok wrote an entire volume on Garstang’s excavations at Meroe: Meroe City, an Ancient African Capital: John Garstang’s Excavations in the Sudan.

5. Griffith was the epigraphist of Grastand and had already published the epigraphic evidence unearthed at Meroe in the chapter entitled ‘the Inscriptions from Meroe’ in Garstang’s ‘Meroe, the City of Ethiopians’. After many pioneering researches and excavations in various parts of Egypt and Northern Sudan, Faras, Karanog, Napata and Philae to name but a few, Griffith concentrated on Kerma: ‘Excavations at Kawa’, Sudan Notes and Records 14.

6. Basically: http://www.sag-online.de/pdf/mittsag9.5.pdf; among other contributions: Die Inschriften des Loewentempels von Musawwarat es Sufra, Berlin (1962); Vorbericht ueber die Ausgrabungen des Instituts fuer Aegyptologie der Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin in Musawwarat es Sufra, 1960-1961 (1962); ‘Musawwarat es Sufra – Preliminary Report on the Excavations of the Institute of Egyptology, Humboldt University, Berlin, 1961-1962 (Third Season)’, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary Note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1962′, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1963′, Kush 13 (1965)

7. As regards my French professor’s publications about his excavations at Sudan: Soleb and Sedeinga in Lexikon der Aegyptologie 5, Wiesbaden 1984 (entries contributed by J. Leclant himself); also J. Leclant, Les reconnaissances archéologiques au Soudan, in: Etudes nubiennes I, 57-60.

8. His recent volume Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Paris/New York (1997) contains earlier bibliography.

9. Some of his most authoritative publications: ‘A History of the Sudan from the Earliest Times to 1821′, 1961 (2nd Ed.), London; ”The Valley of the Nile’, in: The Dawn of African History, R. Oliver (ed.), London. Arkell is mostly renowned for his monumental ‘The Royal Cemeteries of Kush’ in many volumes.

10. Presentation of his ‘Ancient Nubia’ in: http://www.keganpaul.com/product_info.p … cts_id=33; for a non exhaustive list of Shinnie’s publications:http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; see also a presentation of a volume on Meroe, edited by Shinnie et alii: http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/mcgi/ … 1163879905{haupt_harrassowitz= http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/acgi/a.cgi?alayout=489&ausgabe=detail&aref=353.

11. Many of his publications are listed here: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; also here: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ypt4.htm#T. In the Eighth International Conference for Meroitic Studies, L. Torok spoke about ‘The End of Meroe’; the speech will be included in the arkamani online project, here:http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … -meroe.htm

12. Useful reading: http://www.culturekiosque.com/art/exhib … souda.htm; also:http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history4.html; see also the entry ‘Kush’ in Lexikon der Aegyptologie and the Encyclopedia Judaica. More specifically about the Egyptian Hieroglyphic and the Hebrew writings of the name of Kush:http://www.specialtyinterests.net/journey_to_nubia.html. For more recent bibliography:http://blackhistorypages.net/pages/kush.php. Also:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cush%2C_son_of_Ham.

13. Basic bibliography in: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … y_a_b.htm;http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/NUB/NUBX … chure.html. More particularly on Qustul, and the local Group A Cemetery that was discovered in the 60s by Dr. Keith Seele:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/qustul.html (by Bruce Beyer Williams). Quite interesting approach by Clyde Winters as regards an eventual use of Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Group A Nubia, 200 years before the system was introduced in Egypt:http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/anwrite.htm.

14. Brief info: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history3_1.html; see also:http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IS/RITNER/Nubia_2005.html; more recently several scholars consider Group B as an extension of Group A (GRATIEN, Brigitte, La Basse Nubie a l’ Ancien Empire: Egyptiens et autochtones, JEA 81 (1995), 43-56).

15.Readings:http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/geoghist/histories/oldcivilization/Egyptology/Nubia/nubiad1.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneferu; ht … %20Snefrue),%201st%20King%20of%20Egypt’s%204th%20Dynasty.htm (with bibliography);http://www.narmer.pl/dyn/04en.htm; for the Palermo stone inscription where we have the Nubia expedition narrative: http://www.britannica.com/ebi/article-9332360;http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on the Palermo Stone);http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palermo_stone (with related bibliography).

16. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_C-Group; (the title being however very wrong because this culture was not Nubian) http://www.numibia.net/nubia/c-group.htm;http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/sje/sjeexh.htm andhttp://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/ta/tae.html (with designs and pictures);http://www.ancientsudan.org/03_burials_02_early.htm (with focus on Group C burials and burial architecture); see also: http://www.ualberta.ca/~nlovell/nubia.htm;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/bce-2300a.htm

17. References in the Lexikon der Aegyptologie. See also:http://www.nigli.net/akhenaten/wawat_1.html; one of the related sources: The Story of an Egyptian Politician, published by T. G. Allen, in: American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Oct., 1921), pp. 55-62; Texts relating to Egyptian expeditions in Yam and Irtet: http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/assouan … rkouf.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medjay; more in ‘Ancient Nubia: Egypt’s Rival in Africa’ (Paperback) by David O’ Connor, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/092417 … 67-0196731.

18. Brief description: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/stsmit … erma.html;http://www.spicey.demon.co.uk/Nubianpag … htm#French (with several interesting links);http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kerma (brief but with recent bibliography containing some of Bonnet’s publications)

19. Vivian Davies, ‘La frontiere meridionale de l’ Empire : Les Egyptiens a Kurgus, in: Bulletin de la Societe francaise d’ Egyptologie, 2003, no157, pp. 23-37 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15281726); about the ongoing British excavations:http://www.sudarchrs.org.uk/page17.html; about the inscription of Thutmosis I:http://thutmosis_i.know-library.net; also: http://www.meritneith.de/politik_neuesreich.htm, andhttp://www.aegyptologie.com/forum/cgi-b … 0514112733.

20. In brief and with images: http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/um/umj.html; also:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kush (with selected recent bibliography) andhttp://www.mfa.org/collections/search_a … kage=26155 (for art visualization). The period is also called Napatan, out of the Kushitic state capital’s name:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/kingaspalta.html.

21. To start with: http://www.bartleby.com/67/99.html; http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054804/Napata; http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology … apata.html (including references); most authoritative presentation by Timothy Kendall ‘Gebel Barkal and Ancient Napata’ in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nubia.htm; also: ‘the Rise of the Kushitic kingdom’ by Brian Yare, in: http://www.yare.org/essays/kushite%20ki … Napata.htm. For Karima, notice the interesting itinerary: http://lts3.algonquincollege.com/africa … /sudan.htm, and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karima.

22. Introductory reading: http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on Manetho);http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manetho (with selected bibliography). Among the aforementioned, the entries Manethon (Realenzyklopaedie) and Manetho (Lexikon der Aegyptologie) are essential.

23. For the Ethiopian dynasty, all the related entries in the Lexikon and the Realenzyklopaedie (Piankhi, Shabaka, Shabataka, Taharqa, Tanutamon) are the basic bibliography to start with; see also: http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/3017.html; the last edition (1996) of Kenneth Kitchen’s ‘The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100 – 650 BC)’, Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd, remains the best reassessment of the period and the related sources. Introductory information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabaka; http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabataka;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taharqa; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantamani. Also:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/mentuemhat.html; critical bibliography for understanding the perplex period is to be found in Jean Leclant’s lectureship thesis (these d’ Etat) ‘Montouemhat, Quatrieme Prophete d’Amon’, (1961)

24. Basics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assarhaddon; the edition of the Assyrian emperor’s annals by R. Borger (Die Inschriften Assarhaddons, Koenigs von Assyrien, AfO 9, Graz, 1956) remain our basic reference to formal sources. More recently, F. Reynolds shed light on private sources, publishing ‘The Babylonian correspondence of Esarhaddon, and letters to Assurbanipal and Sin-Sarru-Iskun from Northern and Central Babylonia’ (SAA 18, 2004).

