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Africa On The Move: The Struggle of the Oromo People & Its Movement March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooAfrica On The Move, Blog talk radio

 

(Blog Talk Radio) — Join “Africa On The Move,’ as we engage in a ‘live’ Pan-African discussion on ‘The Struggle of the Oromo Peoople & Its Movement.’ Members of the Oromo’s Movement will share their realities on what is happening to their people inside Ethiopia and Africa ….Why are there mass killings within their community? Come and join us today, Sunday, March 6, 2016, from 7 – 9 p.m. est., by dialing in at (323) 679-0841 or go online.  the following invited gursts are:  Mr. Daniel Dafa, Professor Asafia Jalata, Mrs. Lali Galan, Mr. Zel Negassa and Mr. Hakeem Landry.  Blog Talk Radio

 

 

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA: A BLESSING OR A CURSE? March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Development Studies, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooAddis Standard

 

The TPLF Corruption network

OPINION: FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?


By J. Bonsa, PhD,   ADDISSTANDARD,   MARCH 03, 2016 


 

In conflict prone contexts, foreign investors, especially whose actions while entering a given country were not subject to checks and balances, may undermine political stability and fuel social unrest.Depending on the level of accountability in the recipient country, foreign direct investment (FDI) could be a blessing or a curse.

In this piece, I will attempt to highlight Ethiopia’s political economy and the setting for the operations of foreign investors.

 

Peculiar political context

Notwithstanding the announcement of a 100% electoral victory by the ruling EPRDF, the fact remains that Ethiopia has never had a fully representative government. This rather unique situation means it is naïve to discuss Ethiopia’s current affairs by applying standard rhetoric.Doing so fails to capture the peculiarity of the situation on the ground. For instance, familiar phrases such as“dictatorial regime” or “totalitarian government” do not fully capture the essence of the current political system in Ethiopia.

 

The key to understand the strange nature of the ERPDF government, a coalition of four parties, is to recognize it as a system of “internal colonial rule” led by one powerful party, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).It is a conspicuous knowledge held by many that EPRDF essentially means TPLF.

 

The loyalty towards TPLF of Ethiopia’s military and security apparatus has remained the only source of EPRDF’s strength and tight grip on power. Without further ado it is suffice to mention that the country’s army generals and high ranking officers hail from Tigray, the geographic location home to TPLF. In turn the army’s brutal efficiency in military and security command system has earned the TPLF an extraordinary reputation and near complete political upper hand in the eyes of the other three parties within the coalition.

 

Technically that leaves Ethiopia with a reverse political system: the world is familiar with majority-rule and minority-rights, Ethiopia’s, on the other hand,is a political system without even some majority-rights. Today’s TPLF dominated EPRDF needed to be certain that the majority would not have the bare minimum of rights, because, if allowed, this might eventually lead to the emergence of democracy.

 

Business as unusual

The political and military power disparity favoring a single party has also caused divergences in economic and domestic private investment opportunities. This resulted in the emergence of domestic crony capitalism of the ugliest type. Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), the acronym that has more than 50 companies under its control, owns its presence and dominance to the growing trend of domestic crony capitalism.

 

In the last 25 years EFFORT has emerged as the most powerful domestic business conglomerate controlling the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy. Its monopoly on the Ethiopian economy ranges from heavy engineering, construction, import and exports (of key capital and raw materials including fertilizers on which all Ethiopian farmers rely) to freight and passenger transport, wholesale and retail distributions. And yet, there is little information about EFFORT that is available for the general public.

 

It is a misnomer to describe EFFORT as a business group “affiliated to the government”. But Ethiopians know that the same groups of people who occupy government positions are also owners of the companies under EFFORT.

 

And as of late another unlikely business monopoly has emerged in the form of the military establishment, the same military whose top leadership is either loyal to or under the indirect control of TPLF. METeC, a company run by the national army, is having an elaborate business interest from production of computers and flat screen TVs to heavy metals, car assembly and hotels. Once again, there is no or little information available to the public on the exact nature of METeC’s business empire.

 

The dark horse

It is within this political reality that one needs to look into the economic aspects, including the manner by which the EPRDF led government is regulating the flow of FDI. It is a public knowledge that cronyism has, by and large, emerged as the trade mark of EPRDF’s economic governance over the past two decades, including its deals with foreign companies operating in the country.

