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Forbes: Obama’s True Legacy: Propping Up Dictators. #Africa August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in US-Africa Summit.
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By praising Ethiopia’s repressive regime for being “democratically elected” last week, President Obama was driving home once again something that should be abundantly clear by now: His administration marks a radical departure from previous ones when it comes to democracy promotion.


Obama Ethiopia visit2


On the contrary, the Obama legacy will be one of propping up dictatorial regimes around the world. His praise for the government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn merely took to Africa what Obama and his foreign policy team have already done on a grander scale in Iran, Cuba and Burma.

To be sure, President Obama was standing next to Desalegn at a joint press conference in Addis Ababa when he spoke. Maybe he didn’t want to be a bad guest. And the President did add that the Ethipiopian government has “more work to do.” After a slew of criticism at home, he later also questioned why African leaders clung on to office rather than leave after their terms were completed.
But Mr. Obama didn’t have to go out of his way to call Desalegn “democratically elected,” let alone do it twice. Nor did he have to make excuses for his government’s horrendous human rights record by recalling the country’s past hardship and the relative infancy of its constitution.
Before leaving for Africa, human rights activists and think tanks had called on Mr. Obama to use his trip to promote economic and political freedom—something the president did only in the mildest of ways.

The Ethiopian government, for the record, has been roundly criticized by all major human rights organizations for holding sham elections in May in which Desalegn’s Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) claimed to have won 100 percent of the vote. Immediately upon Mr. Obama’s comments, the President of Freedom House Mark P. Lagon released this reaction:

President Obama unfortunately was fundamentally wrong in his comments about the parliamentary elections Ethiopia held in May, in which the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won every seat. Calling Ethiopia’s government democratically elected lowers the standards for democracy and undermines the courageous work of so many Ethiopians who fight to realize a just and democratic society.

And that’s just it. President Obama seems to have very little time for dissidents who fight brutal regimes in troubled lands. The reasons for that are many. My Heritage Foundation colleague Joshua Meservey, an Africa expert, brings up two when he tells me:

President Obama seems uncomfortable with democracy promotion for two reasons. First, he wants to distance himself from President George W. Bush’s agenda, a significant plank of which was democracy promotion. Second, I think he is a product of a certain liberal worldview that believes the U.S.’s and West’s past sins, such as slavery and the Crusades, disqualify them from pushing their values abroad, as doing so implies that the U.S.-led West’s model is superior.

Meservey is right, except what liberals don’t seem to get is that they are turning on its head one of the huge achievements of classical liberalism: the Enlightenment promotion of the idea that some rights are natural, and thus universal.

The 18th century Enlightenment was all about the universal applicability of such natural rights as life, liberty and the pursuit of property. Except that to modern liberals, the Enlightenment was all about dead white men, so promoting their ideas is culturally insensitive. Ironically, they resemble in this sense the conservatives of the 18th century, who shared Edmund Burke’s belief in each nation’s particularism.

Only up to a point, of course. Liberals still want to push their pet causes on others. Unfortunately these don’t include democracy or traditional human rights.

David Kramer, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights under President Bush, sees the hand of National Security Adviser Susan Rice in the Ethiopia faux pas, saying Rice has “had a long-standing interest in Ethiopia and… was a huge fan of the late President Meles Zenawi, who was no democrat, to say the least.” Ms. Rice’s sympathy for African despots is well known.

For the most part, though, Kramer’s analysis is the same as Meservey’s: Obama’s problems with democracy are larger.

“For the first year I put it down to ABB, Anything But Bush—Bush did it, so it was bad,” Kramer told me. “But seven years on that doesn’t explain it anymore. He’s the president who’s shown the least interest in democracy and human rights since Richard Nixon. It’s sad. For someone who constantly extols his past as a community organizer, this is pretty unexplainable.”