25. For the Greater Emperor of the Oriental Antiquity:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamash-shum-ukin;http://web.utk.edu/~djones39/Assurbanipal.html; until today we have to rely mostly on the voluminous edition of Assurbanipal’s Annals by Maximilian Streck (Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen Koenige bis zum Untergang Niniveh, Leipzig,1916); see also M. W. Waters’ Te’umman in the neo-Assyrian correspondence (Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1999, vol. 119, no3, pp. 473-477)

26. Heliopolis (Iwnw in Egyptian Hieroglyphic, literally the place of the pillars; On in Hebrew and in Septuagint Greek) was the center of Egyptian monotheism, the holiest religious center throughout Ancient Egypt; it is from Heliopolis that emanated the two foremost Ancient Egyptian theological systems, namely the Isiac ideology and the Atum Ennead. Basic readings: the entry Heliopolis in Realenzyklopaedie and in Lexikon der Aegyptologie; more recently:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliopolis_%28ancient%29.

27. Basic readings: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/chron … tiki.html;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammetichus_I; http://www.phouka.com/pharaoh/pharaoh/d … tik1.html; http://www.specialtyinterests.net/psamtek.html (with pictorial documentation). See also: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history6.html.

28. Hakhamaneshian is the first Persian dynasty; it got momentum when Cyrus II invaded successively Media and Babylon. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_dynasty(with selected bibliography); the 2nd volume of the Cambridge History of Iran is dedicated to Achaemenid history (contents: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/c … 0521200911.

29. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II_of_Persia (with bibliography and sources). Cambyses invaded Kush and destroyed Napata at the times of Amani-natake-lebte, but his embattled army was decimated according to the famous narratives of Herodotus that still need to be corroborated. What seems more plausible is that, having reached in an unfriendly milieu of the Saharan desert where they had no earlier experience, the Persians soldiers, at a distance of no less than 4000 km from their capital, faced guerilla undertaken by the Kushitic army remnants and their nomadic allies.

30. Nastasen was the last to be buried in Nuri, in the whereabouts of Napata. Contemporary with Alexander the Great, Nastasen fought against an invader originating from Egypt whose name was recorded as Kambasawden. This led many to confuse the invader with Cambyses, who ruled 200 years earlier (!). The small inscription on the Letti stela does not allow great speculation; was it an attempt of Alexander the Great to proceed to the south of which we never heard anything? Impossible to conclude; for photographical documentation:http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 00017&ord=. Another interpretation:http://www.nubia2006.uw.edu.pl/nubia/ab … 94e6349d8b.

31. Arkamaniqo was the first to have his pyramid built at Meroe, not at Napata. See:http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 0018&ord=;http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes. He inaugurated the architectural works at Dakka, the famous ancient Egyptian Pa Serqet, known in Greek literature as Pselkhis (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/dakka.htm), in veneration of God Thot, an endeavour that brought the Ptolemies and the Meroites in alliance.

32. For Abyssinia’s conversion to Christianity: http://www.spiritualite2000.com/page.php?idpage=555, and http://www.rjliban.com/Saint-Frumentius.doc. The Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezana_of_Axum) is written by ignorant and chauvinist people, and is full of mistakes, ascribing provocatively and irrelevantly to Ezana’s state the following territories (using modern names): ‘present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Somalia, Djibouti, northern Sudan, and southern Egypt’. This is just rubbish. All this shows how misleading this irrelevant ‘encyclopedia’ can at times be. Neither southern Egypt, nor northern Sudan, nor northern Somalia, nor Djibouti, nor Yemen, nor southern Saudi Arabia ever belonged to Ezana’s small kingdom that extended from Adulis to Axum. It is only after that king’s victory over Meroe that his kingdom included also a tiny portion of modern Sudan’s territories, namely the region between Kessala, Atbara and Bagrawiyah where the site of Ancient Meroe is located. But this was quite precarious and soon the Abyssinian control over that part of Ethiopia (: Sudan) ended.

33. Richard A. Lobban, ‘The Nubian Dynasty of Kush and Egypt: Continuing Research on Dynasty XXV’: http://209.85.129.104/search?q=cache:4F … clnk&cd=2; these inscriptions were published as early as 1821: E. F. Gau, Nubische Denkmaeler (Stuttgart). Other early publications on Meroitic antiquities: E. Riippell, Reisen in Nubien, Kordofan, & c. (Frankfort a. M., 1829); F. Caillaud, Voyage a Meroe (Paris, 1826); J. L. Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, e5fc. (London, 1819); G. Waddington and B. Hanbury, Journal of a Visit to some parts of Ethiopia (London, 1822); L. Reinisch, Die Nuba-Sprache (Vienna, 1879); Memoirs of the Societe khediviale de Geographic, Cairo.

34. Readings: http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/candace.html;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanakdakhete; more analytically:http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … graphy.htm. The only inscription giving her name comes from Temple F in Naga (REM 0039A-B). The name appears in Meroitic hieroglyphics in the middle of an Egyptian text. See also: Laszlo Torok, in: Fontes Historiae Nubiorum, Vol. II, Bergen 1996, 660-662. The first attempts to render full Meroitic phrases into hieroglyphs (not only personal names, as it was common earlier) can be dated from the turn of the 3rd / 2nd century BCE, but they reflect the earlier stage of the development.

35. C. Rilly, ‘Les graffiti archaiques de Doukki Gel et l’apparition de l’ ecriture meroitique’. Meroitic Newsletter, 2003, No 30: 41-55, pl. IX-XIII (fig. 41-48).

36. Michael H. Zach, ‘Aksum and the end of Meroe’, in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … s/Zach.htm. See also: http://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf. Also: Clyde A. Winters, ‘Meroitic evidence for a Blemmy empire in the Dodekaschoinos’ in:http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … labsha.htm. Kharamadoye was a Blemmyan / Beja king who lived around the year 330 CE, and his inscription was curved on the Nubian/Blemmyan temple at Kalabsha (ancient Talmis) in the south of Aswan; more: M. S. Megalommatis, ‘Sudan’s Beja / Blemmyes, and their Right to Freedom and Statehood’, in:http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/8-16-2006-105657.asp, and in:http://www.sudaneseonline.com/en/article_929.shtml. More general:http://www.touregypt.net/kalabsha.htm.

37. For Ballana: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballana; http://www.numibia.net/nubia/sites_salv… p_Numb=13; http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/ce-0400.htm;http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/fne … ndex.html; for the excavations carried out there: Farid Shafiq, ‘Excavations at Ballana, 1958-1959′, Cairo, 1963:http://www.archaeologia.com/details.asp?id=647.

38. His publications encompass the following: ‘Karanog: the Meroitic Inscriptions of Karanog and Shablul’, (The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition to Nubia VI), Philadelphia, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions, I, Soba to Dangul, Oxford, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions part II, Napata to Philae and Miscellaneous’, Egypt Exploration Society, Archaeological Survey of Egypt, Memoirs, London, 1912; ‘Meroitic Studies II’, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 3 (1916).