 

As of this writing, news is coming that protesters in Guji zone of southern Ethiopia and Dembi Delo of western Ethiopia are targeting the two gold mines in the area owned by the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group. To understand this boiling public frustration, it is important to acknowledge that the people of Ethiopia have no knowledge about how these two gold mines were sold to MEDROC in the first place, and to evaluate whether the people in the areas where the natural resources are being ferociously extracted have stood to benefit from it in any way. It is also important to know that the name MIDROC stands for Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies, a name that implies nothing about the nature of the vast business functioning under its umbrella. For Many Ethiopians, therefore,MIDROC is the dark horse that appeared on the scene from nowhere but spread itself in all sectors of the Ethiopian economy at alarming pace.

 

For much of the first decade under EPRDF’s rule, Ethiopia suffered a serious setback in attracting foreign investment. Foreign investors were cautious (rightly), observing the unhealthy governance system as a risk not worth taking. However, during those days, MIDROC Ethiopia was often presented as a cover up to entice other foreign investors, giving the impression that the EPRDF regime was trustworthy and foreign investment was safe to flow in. That, and its sworn allegiance to the ruling party in power, gave MIDROC the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled access to Ethiopia’s natural resources. This was done primarily because the EPRDF could count on MIDROC as a foreign investor. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development once reported that about 60 per cent of the overall foreign direct investment approved in Ethiopia was related to MIDROC.

 

MEDROC’s expansions began with acquisitions of many previous public enterprises – manufacturing branches, state farms, gold mines, and other mineral resources mostly outside of public scrutiny. MIDROC is most commonly associated with land grabs in many parts of Oromiya, at the heart of Addis Abeba and Gambella, causing havocs through evictions of millions of households from their ancestral lands.

 

The other murky deals

The contradictions in Ethiopia’s business environment are rather perplexing. On the one hand the TPLF dominated regime in Addis Abeba has a very hostile attitude to private domestic investors. Ethiopia has remained at the bottom of World Bank’s country ranks in ease of doing business, ranking 146th out of 189 countries in 2015. But EFFORT, METeC and MDROC business empires and their affiliates are exempt from such restrictions and the little private businesses in the country have to survive the three to make a meaningful economic gain.

 

On the other hand Ethiopia is known for making extraordinary concessions to attract foreign investors, particularly during the last decade. Here is the question – why such officious treatmentfor foreign investors when private business are forced to eat dirt? The answer lies in the assumption that the government often acts in the interest of domestic cronies – foreign investors are needed to camouflage EFFORT’s aggressive expansions. The deals to couple EFFORT with foreign businesses are surrounded by dark secrets; details are unavailable to the general public. Foreign investors have often been lured into joint ventures with party owned or affiliated local companies. The recent US$30 million worth deal between a local pharmaceutical company owned by EFFORT and a foreign company symbolizes that assertion. The overlap between the operations of domestic oligopolistic companies and their foreign counterparts is so much that it is difficult to know where one ends and the other begins.

 

The recent fall out between the government in Ethiopia and the Karuturi Global Ltd has revealed the murky nature of foreign investment deals in Ethiopia that prompted many to summarize “in Ethiopia, foreign investment is a fancy word for stealing land”. In 2010, Karuturi Global Ltd was given a concession to develop 300, 000 hectares of agricultural land in Gambella. However, in Dec. 2015, the deal collapsed when the Agricultural Ministry’s land investment agency “cancelled the concession on the grounds that by 2012 Karuturi had developed only 1,200 hectares of land within the initial two year period of the contract.” There is a lot more into this fall out than meet the eye, least the fate of the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who were forced to give up their lands to give way to a deal they know nothing about.

 

But one of the most unsettling details to emerge out of this fiasco was the claim by Karuturi Global Ltd management that the land was forced upon them by the local authorities despite their insistence otherwise. At first glance this may sound awkward, as if the foreign investor and the Ethiopian authorities switched sides in the process of bargaining. However, for someone who is familiar with the shrewd operations of doing business in Ethiopia it is easy to know why Ethiopian officials were forcing the foreign investor to take 30 times more than it said it could handle. One plausible explanation held by many is that since enough land grabbing had already been done by the cronies during the previous decades, authorities found it prudent to frame a foreign investor as a vehicle to continue land expropriation.

 

In the wake of a possible persistence of protests by Ethiopians, protesters’ targeted attacks against foreign companies operating in Ethiopia may come as sheer anarchic for outsiders. But as long as the people of Ethiopia are kept in the dark as to the nature of the real deals between foreign companies and a government flawed by asymmetrical party coalition (deals that symbolize a life deprived of its means and style),incidents of targeted public outrage against selected foreign companies should not come as a shock.