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STATUTES OF THE PEOPLES’ ALLIANCE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. #Oromia #Ogaden #Sidama #Sheckacho #Africa August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Self determination.
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The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF),
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF),
The Sheckacho People’s Movement for Democracy and Justice (SHEPMODSOJ),
The Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
Hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

Whereas united effort among the oppressed people has become essential in the struggle to stop a continuous and gruesome repression perpetrated by the current regime in Ethiopia,

Recognizing the fact that true and lasting cooperation to fight repression could only exist among the oppressed people and political organization that stand and promote the causes of the people, including genuine and unfettered acceptance of the right of selfdetermination for all peoples in Ethiopia;

Reaffirming their unwavering determination to put an end to the underlying causes of repression, bloodshed, insecurity, political instability and marginalization in Ethiopia and the region, which is inflicting severe hardships and suffering on all…

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Oromia: Former prisoner of conscience, Bekele Gerba, warmly welcomed at Washington Dulles International Airport. Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa, keessummaa Kabajaa OSA ta’uun Washingiton Diisii seenan. August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Studies Association, OSA.
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???????????OSA Annual conference 2015Oromia's former prisoner of conscience, Bekele Gerba, warmly welcomed at Washington Dulles International Airport1

Bekele Gerba, 54 and a father of four, went to elementary school in Boji Dirmaji and completed his high school in Gimbi senior secondary school. Bekele was graduated with BA degree in foreign language and literature from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and taught in Dembi Dolo and Nejo high schools in western Ethiopia, among others. He finished his post graduate studies in 2001 in teaching English as a foreign language at the AAU and went to Adama Teachers’ College, 98kms south of Finfinne (Addis Ababa), where he taught English and Afaan Oromo. Suspected of allegedly supporting students’ riot that took place a year before, Bekele was dismissed in 2005 by the college. He then came to Addis Abeba where he taught in two private universities for two years until he was employed in 2007 as a full time lecturer by the AUU where he continued teaching English.

Bekele’s political career began in 2009 when he joined the opposition party, Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), as a member of the executive committee and head of the public relations department. Bekele participated and lost in the 2010 parliamentary elections in which the ruling EPRDF claimed more than 99% of the seats in parliament.

Bekele Gerba was first arrested on 27 August 2011 along with Olbana Lelisa, senior member of the Oromo People’s Congress party (OPC), who is still in jail. Both were arrested after having a meeting with representatives of Amnesty International (AI), who were expelled soon after.

Both Bekele and Olbana were then charged under the country’s infamous anti-terrorism law on a specific charge of being members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and inciting a secessionist rebellion. In Dec. 2012, Bekele and Olbana were sentenced to eight and thirteen years in prison respectively.

Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, his sentencing was reduced to three years and seven months with a right to parole. After the merger in 2012 of OFDM and Oromo Peoples’ Congress (OPC) that became known as the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) Bekele was appointed as First Deputy Chairman while he was still serving his sentence. Although he was paroled and was eligible to be free in 2014 Bekele was released in the first week of April 2015 only after he finished his sentencing.

Belele represented OFC in the so-called Ethiopian election in May 2015, but the government refused to count the ballots in fear of losing the election. Instead it declared itself, blatantly, a winner with 100% voting count and became laughable around the world.

By the invitation of Oromo Studies Association, Bekele Gerba arrived, this morning, in Washington DC to take part in OSA’s annual conference, which starts on August 1, 2015. He is a keynote speaker of this year’s OSA.

Many Oromos in Washington DC Metro region will have the opportunity to meet the man who went to jail for speaking the voice of millions of Ethiopians, in particular Oromo.

Bekele was welcomed by a large group of Oromo, this morning, at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Source: Ayyaantuu News

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa, keessummaa Kabajaa OSA ta’uun Washingiton Diisii seenan.

(OMN:Oduu Adol.30, 2015)  Waggoota arfan darbaniif manneetii hidhaa Itoophiyaa gara garaa keessatti hidhamnii hiraarfamaa kan turan, Itti’aanaan dura ta’aa paartii KFO Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa,keessummaa kabajaa Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo ta’uun Adoleessa 30,2015 Washingiton DC seenan.

Obbo Baqqalaan turtii isaanii batii tokko dhufu keessatti hawaasa Oromoo Ameerikaa Kaabaa keessa jiraatan waliin wal arganii dhimma Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irratti mari’achuuf fedhii akka qaban OMN tti himaniiru.

Pirezidantiin Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo Obbo Jawaar Mohaammed ,gamasaaniin Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa keessuumaa kabajaa Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo bara kanaa ta’anii akka argamaniif tattaaffii ol’aanaa taasisaniin milkaa’uusanii beeksisaniiru.