39. Readings: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes; http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arqamani; list of sources concerning Ergamenes II: Laszlo Torok, ‘Fontes Historiae Nubiorum’, vol. II, Bergen 1996, S. 566-567; further: http://www.chs.harvard.edu/publications … tei.xml_1;http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/813603; an insightful view: Laszlo Torok, ‘Amasis and Ergamenes’, in: The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt. Studies Presented to Laszlo Kakosy, 555-561. An English translation of Diodorus’ text on Ergamenes (III. 6) is here:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/diodorus.html.

40. B. G. Haycock, ‘The Problem of the Meroitic Language’, Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning, no.5 (1978), p. 50-81; see also: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nology.htm. Another significant contribution: B. G. Haycock, ‘Towards a Data for King Ergamenes’, Kush 13 (1965)

41. See: K. H. Priese, ‘Die Statue des napatanischen Koenigs Aramatelqo (Amtelqa) Berlin, Aegyptisches Museum Inv.-Nr. 2249 in: Festschrift zum 150 jaehrigen Bestehen des Berliner Aegyptischen Museums, Berlin; of the same author, ‘Matrilineare Erbfolge im Reich von Napata’, Zeitschrift fuer Aegyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 108 (1981).

42. Readings: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ … /beja.htm; http://bejacongress.com;

43. Basic reading: Egeimi, Omer Abdalla, ‘From Adaptation to Marginalization: The Political Ecology of Subsistence Crisis among the Hadendawa Pastoralists of Sudan’, in: Managing Scarcity: Human Adaptation in East African Drylands, edited by Abdel Ghaffar M. Ahmed and Hassan Abdel Ati, 30-49. Proceedings of a regional workshop, Addis Ababa, 24-26 August 1995. Addis Ababa: OSSREA, 1996 (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/ossrea/ossreabiblio.html).

44. F. Hintze, ‘Some problems of Meroitic philology’, in: Studies in Ancient Languages of the Sudan, pp. 73-78; see discussions: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/mero.htm andhttp://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf

45. In various publications; see indicatively: ‘Die meroitische Sprache und das protoaltaische Sprachsubstrat als Medium zu ihrer Deutung (I): Mit aequivalenten von grammatikalischen Partikeln und Wortgleichungen’, Ulm/Donau (1992).

46. See: http://www.geocities.com/athens/academy … ersc2.html (with extensive list of publications).

47. Readings: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm (with further bibliography); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushan_Empire; http://www.kushan.org; (with pictorial documentation) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm;http://www.asianart.com/articles/jaya/index.html (with references)

48. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsacid_Dynasty; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthia; authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran

49. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassanid_Empire (with further bibliography); authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran.

50. See: http://arkamani.org/meroitic_studies/li … oitic.htm; http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … rilly.htm; http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … graphy.htm

51. http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … s/Zach.htm (with reference to epigraphic sources)

52. More recently: R.Voigt, The Royal Inscriptions of King Ezana, in the Second International Littmann Conference: Aksum 7-11 January 2006 (see:http://www.oidmg.org/Beirut/downloads/L … Report.pdf); also:http://users.vnet.net/alight/aksum/mhak4.html; http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=37430160. Read also: Manfred Kropp, Die traditionellen Aethiopischen Koenigslisten und ihre Quellen, in: http://www2.rz.hu-berlin.de/nilus/net-p … listen.pdf (with bibliography).

53. Readings: http://www.telemaco.unibo.it/epigr/testi05.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monumentum_Adulitanum;http://www.shabait.com/staging/publish/ … 3290.html;http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/aksum.html; http://www.arikah.net/encyclopedia/Adulis; further: Yuzo Shitomi, ‘A New Interpretation of the Monumentum Adulitanum’, in: Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko, 55 (1997). French translation is available online here: http://www.clio.fr/BIBLIOTHEQUE/les_gre … hiopie.asp.

54. Readings: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04404a.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmas_Indicopleustes; text and translation can be found online:http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/awiesner/cosmas.html (with bibliography and earlier text/translation publications; http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/#Cosm … opleustes; andhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/more … copleustes Also: http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/EMwebpages/202.html; http://davidburnet.com/EarlyFathers-Oth … eintro.htm.

55. Readings: http://library.thinkquest.org/22845/kus … oyalty.pdf

56. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shendi; N. I. Nooter, The Gates of Shendi, Los Angeles, 1999 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1565561)

57. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atbarah; http://www.country-studies.com/sudan/th … ples.html; http://www.sudan.net/tourism/cities.html.

58. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Simbel;http://www.bibleplaces.com/abusimbel.htm; http://lexicorient.com/e.o/abu_simbel.htm

59. Syene (Aswan): see the entries of Realenzyklopaedie and Lexikon der Aegyptologie; also:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14367a.htm

60. http://www.numibia.net/nubia/ptolemies.htm; http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/nubiaco … zymski.doc. Dodekaschoinos was the northern part of Triakontaschoinos; the area was essential for Roman border security: http://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.ph … al_code=AS. More recently: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/facultie … f.dijkstra

61. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dio_Cassius; see details of the early Roman rule over Egypt here: Timo Stickler, ‘Cornelius Gallus and the Beginnings of the Augustan Rule in Egypt’

62. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strabo (particularly in his 17th book); English translation available here: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R … 17A1*.html

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http://megalommatis.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-meroitic-ethiopian-origins-of-the-modern-oromo-nation/

 

Related References:

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=untwist&searchbutton=go%21

http://www.voicefinfinne.org/English/Interviews/Interview_Mega1.htm

http://www.oromoparliamentarians.org/English/News_Archive/Oromo%20Action%20Plan%20for%20the%20Liberation%20of%20Oromia.htm

 

http://www.voicefinfinne.org/English/Column/Galma_EOC.htm

http://ninevite.blogspot.co.uk/

http://addisvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/analysis-of-intent1.pdf

Oromia: Celebrate Qubee & Afan Oromo: 23 Years of Success Since the Nov. 3, 1991 Adoption of Qubee October 26, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Literature, Ancient Rock paintings in Oromia, Language and Development, Mammaaksa Oromoo, Oromia, Oromo Literature, Qubee Afaan Oromo.
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Celebrate Qubee & Afan Oromo: 23 Years of Success Since the Nov. 3, 1991 Adoption of Qubee

CelebrateAfanOromoQubee2014CelebrateAfanOromoQubee2014_4

As November 3 (Qubee Day) is fast approaching, it’s important to celebrate and understand the significance of November 3, 1991 – the day Qubee was adopted as the alphabet of Afan Oromo, after being endorsed by Oromo as well as other international linguists. WithQubee, Afan Oromo, the language so many fought and died to keep alive and legal, was sprung into its current revival period.

Afan Oromo is Africa’s fourth most widely “spoken” language, and since the November 3, 1991 adoption of Qubee, it’s also becoming one of the top “written” languages in Africa.

The history of Oromo shows that the Abyssinian successive ruling classes, emboldened by ignorance and arrogance, had the mission to wipe out this language; and their mission failed by the relentless national struggle of many Oromo generations before 1991 and after 1991.

When November comes, we are also reminded of the sacrifices paid by the Oromo youth during the 2005 FDG, which broke out on November 9, 2005 to fight against the subjugation of the Oromo people by the Tigrean TPLF regime.