 

The same explanation holds true for the land expropriations for flower farms and industrial parks in Oromiya, particularly in the vicinity of Addis Abeba. It is for such reasons that the infamous Addis Abeba Master Plan was formulated, eyeing 20 times more land that would be transformed into wasteful industrial parks all in the name of attracting foreign investment the nature of it is kept secret from the very people it greatly affects.

 

ED’s Note: J. Bonsa is an economist by training. He can be reached atdinade0612@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial principles of Addis Standard.


Opinion: Foreign investment in Ethiopia: a blessing or a curse?


 

Newsweek: ETHIOPIA DETAINS JOURNALISTS COVERING #OROMOPROTESTS March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooNewsweek#OromoProtests‬ (1st March 2016) in Qarsaa town. Oromo nationals Muraadii and Kadir Siraj Ahmed killed by AgaziOromo Woman confronts Agazi in CalanqooNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA DETAINS JOURNALISTS COVERING OROMO PROTESTS

A woman and her child in Oromia awaits medical attention.
A woman and her child await medical attention in Oromia, Ethiopia, January 31. A severe drought and anti-government protests in Oromia have increased restrictions on press freedom in Ethiopia, according to a journalists’ association.EDMUND BLAIR/REUTERS

 

Press freedom in Ethiopia is dwindling in light of recent anti-government protests and the severe drought in the Horn of Africa state, according to a journalists’ association.

Two journalists and a translator were arbitrarily detained for 24 hours on Thursday when reporting on the protests in Oromia, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA) on Monday. Bloomberg correspondent William Davison and freelance journalist Jacey Fortin, along with their translator, were not given any reason for their detention. Their phones and identification cards were taken during the arrest.

Protests among the Oromos, who constitute Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have been ongoing since November 2015 and were originally directed against plans by the federal government to expand the capital Addis Ababa. At least 140 protesters were killed between November 2015 and January, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The Addis expansion plans were dropped in January but the protests—which have morphed into a general expression of dissatisfaction with the government among Oromos—have continued and demonstrators are still being subjected to “lethal force,” HRW said on February 22. The Ethiopian government has said that “destructive forces” —including some from neighboring Eritrea—have hijacked the protests and would be dealt with decisively.
The FCAEA said that the detentions marked “a worrying escalation” in Ethiopia, which already has a poor record for allowing journalists to operate freely. Ethiopia was ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom in 2015 by non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders, which recorded six newspapers closing and more than 30 cases of journalists fleeing abroad in 2014. “Ethiopia is well-known for its tough stance on journalists but this is a worrying spike of arbitrary detention of media workers at a time of increased interest in Ethiopia,” says Ilya Gridneff, chairman of FCAEA. “Journalism is not a crime and those in Ethiopia should not be treated as criminals.”Davison told Newsweek that the risks of reporting on certain topics in Ethiopia is too high because of the threat of detainment. “It was a shock to be held overnight in a prison cell and not be given any explanation of what we were being held for,” says Davison. The “very heavy and militarized response” to the Oromo protests “raises the chance that reporters are going to be obstructed from doing their work,” he says.

Newsweek contacted the Ethiopian Embassy in London but was yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.

Coupled with the Oromo protests, Ethiopia is currently experiencing its worst drought in around 50 years, partly due to the El Nino weather pattern. Up to 15 million people in the country require emergency humanitarian food assistance and the United Nations is appealing for $50 million to help the government cope with the crisis.


 

http://europe.newsweek.com/ethiopia-detains-journalists-covering-oromo-protests-434307?rm=eu

Oromo Films: Amensisa Ifa wins ‘Best Director’ at the first Tom Film Awards March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Beat, African Music, Oromo Art, Oromo Artists, Oromo film andDrama, Oromo films.
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Odaa Oromoo
Amensisa Ifa wins ‘Best Director’ at the first Tom Film Awards
Gibe.Tube, 6 March 2016

Amensisa Ifa producer of “Maalan Jiraa?” and many other movies & TV Series, wins Best Director at the first Tom Film Awards! Amensisa Ifa have been working with TVO & ETV(EBC) as an Editor. Currently He is working with BBC Media Action and editing a TV series drama  DHEEBUU, which is about of 80 episodes, broadcast on TVO.

