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Oromia: Ethiopia must end its political, economic and social exclusion and marginalization of Afaan Oromo speakers from federal institutions and the Addis Ababa city administration August 26, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistThe six widely spoken languages in Africa

There is no law or policy that prohibits the Federal Government from conducting its business in Afaan Oromo!


Ethiopia must end its political, economic and social exclusion and marginalization of Afaan Oromo speakers from federal institutions and the Addis Ababa city administration claiming non-existing language laws and language policies as the basis of these exclusions.

Ethiopia never had formal language laws and language policy in its history to exclude the use of Afaan Oromo. The so-called language related provision in the federal constitution is not self-executing law. It needs language policy and language law for it to be legally enforced in the court of law or followed by any government institutions.

Alternatively, even if one claims that there is constitutional self-executing law, it does not bar the use of Afaan Oromo by federal institutions and Addis Ababa City Administration.

More importantly, Addis Ababa city administration does not need any federal authorization to adopt right away Afaan Oromo as its working language on equal footing with Amharic.

There are many Ethiopia’s own language use practices that will enable the federal government to adopt Afaan Oromo as its working language without needing any law or policy.

For instance, there is no law or language policy that says Ethiopia will use English in its international communication. Yet, the country is using English in its international communication in spite of the absence of language law or language policy.

Similarly, if we look at Ethiopia’s medium of instruction both at secondary and university levels, there is no language law or language policy issued to mandate Ethiopian academic institutions to teach in English.

If we look at the past practices of the Ministry of Education, there is no law that mandated the inclusion of Geez, a language used in church liturgy with zero living speakers, on Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Exam(ESLCE) while willfully excluding Afaan Oromo or other languages with tens of millions of speakers from ESLCE.

If there is any legal basis for all these unregulated language uses, the only document one may find is the educational curriculum prepared by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. That means, all these messes were done at the free will of unelected and unauthorized experts at the Ministry of Education whom the Ethiopian people have zero knowledge even about their existence.

Similarly, there is no clearly drawn language use policy that regulates the Ethiopian federal media outlets to broadcast in any given languages including in Afaan Oromo. It is pretty much the discretionary decision of these entities.

If unelected, unauthorized and obscure curriculum developing experts at the Ministry of Education or media companies were given so much power in deciding on what languages our educational system or media uses or not uses; we expect our elected, legally authorized and publically known officials including the Ethiopian federal parliament, the federal judicial and executive organs to use Afaan Oromo in conducting their business.

Afaan Oromo speakers who constitute more than 50% of the Ethiopian population cannot wait until the constitution is amended or language use laws or policies are issued to get services from the federal government and Addis Ababa city administration.

The degree of exclusion and marginalization of the Oromo people in Ethiopia is unbearable. The Oromo people cannot remain excluded from their own country. All cities, religious institutions, media outlets and federal government entities in Oromia, including in Addis Ababa, must serve the Oromo people in Afaan Oromo.

Furthermore, since both the federal government institutions and Addis Ababa City Administration are exclusively located in the Oromia National Regional Government where the working language is legally Afaan Oromo, there is no federal law or policy that prohibits the federal government and the Addis Ababa City Administration from conducting their Business in Afaan Oromo.

In fact, both the federal institutions and the Addis Ababa City Administration must use Afaan Oromo, the official working language in Oromia, to conduct their business in Oromia Region according to the Ethiopian federal constitution which recognizes the rights of regional governments to use the language of their choosing as their working language.



ጠ/ሚ ዶ/ር አብይ አህመድ በዛሬው መግለጫቸው የኦሮሞ ህዝብን ቅስም ሰብረውታል ::

በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ዘንድ አንደኛ ደረጃ የሚባለው የህዝብ ጥያቄ የቋንቋ ጥያቄ ነው :: ኦሮምኛ ቋንቋ የፌደራሉ የስራ ቋንቋ እስካልሆነ ድረስ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ በዕውቀት በኢኮኖሚ እና በማንኛውም የማህበራዊ ህይወቱ ዝቅተኛ ነው :: እንዲህ ያፈጠጠ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ችግርን ጠ/ሚ ዶ/ር አብይ ኦሮምኛ ቋንቋ የፌደራል የስራ ቋንቋ አሁኑኑ ይሁን ማለት አግባብ አይደለም ማለታቸው ደሙን የገበረውን የኦሮሞን ህዝብ ቅስም የሰበረ ሆኖ አግኝቼዋለው :: ጠቅላይ ሚንስተሩ ኦሮምኛ ቋንቋ የፌደራሉ የስራ ቋንቋ አሁኑኑ ይሁን የሚለውን ጥያቄ አግባብ አይደለም ብለው ያስቀመጡበት ምክንያት የህግ ማሻሻያ የሚፈልግ ስለሆነ ብለዋል :: ነገር ግን ኦሮምኛ ቋንቋ የፌደራሉ የስራ ቋንቋ ለማድረግ የህግ ማሻሻያ ሳይሆን ተጨማሪ ህግ ብቻ ነው የሚያስፈልገው ::
በአጠቃላይ በመግለጫቸው ኦሮምኛ ቋንቋ የፌደራሉ የስራ ቋንቋ እንደማይሆን ነው እጅግ በጣም ያሳዝናል ::

ጠ/ሚ ዶ/ር አብይ አህመድ አሁንም የኦሮሞን ህዝብ ሊሰሙት እና ጥይቄዎቹን በአፋጣኝ ሊመልሱለት ይገባል ::

አሁንም ታስረናል


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JT: China’s creditor imperialism. #Africa August 26, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

“Unlike International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending, Chinese loans are collateralized by strategically important natural assets with high long-term value (even if they lack short-term commercial viability). Hambantota, for example, straddles Indian Ocean trade routes linking Europe, Africa and the Middle East to Asia. In exchange for financing and building the infrastructure that poorer countries need, China demands favorable access to their natural assets, from mineral resources to ports.”


