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The Dawn of a New Era in U.S. Human Rights Policy in Africa: Is Ethiopia Next? August 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aid to Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

“Just Say No to U.S. Aid to African Dictators!”

Is the T-TPLF next on Tillerson’s agenda?

 

The Dawn of a New Era in U.S. Human Rights Policy in Africa: Is Ethiopia Next?

“… We express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people. We represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over, and that message has never changed… I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American Government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values…. I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week…. The President speaks for himself [regarding] his values.”  U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, August 27, 2017.

“… Nowhere is [hate speech] an American value. We do honor, protect, and defend freedom of speech, First Amendment rights. It’s what sets us apart from every other government regime in the world, in allowing people a right to expression. These are good things. But we do not honor, nor do we promote or accept hate speech in any form. And those who embrace it poison our public discourse and they damage the very country that they claim to love. So we condemn racism, bigotry in all its forms. Racism is evil; it is antithetical to America’s values. It’s antithetical to the American idea.” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, August 18, 2017.

Author’s Note:“Just Say No to U.S. Aid to African Dictators!”

In my February 2017 commentary, “Join Me in My Letter to President Trump”, I urged the Trump administration to “just say no U.S. aid to African dictators.”

Lo and behold, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week just did that!

Tillerson notified Egypt that the U.S. will withhold $95.7 million in military and economic aid, and would only release $195 million in additional military aid after it makes progress in its human rights record.”

These words are music to my ears.

But Tillerson did much more than that. He stood up for real American values such as free speech and against hate speech calculated to incite violence. He unreservedly condemned “racism [and] bigotry in all its forms. Racism is evil; it is antithetical to America’s values. It’s antithetical to the American idea.”

I have been a voice in the wilderness preaching every Monday for over a decade that U.S. aid must be linked to human rights improvements in Africa, particularly Ethiopia.

Obama turned a deaf ear to my pleas to align American aid with American values. He lip-synced my song of human rights to his empty lyrics of the “right side of history” while wining and dining those African dictators on the wrong side of history at the White House.

President Donald Trump likes to talk about “fake news” propagated in the U.S. by the “establishment” media. Is there such a thing as “fake diplomacy”?

Since 9/11, the U.S. has conducted fake diplomacy in Africa in the name of counterterrorism and national security.

The Obama and Bush administrations embraced and coddled the most ruthless African dictators who not only massacred, jailed and tortured their citizens but also engaged in widespread waste, fraud and abuse of U.S. aid. Barack Obama displayed shameless pandering to African dictators when he declared the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) “democratically elected” even though the T-TPLF “won” one hundred percent of the seats in “parliament”.

By his statement, Obama effectively gave a green light to all of Africa’s dictators to steal elections in broad daylight by 100 percent and  guaranteed them full support of the U.S.

Is Trump pulling the curtain on Obama’s fake diplomacy of coddling African dictators and thugtators in the name of counterterrorism and national security?

The scaremongering foreign policy experts, professionals, consultants drinking at the U.S. aid trough along with the has-been diplomats have been predicting the sky will fall on Africa under the Trump Administration.  They condemned Trump for his ignorance  and for ignoring Africa. They said Trump will flip-flop in his Africa policy and cut back on aid causing millions of Africans to die.

I was one of the doubting Thomases who made audacious claims that Trump will continue in Obama’s  footsteps and ignore human rights in Africa. I was simply resigned to the fact that there will be no policy change under Trump.  I even said half-jokingly that I would “eat crow” if the Trump administration made any changes to Obama’s “see no evil, say no evil and hear no evil” about African dictators policy.

I began seriously thinking about eating crow (vegan style, of course) with a side of humble pie after I pondered over the questionnaire the Trump’s transition team presented to the State Department. Truth be told, I was stunned by the four questions because those were the same exact questions I have been asking week after week for 11 years.

I could not get over the irony of the twist of fate. The man I opposed so vigorously as a presidential candidate was asking the same questions I have been asking about Africa for over a decade.

I believe asking the right questions almost always yields the right answers. It is clear now the Trump administration has the right human rights answer: “No human rights improvements in Egypt (by implication in all of Africa), no U.S. aid.”