The sacrifices of the Oromo youth have been seared into the Nation’s memory forever. Kabada Badhassa, Jagama Badhane, Alemayehu Garba, Gaddisa Hirphasaa, Morkata Idosa, Gemechu Benesa Bula, Lelisa Waqgari Bula, Yaasiin Muhaammad, Dirribee Jifaar, Simee Tarrafaa, Shibbiruu Damisee and many many others – died for Oromo’s national liberation and national pride, and to uphold Oromo’s national heritage, such as Qubee, the Gadaa System, Aaddaa Oromoo, to mention just a few of the Oromo national heritage.

See more @  Gadaa.com & Ayyaantuu.com

http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2014/10/celebrate-qubee-and-afan-oromo-23-years-of-success-since-the-november-3-1991-adoption-of-qubee/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/celebrate-qubee-afan-oromo-23-years-of-success-since-the-nov-3-1991-adoption-of-qubee/

 

Draining development: illicit flows from Africa October 21, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Corruption in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, UK Aid Should Respect Rights, Youth Unemployment.
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Draining development: illicit flows from Africa

Since 1970, Africa has lost at least $854 billion through capital flight which is not only enough to wipe out the continent’s total external debt of $250 billion but leaving around $600 billion for poverty alleviation.

By Menelaos Agaloglou

corruption-empireOctober 21, 2014 (Open Democracy) — Illicit flows are difficult to measure due to lack of reliable data. Global Financial Integrity in 2008 reported that Africa has lost between $854 billion and $1.8 trillion in the last four decades.

The flows seeking higher returns are directed towards western financial institutions and the process is being facilitated by tax havens, trade mispricing (by overpricing imports and underpinning exports on customs documents, residents can illegally transfer money abroad), fake foundations and money-laundering techniques.

Sometimes it is a response to economic and political instability or to high taxes placed on international trade. Frequently it is a way of hiding the illegal accumulation of wealth owed to corruption or criminal activity. Additionally, massive illicit flows can also be a reaction to a defaulting government debt or to a lost confidence on the economic strength of the country.

These outflows of capital seriously harm the efforts for poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. In the first place, investment has decreased, yielding negative implications for job creation, improvement of infrastructure and industrialization.

Illicit flows of money harm economic growth by stifling private capital formation and causing the tax base to remain narrow. Since it drains hard currency reserves, it encourages poor countries to borrow money from abroad making their debt crisis worse and curtailing public investment further. This burden is paid more by the poor since high levels of unemployment and increased inflation affects them more. Illicit flows increase inequality that can lead to political tensions and further poverty.

Interestingly, Africa has become a net creditor to the world despite its global image as an inactive recipient of aid and loans. It has the highest share of private external assets among developing regions. Since 1970, Africa has lost at least $854 billion through capital flight which is not only enough to wipe out the continent’s total external debt of $250 billion but leaving around $600 billion for poverty alleviation and pro poor growth.

Africa is the largest recipient of aid in the world. Vast amount of resources are being spent every year with the task of achieving poverty reduction and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

But what’s the point of sending money in the region if the region sends it back? For the region as a whole, illicit outflows outpaced official development assistance by a ratio of around 2:1. Taking other statistics into account, developing countries lose at least $10 through illegal flight for every $1 they receive via the aid regime. It is logical to conclude here that it would have been more beneficial to keep the locally produced wealth and invest it in the continent rather than waiting for aid from abroad to safeguard basic needs.

A serious inquiry that needs further investigation is what exactly this amount (between $1 trillion and $2 trillion) being lost means in terms of schools, hospitals and infrastructure. For example, the Education For All 2011 report stated that current aid levels fall short of the $16 billion required annually to close the external financing gap in low-income countries.

This crime kills the economic chances of the region. In 1970 it sent abroad 2% of Africa’s GDP, in 1987 it sent abroad 11% and 8% of its 2007 GDP. Illicit outflows from Africa grew at an average 12% a year over the four decades. To have a chance to meet the Millennium Development Goals, African countries must attack the illicit outflow and try to recover what is now held abroad. If the amount lost could be returned, then development can be achieved painlessly with local resources finally putting an end to aid dependency.

Economic growth without reform that can keep the wealth locally reinvested will lead to more illicit capital flight, and not to less. Sub Saharan Africa had high growth-rates over the last decade. Illicit outflows have also increased during this period. If the resources gained from growth cannot be invested locally then pro poor growth will not be achieved and the continent will continue suffering from extreme poverty. The region crucially needs diversification of its economy, research and development in relation to its agriculture and an expansion of its social services both in urban and rural areas. Only locally-led efforts, with local resources, can succeed in bringing prosperity.

Former South African president Mbeki blamed multinational companies for the flow of capital out of Africa, whereas other people are blaming the growing African elite for wanting higher returns for their money. The alternative view is that this economic problem of the outflow of money is just one of the consequences of the real problem that generates all others: in many African countries, governments (even the whole apparatus of the state) lack legitimacy, and their policies and actions do not represent the whole of society but special groups with economic and political power. In most African countries there is no bargain among groups; just the imposition of power by a small elite.

An effective state can tax its citizens with a political settlement, a rational consensus between state and citizens whereby taxes will be used to further guarantee and protect their interests. At this point we can start perceiving the problem of illicit flows more as a political problem and less an economic one. It is necessary for African societies to address their weak state legitimacy by becoming more open political units, which will integrate the different groups from the societies they supposedly lead. On the other hand businessmen, in order to keep their wealth inside their countries, need to be sure that they will profit with a positive real rate of interest. Serious macroeconomic policies, such as lower fiscal deficits, low inflation and reduced monetary expansion need to follow.

In conclusion, capital flight places the whole burden of solving the problem upon African countries. However one views the problem, either as an economic or a political one, the burden is placed on these societies to solve problems through their own efforts.

It is true that African financial institutions are the smallest and least developed in the world. It is also true that they are not transparent – probably a symptom of their connection with the political establishment which also lacks credibility among the locals. But credibility, transparency and legitimacy are central ideas to development. It would be wiser to start our development discussions from these basics rather than wasting more resources and time setting more and more millennium goals.

About the author

Menelaos Agaloglou is the Head of Geography in the International Division of the Greek Community School in Addis Ababa. He is a researcher of the Center of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (CEMMIS), part of the University of Peloponnese in Greece. He has taught Conflict Resolution and English in the University of Hargeisa in Somalia and Social Studies at the Ahmadiyya elementary school in Sierra Leone.

Read @ Open Democracy     http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/draining-development-illicit-flows-from-africa/

 

In Ethiopia, foreign investment is a fancy word for stealing land: Colonialism Never left. #Oromia October 17, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, No to land grabs in Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, US-Africa Summit, Youth Unemployment.
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Land grab inOromia

It’s been called by some to be a new form of colonialism. Others say it is outright theft Land grabs in the developing world create a system so unequal that resource-rich countries become resource dependent. In Ethiopia, one of the world’s largest recipients of foreign aid, the problem is particularly acute. In a country where over 30% of the population (pdf) is below the food poverty line, crops are exported abroad—primarily to India, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.  http://qz.com/275489/in-ethiopia-foreign-investment-is-a-fancy-word-for-stealing-land/

In Ethiopia, foreign investment is a fancy word for stealing land

 

By Daniel  A. Madina

Since 2000, over 37 million hectares of land, mainly in the world’s poorest nations, have been acquired by foreign investors “without the free, prior, and informed consent of communities” in what, according to Oxfam and other organizations, constitutes a “land grab.” It’s a portion of land twice the size of Germany, according to researchers.

 More than 60% of crops grown on land bought by foreign investors in developing countries are intended for export, instead of for feeding local communities. Worse still, two-thirds of these agricultural land deals are in countries with serious hunger problems. A report by the University of Virginia in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Milan says that a third to a fourth (pdf, p. 1) of the global malnourished population, or 300 to 550 million people, could be fed from the global share of land grabs.