Obbo Jawaar itti dabaluun akka jedhanitti,Obbo Baqqalaan akka hidhaa bahaniin Waldaan Qorannoo Oromoo/OSA’n/ akka gara dhufanii hawaasa oromoo waliin walarganiif gaafatee,visa waan dhorkatamaniif hin milkoofne ture.Haat’utii garuu isaan odoo abdii hin kutanne tattaaffii taasifameen amma milkoofnee keessuummaa kabajaa ta’anii argamuu danda’an jedhan.

Kanamalees jedhu Pirezdantiin Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo Obbo Jawaar Mohammed, waldaan Qoranoo Oromoo hawaasa Oromoo waliin ta’ee Obbo Baqqalaa hiiksisuuf tattaaffii gochaa turuu isaa eeranii amma immoo isaaniin asiin gahuudhaaf irratti hojjatamee milkii argameetti WQO gammachuu guddaatu itti dhagahama.Hawaasnis waraqaa qorannoo isaan dhiyeessaan bahee akka dhaggeeffatu garanumaan yaamicha godhaniiru.

Hawaasa Oromoo Washingiton Diisii jiraatan simannaa ho’aa Obbo Baqqalaaf buufata xiyyaaraa Verjiniyaatti kan taasisaniif oggaa ta’u namoonni argaman marti yaada kennaniin Obbo Baqqalaan hiikamanii dhufanii ijaan arguu isaaniitti akka gammadan OMN tti himaniiru.

Miseensi boordii Waldaa hawaasa Oromoo Washingiton Diisii Adde Biraanee Beekaa Galatoo,simannaa kana booda yaada nuuf keniiteen waaggoota afran dabran guutuu akka Obbo Baqqalaan hiikamaniif hiriira mormii baanee iyyaataa turre.Har’a garuu mana hidhaa Itoophiyaa san keessaa hiikamanii qaamaan asitti walitti dhufnee ijaan walarguu kiyyaaf gammachuu koo guddaadha.Obbo Baqqalaan, anaaf goota yeroo keenya kana keessaatti ijaan arge waan ta’eef inni goota Oromoo lubbuun jirudha jetteetti.

Miseensii Paartii KFO damee alaa Obbo Karrasaa Kiisii fi lammii Ameerikaa akkasumas bakka buutuu Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo Adde Qabbannee Waaqayyoo/Boonii/ waldura duubaan OMN tti akka himanitti Baqqalaa garbaa sagalee uummata oromoo ti.gotummaa inni nuugarsisetti hedduu gammanneerra jedhan.

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa keessuummaan kabajaa Waldaa Qorannoo Oromo bara kanaa,waraqaa qorannoo isaanii dhimma Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irratti kan dhiyeessan ta’uun beekameera.

Abdii Fiixeetu gabaase.


OSA 2015 Annual Conference:-




Rainbow Nation news from PBS: Black South Africans continue persecution of other black Africans August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in South Africa, Uncategorized.
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Substandard inputs driving food insecurity in East Africa August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Food Production.
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Dodgy fertiliser is keeping Uganda hungry

A new study suggests that good quality fertiliser is more important than agricultural education or micro credit for improving food security in Uganda

Fransisco Trono, The Guardian

Poor quality fertiliser is keeping yields down in Uganda, according to a new study. Photograph, Dan Chung for the Guardian

Poor quality fertiliser is keeping yields down in Uganda, according to a new study. Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian
For agricultural development practitioners, it’s one of the great unanswered questions: why has farm productivity in Africa lagged so far behind the rest of the developing world?

A new study suggests part of the reason is that the planting materials available to African farmers are just terrible.
Take fertiliser. In the developed world, massive overuse of chemical fertilisers has given the stuff a bad name, but in many poorer countries where farmers scratch out a living from badly depleted soils, relatively small amounts of inorganic fertiliser can double or triple farmer’s yields in a single growing season, spelling the difference between hunger and plenty for millions of food insecure farmers.

Most households also apply manure from their goats and cows on fields as a natural fertiliser, but in most cases there isn’t enough manure to replenish the nitrogen in the earth.

As Dr Todd Bensen of the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) in Washington puts it, “there aren’t any silver bullets in development, but probably the closest thing we have is fertiliser.”