I must confess that some have complained to me privately that I stick out like a sore thumb writing approvingly of Trump’s Africa policy. Truth be told, some privately wondered if I had lost my marbles in suggesting that human rights issues will likely figure prominently in the Trump administration. Others snickered.

As I have previously noted, I do not care about the motives of those in power when they do the right thing. I rarely question when the right thing is done for the wrong reason. It is never too late to do the right thing; but there is never a right time to do the wrong thing.  The Trump administration is doing the right thing by insisting on human rights improvements as a condition for receiving U.S. aid. What could possibly be wrong with that?

But I remained steadfast in my claim of a likely new day for human rights in Africa in the Trump administration.

No human rights, no U.S. aid?: Should “America First” mean “human rights first” in Africa?

“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old saying.

No time in living memory has been as “interesting” as living in America today.

Of course, the operative word is “interesting”. Does it mean amusing? Fascinating?  Dangerous? Uncertain? Unpredictable? Desperate?

Last week, Egypt cancelled “a meeting with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s envoy and son-in-law, after the State Department decided to withhold and withdraw millions of dollars in aid over human rights concerns.”

The Washington Post reported that “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson notified Egypt it would not give Egypt $95.7 million in military and economic aid, and would only release $195 million in additional military aid after it makes progress in its human rights record.” The U.S. has “for a long time made a point of mentioning their concerns about human rights abuses in Egypt.” A U.S. official explained, “We have serious concerns regarding human rights and governance in Egypt. At the same time, strengthened security cooperation is important to US national security.”

In June, a bipartisan group of senators sent President Donald Trump an official letter  over the “unprecedented repression” of civil society in Egypt and called for an end to “politically motivated” prosecutions of dissidents. The senators wrote:

Under the leadership of President el-Sisi, the Egyptian government has systematically cracked down on civil society groups and independent media, jailed tens of thousands of political prisoners, and used violence and intimidation against individuals critical of the government.

End of fake U.S. diplomacy in Africa?Trump Administration’s single human rights action in Egypt speaks louder than all of Obama’s words on Africa in 8 years

Now that the first shoe on human rights  has dropped on Egypt, is Ethiopia next?

For years, I have been urging the Obama administration to guide U.S. Africa policy by cherished American values. Obama shamelessly scorned American values when he declared a dictatorial regime in Africa that claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in parliament, “democratically elected”.

In his book “The Audacity of Hope”, Obama wrote:

We hang on to our values, even if they seem at times tarnished and worn; even if, as a nation and in our own lives, we have betrayed them more often that we care to remember. What else is there to guide us?… [Our values] have proven to be both surprisingly durable and surprisingly constant across classes, and races, and faiths, and generations. We can make claims on their behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact and experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words.

The man who wrote these words betrayed American values in Africa when he declared a thug regime “democratically elected.”

What are America’s values? Equality? Individual liberty? Privacy from unreasonable government intrusion? Rule of law? Free enterprise? Constitutional supremacy? Popular sovereignty? Open society? Volunteerism? Competitiveness on a level playing field?

Is stealing elections an American value? Is stealing American taxpayer provided aid an American value? Is massacring, jailing and torturing  innocent citizens an American value? Should American taxpayers support gross violations of human rights in the name of counterterrorism?

Obama was asked point blank during his 2015 Ethiopia visit:

 For all the incredible things that are happening here in Ethiopia…   there is still a perception, sir, that human rights abuses are tolerated here…?

Obama’s response:

… [Human rights] was a significant topic of conversation.  We are very mindful of Ethiopia’s history — the hardships that this country has gone through.  It has been relatively recently in which the constitution that was formed and the elections put forward a democratically elected government.”

That democratically elected government “won” 100 percent of the seats in “parliament”.

Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice laughed uncontrollably when she said with a straight face that the regime in Ethiopia which claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in the 2015 election was “democratically elected.”

U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman excused the human rights abuses of the T-TPLF by declaring it a “young democracy”. The Washington Post condemned Sherman for her make-believe statements.

Gail Smith, USAID Administrator, completely exonerated the ruling regime from responsibility when she claimed famine and starvation in Ethiopia is solely attributable to “drought”. Smith used to be  a TPLF employee in the early 1980s. Smith did a great “inside job” for the T-TPLF for decades.