Instead, the land is used to grow profitable crops—like sugarcane, palm oil, and soy. The benefits of this food production “go to the investors and to the countries that are receiving the exports, and not to the benefit of local communities,” says Paolo D’Odorico, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. He attributes the phenomenon to a global “commodification of land” and says the problem will only get worse in the coming years as food prices continue to rise globally.

Land grabs in the developing world create a system so unequal that resource-rich countries become resource dependent.

In Ethiopia, one of the world’s largest recipients of foreign aid, the problem is particularly acute. In a country where over 30% of the population (pdf) is below the food poverty line, crops are exported abroad—primarily to India, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Multinationals buy up the land from the Ethiopian government for lease and bring in workers to farm it.

Favorable climate conditions and government relief have led Ethiopia to be chosen as a new production site by many flower growers present in Kenya. Bangalore-based Karuturi Global, the world’s largest rose exporter, has rose plantations in the country, and is planning the development of a 300,000-hectare lease in the Gambella area.

Alfredo Bini, an Italian photojournalist, examined Ethiopian land grabs in his recently released photo series, “Land Grabbing.” For the investors, Bini explains, the deals were not “land grabs” but opportunities to get huge returns on investments.

As Birinder Singh, the executive director of Karuturi in Ethiopia, plainly states in his interview with Bini: “When someone calls it ‘land grab,’ we call it ‘land development.’”

“These companies—mostly Saudi and Indian—are signing deals with the Ethiopian government to lease this land… for 25, 30, sometimes 50 years, depriving local populations of the ability to harvest their crops and feed themselves,” Bini told Quartz. “The government says the lands are empty and not being harvested but from what I saw and documented in my reporting this is entirely not the case.”

Ethiopia land grabbing

Farming women walk along a bank to reach their plot in the Agula region of Tigray. The average size of plots cultivated by the local farmers is no more than 0.6 hectares, hardly sufficient to guarantee sustenance for typical, large Ethiopian families.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

Burning forest around the Karuturi facility, in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, to allow access to bulldozers preparing the ground for oil palm and sugar cane plantations. The area is near a national park where the second largest animal migration in Africa occurs. Karuturi claims they have preserved the free movement of animals through corridors of intact forest.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

A school in Arabhara, a village near the Kebena River, between the town of Amibara and the Aledeghi natural reserve. This area is included in the government-owned Metahara Sugar Factory’s 20,000 hectare expansion plan. The native Afar herders have declared they are ready for an armed revolt rather than accepting their villages being moved.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

The planting of sugar cane cuttings in Awash near Amibara and the Aledeghi natural reserve. This area is included in the government-owned Metahara Sugar Factory’s expansion plan, aimed at boosting sugar and biofuel production.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

A rose growing in one of the greenhouses springing up around Holeta. Favorable climate conditions and government relief have led to Holeta being chosen as a new production site by many flower growers present in Kenya, including Karuturi.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

Once cut, the roses are taken to the stocking and shipping area where they are packed and readied for the daily shipments to Holland.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

Ethiopia land grabbing

Executive director Birinder Singh in the Ethiopian offices in Addis Ababa for Bangalore-based Karuturi.(Alfredo Bini/Cosmos)

 

Read more @http://qz.com/275489/in-ethiopia-foreign-investment-is-a-fancy-word-for-stealing-land/

 

The Oromo Theory of Knowledge by Dr. Gammachuu Magarsaa October 16, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Gamachuu Magarsaa, Ideas, Meroetic Oromo, Oromo Literature, Oromo Proverbs (Mammaaksa Oromoo), Oromo Social System, Philosophy and Knowledge, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Seera Yaayyaa Shananii, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Theory of Knowledge, Wisdom.
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Ethiopia is making the 7th worst country (Hunger Level Marked Alarming) in Global Hunger Index (GHI) Score 2014. October 16, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Corruption in Africa, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Free development vs authoritarian model, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, The State of Food Insecurity in Ethiopia.
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The ‘hidden hunger’ due to micronutrient deficiency does  not produce hunger as we know it. You might not feel it in the belly, but it strikes at the core of your health and vitality.  

– International Food Policy Research Institute

 

 

Ethiopia and its Hidden Hunger in the Shadows of Fastest Economic Growth Hype

 

Ethiopia is making the 7th worst country (marked alarming) in Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2014. It is the 70th of the 76 with GHI score of 24.4 and Proportion of undernourished in the population (%) 37.1.   http://www.ifpri.org/tools/2014-ghi-map
The 10 worst countries in 2014 GHI Score are: Ethiopia, Chad, Sudan/South Sudan, East Timor-Leste, Comoros, Eritrea, Burundi, Haiti, Zambia and Yemen.  

http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi14.pdf

According to the IFPRS report 2014 which was released on 13th October, more than 2 billion people worldwide suffer from hidden hunger, more than double the 805 million people who do not have enough calories to eat (FAO, IFAD, and WFP 2014). Much of Africa South of the Sahara and South Asian subcontinent are hotspots where the prevalence of hidden hunger is high. The rate are relatively low in Latin America and the Caribbean where diets rely less on single staples and are more affected by widespread deployment of micronutrient interventions, nutrition education, and basic health services.

Definitions:

  • Hunger: distress related to lack of food
  •  Malnutrition: an abnormal physiological condition, typically due to eating the wrong amount and/or kinds of foods; encompasses undernutrition and overnutrition
  •  Undernutrition: deficiencies in energy, protein, and/or  micronutrients Causes include poor diet, disease, or increased micronutrient needs not met during pregnancy and lactation
  • Undernourishment: chronic calorie deficiency, with consumption of less than 1,800 kilocalories a day, the minimum most people need to live a healthy, productive life
  •  Overnutrition: excess intake of energy or micronutrients
  • Micronutrient deficiency (also known as hidden hunger): a form
    of undernutrition that occurs when intake or absorption of vitamins and minerals is too low to sustain good health and development in children and normal physical and mental function in adults
  •  Undernourishment: chronic calorie deficiency, with consumption of less than 1,800 kilocalories a day, the minimum most people need to live a healthy, productive life
  • Overnutrition: excess intake of energy or micronutrients

Read the Full report @ http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi14.pdf

Aadde Tsehay Tolessa, the Widow of Rev. Gudina Tumsa, May Her Soul Rest in Peace. Aayyoo Sabboontuu Aadde Tsahay Tolasaa Biyyoon Itti Hasalphatu October 15, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aadde Faaxumaa Galmoo, Aadde Tsehay Tolasaa, Artist Almaz Tafarraa, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Uncategorized.
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Tsehay Tolessa, 84, the widow of Rev. Gudina Tumsa, passed away on October 12, 2014. Aadde Tsehay was a person of faith, courage and great perseverance. The government of Ethiopia, during the 1980s, never tolerated Oromo people’s aspiration for freedom and justice, but forced them to submit to harsh treatment. They grabbed Tolessa and forced her hands under her knees and tied them there, right after her husband, whom she married to in 1951, was abducted on July 28, 1979 and subsequently got killed. They filled her mouth with dirty rags and they beat her breaking bones and causing the skin to peel off. Then they threw her in a cell with 60 other people. There was standing room only and she remembered that she could only feel broken bones and blood as she had to stand. There was only one toilet but since nobody could move in the cell they could not use the facilities properly. No doubt disease was rampant and they were already under an immense famine. There was no light that came in this cell. She could not even hold a cup to drink water as others had to help her.