So, if you’re a poor African farmer, you’d be smart to invest in a little fertiliser, right?

Not necessarily.

As researchers are finding out, if the fertiliser available to you is mostly low-quality, it may not be worth it.

The study tested samples of urea fertiliser for sale to farmers in Uganda and found shoddy, low quality fertiliser was pervasive in the Ugandan market

“On average,” the study says, “retail fertiliser contained 31% less nutrient than authentic fertiliser.” And virtually every one of the 369 samples the team tested was significantly under-strength, with less than 1% being more than 90% pure.

The trouble for farmers isn’t just that the fertiliser in Uganda is low quality, it’s the variability of the quality in the market. The fertiliser for sale in the market was all over the chart in terms of quality, and there was no easy way for farmers to distinguish the good stuff from the bad. This makes the learning process hit-and-miss: farmers might get lucky with relatively high strength fertiliser one year, only to be burned by a bad batch the following year.

None of this comes as a surprise to Ugandan farmers. After surveying them, the team found farmers are very well aware of the impact of using genuine fertiliser, and at the same time of the unreliability of the fertiliser actually available to them. Survey results find that, as a group, Ugandan farmers have an uncannily accurate reading of the quality of fertiliser on the market: data setting out the actual nitrogen concentration of fertiliser on the market show remarkable correlation with data setting out farmers’ expectations of fertiliser quality on the market.

Compounding the problem, the study finds that much of the hybrid seed available to farmers is low quality as well, offering substantially lower yields than genuine hybrid seeds. The team tested yields from genuine hybrid seeds, from seeds informally saved by farmers from one season to the next, and from seeds available in local retail markets. As expected, genuine hybrids offered much higher yields than farmer-saved seed. But the seed available to farmers in local retail markets performed, on average, as if the two seed-stocks had been mixed half-and-half.

The researchers didn’t stop there. They planted a series of test plots with local and improved seeds and fertilisers at different levels of purity, to check their impact on yields and livelihoods. Their findings are emphatic: while the vast majority of farmers could expect positive economic returns from real seed and fertiliser, spending money on the dodgy stuff that’s actually available to them would be a wasted money for most Ugandan farmers.
In fact, the study finds that a staggering 80% of farmers could expect to lose money if they invest in seed and fertiliser bought from local markets. It’s little wonder, then, that very few Ugandan farmers bother with market seed and fertiliser at all.

The study didn’t look into the question of why so much of the seed and fertiliser for sale in Uganda is of such poor quality, but stories of malicious adulteration and counterfeiting are rife. Unscrupulous agrodealers are widely believed to “bulk out” their fertiliser bags with cheaper ingredients to extend their profits and to maliciously sell sub-standard grain as hybrid seed.

Other factors could also be at play: if fertiliser is not carefully stored and handled it can volatilise, with important proportions of its precious nitrogen content simply wafting up into the air. And if the moisture content of hybrid seeds is not carefully monitored, germination rates can suffer, leading to losses.

Associate Professor Yanagizawa-Drott, speaking for the research team, says that sparking interest in the exact reasons for low agro-input quality was a priority for the team. “This was really a very simple paper that set out to state some facts. We wanted to open up some questions and set out the case for further research.”

The call comes as international organisations begin to wake up to the problem of substandard inputs driving food insecurity in east Africa. USAid’s landmark Feed the Future programme is focusing on the problem, and a major research project by Ifpri on behalf of USAid is using mobile-phone based platforms to verifying the authenticity of agro-inputs in Uganda . At least three other, smaller research projects are in the works in the region.

As “sustainable intensification” becomes the watchword of agricultural development aid projects, cracking the problem of improving farmer take-up of technology is paramount. More often than not, sustainable intensification projects emphasise farmer education or improved access to credit as interventions able to break the logjam, persuading farmers to spend more on modern agricultural inputs. The assumption is often that farmers are acting irrationally in underinvesting in modern inputs, and projects can help them see the error of their ways.

But if this study is right, development projects focused only on improving access to agricultural credit or agronomic advice may fall short. The reason Ugandan farmers don’t buy market seed and fertiliser isn’t just that they lack education or credit: it’s that, given what’s available to them, no canny businessperson would.