China’s creditor imperialism

BY BRAHMA CHELLANEY,  The Japan Times, 21 December 2017
China’s creditor imperialism
Police in Sri Lanka use water cannon to disperse people protesting a government plan to grant a 99-year lease of Hambantota port to a Chinese company on Jan. 7. Nations caught in debt bondage to China risk losing both their most valuable natural assets and their very sovereignty. | AP

This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — which President Xi Jinping calls the “project of the century” — and proof of just how effective China’s debt-trap diplomacy can be.

Unlike International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending, Chinese loans are collateralized by strategically important natural assets with high long-term value (even if they lack short-term commercial viability). Hambantota, for example, straddles Indian Ocean trade routes linking Europe, Africa and the Middle East to Asia. In exchange for financing and building the infrastructure that poorer countries need, China demands favorable access to their natural assets, from mineral resources to ports.

Moreover, as Sri Lanka’s experience starkly illustrates, Chinese financing can shackle its “partner” countries. Rather than offering grants or concessionary loans, China provides huge project-related loans at market-based rates, without transparency, much less environmental or social impact assessments. As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put it recently, with the BRI China is aiming to define “its own rules and norms.”

To strengthen its position further, China has encouraged its companies to bid for outright purchase of strategic ports where possible. The Mediterranean port of Piraeus, which a Chinese firm acquired for $436 million from cash-strapped Greece last year, will serve as the BRI’s “dragon head” in Europe.

By wielding its financial clout in this manner, China seeks to kill two birds with one stone.

First, it wants to address overcapacity at home by boosting exports. Second, it hopes to advance its strategic interests, including expanding its diplomatic influence, securing natural resources, promoting the international use of its currency and gaining a relative advantage over other powers.

China’s predatory approach — and its gloating over securing Hambantota — is ironic, to say the least. In its relationships with smaller countries like Sri Lanka, China is replicating the practices used against it in the European-colonial period, which began with the 1839-1860 Opium Wars and ended with the 1949 communist takeover — a period that China bitterly refers to as its “century of humiliation.”

China portrayed the 1997 restoration of its sovereignty over Hong Kong, following more than a century of British administration, as righting a historic injustice. Yet, as Hambantota shows, China is now establishing its own Hong Kong-style neocolonial arrangements. Apparently Xi’s promise of the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” is inextricable from the erosion of smaller states’ sovereignty.

Just as European imperial powers employed gunboat diplomacy to open new markets and colonial outposts, China uses sovereign debt to bend other states to its will, without having to fire a single shot. Like the opium the British exported to China, the easy loans China offers are addictive. And, because China chooses its projects according to their long-term strategic value, they may yield short-term returns that are insufficient for countries to repay their debts. This gives China added leverage, which it can use, say, to force borrowers to swap debt for equity, thereby expanding China’s global footprint by trapping a growing number of countries in debt servitude.

Even the terms of the 99-year Hambantota port lease echo those used to force China to lease its own ports to Western colonial powers. Britain leased the New Territories from China for 99 years in 1898, causing Hong Kong’s landmass to expand by 90 percent. Yet the 99-year term was fixed merely to help China’s ethnic-Manchu Qing Dynasty save face; the reality was that all acquisitions were believed to be permanent.

Now, China is applying the imperial 99-year lease concept in distant lands. China’s lease agreement over Hambantota, concluded this summer, included a promise that China would shave $1.1 billion off Sri Lanka’s debt. In 2015, a Chinese firm took out a 99-year lease on Australia’s deep-water port of Darwin — home to more than 1,000 U.S. Marines — for $388 million.

Similarly, after lending billions of dollars to heavily indebted Djibouti, China established its first overseas military base this year in that tiny but strategic state, just a few kilometers from a U.S. naval base — the only permanent American military facility in Africa. Trapped in a debt crisis, Djibouti had no choice but to lease land to China for $20 million per year. China has also used its leverage over Turkmenistan to secure natural gas by pipeline largely on Chinese terms.

Several other countries, from Argentina to Namibia to Laos, have been ensnared in a Chinese debt trap, forcing them to confront agonizing choices in order to stave off default. Kenya’s crushing debt to China now threatens to turn its busy port of Mombasa — the gateway to East Africa — into another Hambantota.

These experiences should serve as a warning that the BRI is essentially an imperial project that aims to bring to fruition the mythical Middle Kingdom. States caught in debt bondage to China risk losing both their most valuable natural assets and their very sovereignty. The new imperial giant’s velvet glove cloaks an iron fist — one with the strength to squeeze the vitality out of smaller countries.


Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research and a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, is the author of nine books, including “Asian Juggernaut,” “Water: Asia’s New Battleground,” and “Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis.” © Project Syndicate, 2017


Related article from Financial Times:

The Chinese model is failing Africa

Beijing’s plans for Africa do not stop there. President Xi Jinping is keen for China to serve as an economic and political model for the developing world. He hopes that China’s infrastructure finance and manufacturing investment in Africa will spur industrialisation and development. But to be productive and contribute to economic development, infrastructure needs to be high-quality and high-performing. And the evidence shows that China’s infrastructure-driven economic model has been far from efficient and is one to avoid rather than emulate. Over half of China’s infrastructure projects are under-performing, damaging rather than fuelling growth and leaving an enormous debt burden for the domestic economy.