Amensisa Ifa wins ‘Best Director’ at the first Tom Film Awards

 

I’m excited to win Best Director at the first Tom Film Awards! Thank you everyone for your continued support!  Amensisa Ifa


 

Anaaf Amansiisaan Qeerransa!

Aadaafi Aartiin Oromoo yeroo ammaa maalirra jira, garamittis arreedaa jira? Guddina amma irra ga’eef artistoota keenya gameeyyii kan akka Alii Birraafi Admaasuu (Abbaa Lataa) fa’aa yoo kaasne, dhaloota keenya har’ammoo eenyuunfaa haa jennu?. Isinumti ofiif itti guuttadhaa…! Guddina Aartii keenyaa dudduubas daarekteerotaafi gulaaltota(editors) fiilmii immoo milkaa’ina aartii keenya kanaaf gumaacha olaanaa taasisaa jiranis qabna.

Keessumaa yeroo guddinni aartii Oromoo boqonnaa harawaa eegale kanatti dargaggoota Oromoo dhaloota qubee ogummaa ykn kennaa adda addaa qabanitti cichanii qeerransa ta’an hedduu Waaqni nuuf kenneera.
Kennaafi ogummaa Waaqni kenneefitti cichee aartii sabasaa guddisuuf onnatee, homaa utuu hin ko’oommatiin bu’aa ba’ii ba’ee, sirba Haacaaluu “Maalan jiraan” tokko jedhe.

Sirbi kun ga’umsa ogummaasaan ummanni Oromoo baddaa hanga gammoojjiitti beekamtii itti kenneef isa duraa haa ta’u malee, fiilmiiwwan dokumenterii hedduufi diraamawwan TV kannen akka DHEEBUU editarummaan ykn gulaaluudhaan hirmaachaa jira. Ogummaan daarekterummaa (qajeelchuu) yaaddawwan barreessitonniifi weellistootni qopheessanii lubbuu itti godhanitti foon horuun/ijaaruun argaa dhageettii daawwattootaa qalbii fuudhudha. Ogummaan kun artistoota Oromoo hedduu qabnu keessatti baay’inaan kan hin mul’anneedha. Gama kanaan Amansiisaa Ifaa dargaggoo onnataa jabana kanaa Waaqni Oromoof kaase.
Dhabbanni leenjii Vidiyoogiraafiifi Footoogiraafii Toomii sanbata darbe badhasa ‘Tom Film Awards’ jedhamu yeroo jalqabatiif sadarkaa biyyaatti qopheessee ture. Sirna kanarratti fiilmiwwaan 12 ol ta’an akka biyyaatti filatamanii gosoota dorgommii 7 morkatameera.Badhaasa kanas bu’aa dhaloota qubee kan ta’e dargaggeessi qaroo Oromoo Amansiisaa Ifaa mo’achuu danda’eera. Dorgommii kanarratti Amansiisaan Daayirekteera Cimaa bara 2015 ta’uudhaan filatameera. Kana keessaa eegaa daayirekteera cimaa bara 2015 jedhuun ilmi Oromiyaan miixuu cimaan deesse, gadadoo fi rakkina cimaan dadhabdee asiin geesifatte Amansiisaan 1ffaa ta’uudhaan badhaasa qophaa’eef olaantummaan fudhachuu kan danda’e.

Filmiin Amansiisaan garee isaa waliin fudhatee dorgommiif dhiyaate waa’ee faalama qillensaa irratti kan xiyyeefate yoo ta’u, turtii daqiiqaa 5 fi sekoondii 45 qaba ture. Akkuma beekamu hojiin filmii gareedhaan kan hojjetamu yoo ta’ullee, daayrekteerummaan ija fiilmii tokkootti murteen isaa fiilmii sana bareechuus balleessuus danda’a. Amansiisaan immoo dhimma akkanaa irratti iji isaa qarameera. Kanarra ka’uudhanis badhasaaf ga’e.