She stayed in that cell A FULL YEAR!!!! With her broken bones, rotting flesh and dilapidating condition she stayed in that mess of a cell for a whole year! When they let her out of the cell they put her in another jail for 10 years!! She was morally strong, even though she lost a husband, Rev. Gudina Tumsa, and brother-in-law, Baaroo Tumsa, to the Oromo cause.

Aadde Tsehay was a tower of her family, a shining light of courage to her people and a woman of deep faith in God. She survived by four children (Kulani, Lensa, Aster and Boruu) and many more grand children.  May God bless her!! Rest in peace!!

Du’aan Boqotuu Aadde Tsehay Tolasaa Ilaalchisee Ibsa Gaddaa ABO irraa kenname.

Photo: Madda Oduu SBO/VOL  Onkoloolessa 15,2014</p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Gaambellaa keessatti waraana wayyaanee fi ummata gidduutti lolli jabaan geggeeffamaa akka jiru maddeen SBO beeksisan.</p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Onkoloolessa 12,2014 irraa qabee Gaambeellaa keessatti poolisoota federaalaa dabalatee loltoota wayyaanee fi ummata gidduutti waraanni jabaan geggeeffamaa jira jechuun maddeen SBO gabaasanii jiran.</p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Magaalaa Gambeellaa fi naannoo ishee akkasumas Abooboo keessatti lolli jabaan ummataa fi waraana wayyaanee gidduutti bifa adda addaan geggeeffamaa jiraachuu kan hubachiisan maddeen SBO, miidhaa olaanaan loltoota wayyaanee irra akka gahes hubachiisaniiru. Ummata irras miidhaan gahuu dabalanii beeksisaniiru. Reeffii fi madoon loltoota wayyaanee dhoksaadhaan akka gara Finfinnee fi bakkoota biraatti guuramaa jirullee maddeen SBO itti eda’uun eeraniiru.</p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Mootummaan wayyaanee waraana isaa dabalataan naannoo sanatti guuraa jiraachuu kan ibsan maddeen SBO, haalichi akka hin dhaga’amneef ukkaamsuuf ijibbaataa akka jirus mirkaneessan.</p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Hordoftoota SBO, Gambeellaa keessatti ummataa fi waraana wayyaanee gidduutti lola geggeeffamaa jiru kana haala isaa fi miidhaa dhaqqabe gara fuula duraatti kan ifa goonu ta’uu keenya beeksisna.

Harka guddeessa Sabboontota Oromoo addatti ammoo dhalattoota Oromoo Qabsoo Bilisummaa Oromootti dhihoo jiraniin bal’inaan kan beekaman Aadde Teshay Tolasaa hoospitaala Land Mark jedhamutti waldhaanamaa osoo jiranii Onkoloolessa 12, 2014 Oromiyaa/ Finfinneetti addunyaa kana irraa du’aan boqatanii jiran.

Sabboontuu, hiyyeessa gargaaruu fi jajjabeessuun kan beekaman Aadde Tsehay Tolasaa Abbaa warraa isaanii Lubi Guddinaa Tumsaa badiin alatti murtii faashistummaan kan ajjeese mootummaan Dargii, ajjeechaa Abbaa warraa isaanii irratti raawwateen quufuu dhabuu irraa isaaniinis waggoota 10ni oliif mana hidhaa keessatti dararaa turuu seenaan Adde Tsehay ni hubachiisa.

Sabboontuu fi haadha hiyyeessaa kan tahan Aadde Tsehaay Tolasaa mana hidhaa Dargii keessatti miidhaan ol aanaan irra gahullee midhaa irra gaheef osoo harka hin laatne, akka mana hidhaatii bahaniin dhalattoota biyyaa isaaniin olitti rakkoo adda addaan qabamanii jiran gargaaruuf murteeffatanii waggoota 20 ol dabraniif dalagaa namoomaa boonsaa hojjataa turan. Garaa laaftuu fi ummata rakkateef kan naasuu qaban Aadde Tsehay, waggoota kanneen keessatti harka qalleeyyii hedduu nyaachisuu, daara baasuu fi waldhaansisuun hojii boonsaa bara baraan ittiin yaadataman hojjatanii dabran.

Haadha Ijoollee Afurii kan tahan Aadde Tsehay Tolasaa waggaa 84-tti Onkoloolessa 12, 2014 du’aan boqatan.

Qabsoo Bilismmaa ummata Oromoo keessatti qoodni isaanii guddaa dha. Senaan hidhaa waggaa 10 olii kana mirkaneessa.

Addi Bilisummaa Oromoo du’aan boqotuu Aadde Tsehay Tolasaatti gadda cimaa itti dhagahame ibsaa maatii, firoottanii fi sabboontota Oromoo maraaf jajjabina hawwa.

Injifannoo Ummata Oromoof!
Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo
Onkoloolessa 14, 2014

 

 

Sirna Owaalcha Adde Tsehay  Tolasaa

Onkoloolessa 15 Bara 2014

Funeral service of Aadde Tseay Tolesa, the widow of Rev. Gudina Tumsa

15th October 2015

 

 

 

 

 

The Four Types of Africa’s Corrupt Power Elites: How to be Corrupt in Africa October 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Undemocratic governance in Africa, US-Africa Summit, Youth Unemployment.
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 (picture: TPLF/Ethiopia’s corruption Empire)

 

 

 

 

 

SHAPE OF THE CONTINENT: How to be, or not to be, corrupt in Africa where one size does not fit all

Christin Mungai, Mail & Guardian Africa

 

 

 

 

SOUTH Africa is awash with stories of corruption scandals touching on key public figures; from President Jacob Zuma on one end, to opposition leader Julius Malema on the other.

All is not well in Africa’s richest economy. However, recent reports paint an even bleaker picture for the continent in general. One noted that “acording to most of the available indicators, the war on corruption is at a standstill. In fact, these indicators show that corruption is actually increasing in countries where its impact is likely to be most harsh”.

How bad is it and, most importantly, WHY does it happen? We think a large part of it is down to the nature of the various states in Africa.

We took the scores of African countries in two indicators from the latest Fragile States index compiled by Foreign Policy: factionalised elites and state legitimacy. The former measures conflict and competition among local and national leaders, while the latter measures corruption and other measures of government performance and electoral process.

We plotted each country’s deviation from the mean on the two indicators, and the resulting scatter diagram suggests intriguing things about African states; especially how much is “up for grabs”, but more importantly, how the corrupt are corrupt – the strategies which would work if you were looking to loot public coffers.

 

 

See infographics @ https://magic.piktochart.com/embed/3030773-untitled-infographic

 

The Ones who Share Nicely

In the top right quadrant are the “democracy star-performers” – Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia are the far outliers, as well as countries like Ghana, South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, Benin and Senegal (mouse over the coloured dots to see specific countries). The countries in this have low competition among elites, and a high level of state legitimacy: citizens feel they have a stake in the country, their votes matter and they can hold leaders accountable.

On the surface, it seems that these countries have mature democratic processes and are committed to the rule of law. But it might also suggest something else – that where corruption exists, there is an “elite consensus” on graft, which means that leaders do not fight for the pie today because they know their turn will come with the next (democratic) election when they win power. Ghana is a good example here – there isn’t that overt looting of state coffers that you might see in other African countries, but you can still benefit illegally from public funds – if you play nicely.

The strong state in these countries also suggests that in order to be steal public money in this countries, you have to “formalise corruption”. In other words, because the state is strong, you have to use formal channels to enrich yourself – lobbying Parliament to make rules in your favour would work here. South Africa is the classic case here – Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), for example, was intended to reduce the economic disparity between racial groups entrenched during apartheid, but it has morphed into a vehicle for a few well-connected black businessmen to enrich themselves – this class of nouveau riche beneficiaries is disparagingly called “tender-preneurs”. But even that name suggests that to benefit from state largesse, you have to have a modicum of formality – you have to register a company, fill and submit tender forms, etc. In these countries, you can’t just ride roughshod into the Treasury.

How to win: Be literate, learn how to write a proposal, and know how to do cocktail chit-chat.

The Ones who Only Share among Themselves

In the top left quadrant are a number of countries that have a high level of state legitimacy – they score high in governance and fighting corruption – but they also have high competition between elites. Rwanda and Ethiopia show up here, two countries which have a military-turned-civilian regime in power. In Rwanda’s case it is the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), while in Ethiopia’s case it is Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front. In these countries, elections are not fiercely fought for across the board (the Parliamentary contest might be hot, but not that for president or prime minister) as it is almost taken for granted that the ruling party and/or its candidate will win.

So something else plays out here: internal competition within the party is intense, but you have to be “one of us” to be a legitimate player in the game. So we see these regimes coming down hard on “dissidents” because the game can only be played within the boundaries and uniformity of the ruling party. In Rwanda, for example, perhaps the reason openly gorging yourself from the public coffers is frowned upon here is because “everyone can’t do it” and it would make certain individuals stand out, not necessarily because it’s wrong. Liberia and Mauritania also feature here, but for different reasons: Liberia has a long history of a “ruling class”: Americo-Liberians, descendants of freed slaves, ruled the country exclusively since independence in 1847 until 1980, so to be in the game, you just had to be “one of them”. Mauritania also has a ruling class called the “white Moors”. So the elite can fight among themselves – Mauritania, for example, has  had a dozen coups or attempted coups since independence from France in 1960—but they firmly shut the door to outsiders.

How to win: Join the party, but always watch your back.

The Ones who Don’t Share

In the lower right quadrant are countries like Angola, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Republic of the Congo and Swaziland. They score low on competition among elites, but high on corruption. Why aren’t the elite fighting among themselves? Here, the reason for this disparity might be simple: the elite has entrenched themselves firmly into power, they have sunk their roots deep into the state system, and aren’t going anywhere. But there’s a difference between them and The Ones who Only Share among Themselves –the ruling class is small enough to keep “eating”, so there isn’t any need for competition within that small group. Swaziland is an absolute monarchy, so it perfectly embodies this “total exclusivity”.

Ruling elites here have a steady income supply, like oil (or royal tributes), to provide an endless bonanza – and it explains why most of them have had long regimes in power, twenty years or more: Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, Blaise Compaore in Burkina Faso, the Bongo dynasty in Gabon, Denis Sassou-Nguesso (with a short interruption) in the Congo and King Mswati in Swaziland have all been in power for more than 20 years). There just isn’t any real competition; and luckily, the money is enough to keep everyone who matters happy. In Angola, for example, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos family controls practically all the major sectors of the economy: his daughter Isabel is famously Africa’s first female billionaire, with assets in telecoms, banking and diamonds; daughter Tchize runs a television and communications network; son Coreon Dú is a music producer and singer; and son José Filomeno heads the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

How to win: Marry into the family and live quietly.

The Free for All: “Democratically Corrupt”

In the lower left quadrant are the conflict-plagued states: Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, others with widespread civil strife – such as Zimbabwe, Libya and Eritrea – as well as others which, on the surface, aren’t “quite so failed”- Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria. These countries have the bad scores, both in the level of corruption and in the factionalisation of elites. Corruption here isn’t exclusive to some long-established ruling elite, or to any formal party structure. Outsiders do have a chance of getting in, but there isn’t enough to go around – the elite is too large, and there are too many vested interests.

It means that elections tend to be a “winner-take-all” scenario, fiercely fought on the ground. Still, there’s a silver lining here: the fact that politicians are fighting for citizen’s votes suggests that votes actually count. But here, there isn’t really an expectation to play nicely, or share with others, so we see lots of rogue behaviour, elites tend to thrive on chaos and unpredictability. The weakness of the state gives rise to strong lawless groups – such as Boko Haram or al-Shabab – and the country is vulnerable to civil strife.

How to win: Be a bully, and never, ever show any weakness.

 

http://mgafrica.com/article/2014-10-09-the-four-africas

 

http://mgafrica.com/article/2014-10-09-the-four-africas/

10 Best and Brightest YouTube Videos That Will Change How You Think October 8, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer, Inspirational Oromo Women, Tweets and Africa, Uncategorized.
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10 YouTube Videos That Will Change How You Think

http://time.com/3481914/inspiring-youtube-videos/

While you may think of YouTube as a place to check out the latest in funny animal videos, there’s a lot of content that caters to the brain rather than the funny bone.

We’ve found the best and brightest videos for you to enjoy when you need to stretch your mental muscles. These cover a variety of topics, but they’re all guaranteed to make you look at the world around you at least a little bit differently.

Dan Gilbert: Why Are We Happy? Why Aren’t We Happy?

Scientist Dan Gilbert has made some surprising discoveries about happiness. For example, lottery winners and paraplegics both have about the same level of happiness one year after the event that changed their lives. How is that possible?

Gilbert explains how our long-term happiness is not on based getting what we want, but how our brains react when we don’t get what we want. And he demonstrates this by way of Mick Jagger, Monet and amnesiacs. Confused? Watch this 22-minute video as he talks about exactly how this works based on his scientific studies into the matter.

Stephen Hawking: Questioning the Universe

One of the most brilliant scientists of our time not only discusses how the universe began and the probability of alien contact, but how that information determines how we should proceed in the future. Given mankind’s selfish and aggressive expansion, Stephen Hawking makes a case for space exploration so that we can continue to thrive on other habitable worlds.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

If you are pursuing creative endeavors, either professionally or personally, this talk by the author of best-seller of Eat, Pray, Love is for you. She questions the assumption we all have that creativity and suffering go hand-in-hand, and challenges creative people to look at their work and their life’s passion to create in a different, more positive light.

Colin Stokes: The Hidden Meanings in Kids’ Movies

Father of two, Colin Stokes wonders aloud, “Why is there so much Force in the movies we have for our kids and so little Yellow Brick Road?” By that, he means films aimed at boys tend to teach them that violence is the answer and a woman is their prize (i.e. Star Wars.) And films aimed at girls tend to teach them to work together and make allies to overcome problems (i.e. The Wizard of Oz.)

The question he has: why aren’t there films focused on gaining allies and solving things diplomatically aimed at boys? Why aren’t there more films that teach young men not to objectify women and treat them as the reward they are entitled to? Most importantly, Colin talks about what we as parents can do about it.

Amy Webb: How I Hacked Online Dating

Is there an algorithm for love? Statistician Amy Webb analyzed not only what she wanted out of a potential husband, but also what men she liked were looking for. Using this process, she altered her online dating profile and it caught the eye of the man she would end up marrying.

This is not just a story about how to find the ideal mate, but how to approach any passion in your life in a way that gets you what you want in a smart way designed for success.

Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Though the “Last Lecture” series at Carnegie Mellon University is themed around what the professors’ last lectures would be, for Randy Pausch, who had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, this would literally be his last lecture. But don’t think this video is a downer because Pausch is dying: He’s in good humor, and you’re guaranteed to crack a smile while watching his inspirational talk about how to live life to its fullest.