Sirni badhaasaa kun Bitootessa 5, 2016 magaalaa Finfinnee galma tiyaatira Biyyoolessaatti kan raawwatame yoo ta’u, keessummoonni ogummaa filmii adda addaa qaban biyyitti keessaa jiran filmiwwan dhiyaatan irratti guyyoota dheeraaf gamaagama erga geggeesanii boodee guyyaa dhumaas ammoo vidiyoo gabaabaa filmiwwanii erga dawwatanii kana irrattis yaadni kennamee booda ture Amansiisaan ummata sana hundumaa amansiisee mo’achuu kan danda’ee uummata Oromoof ammoo ilma ittin boonan ta’e.
Amansiisaan mallattoo qulqullina aartii Oromooti, sababiinsaa hojiiwwan hanga ammaatti hojjetee ummataan ga’e keessatti xiyyeeffannoo guddaa kennudhaan qulqulliinaa fi injifannoodhaan xumureera. Amansiisaan sirba Hacaaluu “Maalan Jiraa?” jedhu irratti yaadaa fi qalbiii uummataa Oromoo seenee; itti aansuun sirba weellisaa angafaa fi beekamaa Zarihun Wadaajoo “Hin Oolu” jedhu irratti ammoo dhama aartii isaa lammaffaa nu dhandhamachiise. Itti aansuudhaan hojii weellisaa Kamaal Ibraahim fi Shukurii Jamaal “Dubbii Lafaa…” jedhuun ammoo ogummaa isaa deebisee mirkaneesse.

Kana malees dookumantarii gababaa waa’ee Irreechaa irratti xiyyeefate ‘Irreechaa: Color & Treasure of Oromo’ jedhuun tokkummaa uummata Oromoo fi miidhagina Oromoo agarsiisuu danda’eera. Amansiisaan hojiiwwan isaa kanneen fakkeenyummaa guddaafi artiistoota, daayirekteeroota fi weellistoota birootiif barnoota kan kennedha.

Katabbii koo kanaan hojiiwwan Amansiisaan aartii Oromoo keessatti gumacheefi gumaachaa jiru isiniif himuuf utuu hin taane, injifannoon kun kan uummata Oromoo ta’uusaa isin hubachiisuufi. Oromoo marti dargaggoo kanaan boonuu qaba. Dargaggoonni dhaloonni qubee ammoo qeerransa keenya kanaa faana dha’uun kallattii irratti bobba’ee hojjechaa jirurratti cichee qeerransa ta’uu qaba.

Hojiiwwan isaa armaan gadii Youtube Chanaalii isaa irraa dawwadhaa dawwadhaa!
Linkiin Kunooti
Malaan Jiraa
Hin Oolu

Dubbii Lafaa
Irreecha: Color & Treasure of Oromo

Anaaf Amansiisaan Qeerransa!
Horaa Bulaa Deebanaa
Gadaan Gadaa Bilisummaatti
Gammadaa Olaanaa

 

 

 

Press Release:The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA) is concerned about an escalation of the threat to press freedom in Ethiopia March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa.
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Odaa OromooThe Foreign Correspondents' Association of East Africa (FCAEA)

Press Release: Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA)


 

The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA) is concerned about an escalation of the threat to press freedom in Ethiopia after the recent 24-hour detention of two accredited journalists and their translator.

Journalists in Ethiopia have for years faced obstacles to press freedom. Now, two ongoing news events — a drought in the Ethiopia’s eastern regions, and protests across the central Oromia region — have called for increased travel outside of the capital Addis Ababa, which has become difficult due to a high security presence.

Arbitrary detentions, which typically last a few hours, were already a common impediment for accredited journalists in Ethiopia. But the recent 24-hour detention marks a worrying escalation.

William Davison, a correspondent for Bloomberg in Ethiopia; freelance journalist Jacey Fortin; and their translator were traveling in eastern Ethiopia on March 3rd when they were detained on the main road near Awash town, Afar region, at 12:40 p.m. by the Federal Police. Their phones and identification cards were taken during the arrest.

The three were escorted by Federal Police on a four-hour drive back to Addis Ababa. They were then briefly taken to an office of the security services, held overnight at a police station jail, and released around noon on March 4th. The authorities never offered a reason for the detention.

“Over the last five years, I have been detained multiple times in Ethiopia. I think reporting on certain topics has now become too risky because of the threat of detainment,” said Davison. “Until the government makes a genuine commitment to media freedom, it will be impossible for journalists to report safely with accuracy and integrity.”

The FCAEA is equally concerned about the dangers faced by translators, fixers and local journalists, who have no support from foreign embassies or international news organizations.

“Every time I’ve been detained while working in Ethiopia, I’ve felt that my translator has been most at risk,” said Fortin. “They are often asked to produce a media license like mine, despite the fact that such documentation is not available to translators.”

These threats are making reporting in Ethiopia increasingly difficult. We hope that dialogue with the relevant government agencies, including the security services, can begin to resolve the problem.