Told through Pausch’s reminiscing, his lecture focuses on achieving one’s childhood dreams and, even better, how to help others achieve their dreams. At over an hour in length, it’s well worth your time.

Steve Jobs: Stanford Commencement Address

Several years before his death, the Apple CEO gave the commencement address to the graduates at Stanford University. In it, he talks about his own life: He dropped out of college after six months, unable to see the value in whiling away all of his parents’ savings. He didn’t know how at the time, but he hoped it would all work out — and if you know anything about the story of his life, it did.

His message of believing in yourself and following your own path is full of humor and insight. It isn’t to be missed and only clocks in at a little more than 15 minutes.

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

We live in a world that doesn’t always cater to the needs of introverts—a personality type that accounts for a third to half of all people and tends to prefer quiet over loud, isolation over socialization. Cain, an introvert and the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts, offers a thought-provoking argument that suggests introverts have as much to offer the world as their extroverted brethren.

One of the more popular TEDTalks, The Power of Introverts runs just under 20 minutes and may make you see a new side of yourself or those around you.

Eli Pariser: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”

Don’t know what a filter bubble is? It’s a phenomenon unique to the Internet-era in which our interests and preferences tailor the kinds of content we see on search engines and social channels. And while it can be helpful in directing us to the information most relevant to us, in this nine-minute TEDTalk, Eli Pariser explains that it can also prevent us from seeing opposing viewpoints.

Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is well-known as a business leader who’s been outspoken on the subject of women in the workplace. So it’s no surprise that when she spoke at a TED Conference, she gave a 15-minute passionate argument for why we need more women leaders in the world. She also focuses on the messages we send women about working and the messages we send our daughters as well.

See more @ http://time.com/3481914/inspiring-youtube-videos/

 

The 4.4 billion people around the world without Internet Connections October 4, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Internet Censorship, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Facebook and Africa.
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4.4 billion people around the world still don’t have Internet. Here’s where they live

 

pingsl

 

 

October 3, 2014 (Washington Post) — The world wide web still isn’t all that worldwide.

An exhaustive newstudy by McKinsey & Company (really, it’s 120 pages long) about the barriers to Internet adoption around the world illuminates a rather surprising reality: 4.4 billion people scattered across the globe, including 3.2 billion living in only 20 countries, still aren’t connected to the Internet.

The sheer number of people unconnected in some countries is staggering. India is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s offline population; China houses more than 730 million; Indonesia 210 million; Bangladesh almost 150 million; and Brazil nearly 100 million. Even in the United States, 50 million people don’t use the Internet (though, as my colleague Caitlin Dewey points out, many of those who are offline in the United States are offline by choice).

But adjusting for size, and instead looking at the percentage of people in certain countries that still aren’t connected to Internet, shows that quite a few places have very little internet penetration at all. In Myanmar, 99.5 percent of the population is offline; in Ethiopia, almost 98 percent; in Tanzania, more than 95 percent; and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just under 95 percent.

Most of the world’s offline population, some 64 percent, live in rural settings, where poor infrastructure, health care, education, and employment, impede Internet adoption, the study says. In India, for instance, roughly 45 percent of the population lives without electricity, making Internet access all the more unthinkable.

 

 

 

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http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/4-4-billion-people-around-the-world-still-dont-have-internet-heres-where-they-live/

Exploring land grabs in Ethiopia:Triangle between corporations, government and farmers. #Oromia October 2, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, No to land grabs in Oromia, Oromians Protests, Oromo students protests, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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 Exploring land grabs in Ethiopia

Triangle between corporations, government and farmers.

LAND GRABBING OR LAND TO INVESTORS ?

By Alfredo Bini*

 

 

October 2, 2014 (Farmlandgrab) — In Ethiopia, more than six million people survive because of UN food aid, while agricultural products cultivated on land leased to foreign investors are exported. A paradox. These land use decisions are made far from the land itself, and far from the people whose lives are rooted in it.

The video below explores the phenomenon of land grabs through the eyes of foreign investors, governments and the people on the land. Images from this video also appeared at the Photoville Festival in Brooklyn, NY. There Grassroots International and allies participated in a panel discussion “Land Grabbing: Raising Awareness with Multimedia” on September 21, 2014.

Land Grabbing is not new. Companies from wealthy countries have always sought low-cost land for agricultural production. Today, governments allocate funds to domestic companies that wish to invest in land overseas. Governments did not provide this type of financial support for much of the last century, but are doing so now in manner reminiscent of colonial practices.

In 2007, after the subprime crisis, capital moved to food commodity markets and prices increased. The price rally coincided with a decrease in exports from some food producing countries. Countries that historically have been vulnerable to these fluctuations sought new food security strategies. The Arab states were the first to move, followed closely by others seeking new and profitable business ventures.

The financial risk to the companies involved in Land Grabbing is almost nonexistent. Governments, motivated by food security concerns, allocate the initial funds to be invested overseas. The EU provides funding to other companies that will produce materials overseas that make it possible to comply with EU “green policies” for biofuel production. The World Bank and the IMF also provide companies with funding, and it is possible to purchase insurance against loss that may result from stability issues in the country where the funds are invested.

*Alfredo Bini is a photojournalist and has found his own personal form of expression in reportage photography. His work has been on show in exhibitions and photography festivals worldwide. His reportages won national and international awards and are used as debating material for presentations and conferences in public venues, universities and on TV news programs. He is represented by the Paris based Cosmos Photo agency.

http://grassrootsonline.org/news/articles/video-explores-land-grabs-development-ethiopia

http://www.farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23983-video-explores-land-grabs-development-in-ethiopia

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/video-explores-land-grabs-development-in-ethiopia/

Ethiopia Ranks 47th in Mo Ibrahim 2014 Governance Index Human Rights category October 1, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Corruption, Ethiopia & World Press Index 2014, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia has been  ranked 47th out of 52 countries in Africa by the Mo Ibrahim 2014 governance index on Human Rights.  Ethiopia’s score in this category is 28.8/100.  Ethiopia (28.8), CAR (27.9), Gambia (26.2), Equatorial Guinea (10.5), Eritrea (8.6) and Somalia (7.3) are  the worst performing in this category. Ethiopia has been one of the most deteriorating trend for the  last five years with score for change of -6.3. Top 5 performing countries in this category are: Cabo Verde (84.4), Mauritius (81.7), Ghana (78.1), Senegal (74.7),  Namibia (73.3). Average African score for human rights category has been 49.4. The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, launched on  29 September 2014.

  See Chart @http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/interact/#phr;root

In accountability which includes corruption in government and public officials, Ethiopia has  scored 38.9  and has been ranked 25th with deteriorating trends. The highest performing Botswana has scored 77.3. The average for all Africa is 38.9. See Chart @http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/interact/#srl;root

Ethiopia ranks 32nd in over all Ibrahim Index of  2014 African Governance with score of  48.5/100. The top 5 scorers are Mauritius (81.7), Cabo Verde (76.6), Botswana (76.2),  South Africa (73.3) and Seychelles (73.2).

According to the Index,  governance is defined as:

“The provision of the political, social and economic goods that a citizen has the right to expect from his or her state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens.”

The foundation conducts its assessments with four main conceptual categories: Safety & rule of law,  participation and human rights,  sustainable economic opportunity and human development.

Read related analysis on the report @The Ibrahim Index and Africa’s new numbers: http://africanarguments.org/2014/10/01/africas-new-numbers-revealing-and-intriguing-by-richard-dowden/