Elections in Ethiopia were a laughing matter for Rice. A lying matter for Obama. A semantic game for Gail Smith and Wendy Sherman.

Human rights made for interesting cocktail hour chit-chat for Obama, Rice, Smith and Sherman.

So sad! So pitiful!

In my May 7 commentary, “Glimpses of Trump’s Foreign (Human Rights) Policy in Africa”, I  reflected on Secretary Tillerson’s May 2nd speech to State Department employees on the direction of “America first” foreign policy. Tillerson’s message was refreshing, unambiguous and encouraging. Secretary Tillerson unabashedly declared in his speech that U.S. policy will be driven by “our fundamental values  around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.”

While I take no credit whatsoever for the apparently breathtaking changes in U.S. Africa policy as evidenced with Egypt, “the world’s second largest recipient of U.S. aid at about $1.3 billion annually”, I am supremely gratified to know that so many issues I have been passionately writing and lecturing about week after week for nearly 11 years are now resonating deeply and catching the attention of the Trump Administration.

As I tried to peer into the future through Secretary Tillerson’s speech, it became clear to me that Tillerson was sending a message to the  old guard of Chicken Littles at the State Department, their parasitical consultants and experts who drink at the trough of U.S. aid and African dictators that their days of ripping of the American taxpayer are numbered. That did not stop them from issuing their magisterial proclamation: Trump’s “America First”-driven foreign policy will mean the end of times in Africa. But they were only talking about their own end. They knew a change was gonna come despite the millions of dollars they diverted from famine relief to lobbying in Washington, D.C.

Change has come. “No human rights improvement in Africa, no U.S. aid.”

When Secretary Tillerson laid out the foundations of the Trump Administration’s
“America first” foreign policy, few paid much attention. Instead, the drumbeat of condemnation continued. Some accused Trump of “downgrading concern for human rights in favor of a narrower conception of U.S. interests.” Others charged he was selectively blind to human rights violations. Still others claimed, “Trump [has] drop[ped] ‘human rights’ from top White House job.”

Tillerson’s speech foretold what he was planning to do in the area of human rights within the framework of the “America first” creed.  “Translated” in practical terms, Tillerson said “America first” means three things.

First, The U.S.  will “enforce the protection of our freedoms with a strong military”, and America’s military allies must carry their own weight and will not get an easy ride on the backs of American taxpayers.

Second, U.S. trade and economic relations with the rest of the world, particularly China, must be “brought back into balance”. This could require renegotiation of trade deals which give undue advantage to other countries.

Third, U.S. foreign policy will be propelled by “our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.” Tillerson emphatically asserted, “policies change, our values never change.” Those who do not  like or share our values should not come to the U.S. with cupped hands and panhandles for handouts. In a speech of 6511 words, Tillerson devoted a stunning 1,057 words talking about American values and their role in the future of American foreign policy.

Tillerson rhetorically asked, “How do we represent our values?”

He offered a realistic answer. If “we condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals or our national security interests. If we condition too heavily that others must adopt this value that we’ve come to over a long history of our own, it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests.” He insisted, “we should and do condition our policy engagements on people adopting certain actions as to how they treat people” and act consistent with our values.

In developing an “overarching strategic approach” for the “execution” of foreign policy, Tillerson said the salient question will be, “where are our allies?” The U.S. will determine its allies and partners on a county-by-country and region-by-region basis and their willingness to share in American values.

Tillerson warned that many governments do not like the American values-based foreign policy song he is singing. “And I hear from government leaders all over the world: You just can’t demand that of us, we can’t move that quickly, we can’t adapt that quickly, okay?”

For 26, years that has been the song and dance of the T-TPLF. “We are a young democracy. You just can’t demand human rights improvements. We can’t move that quickly, we can’t adapt that quickly, okay?”

When Obama visited Ethiopia in July 2015, he became the T-TPLF’s head cheerleader.

So we discussed steps that Ethiopia can take to show progress on promoting good governance, protecting human rights, fundamental freedoms, and strengthening democracy.  And this is an area where we intend to deepen our conversations and consultation, because we strongly believe in Ethiopia’s promise and its people.

From what we have seen in Egypt, Trump don’t play and don’t talk about “steps”. Trump says, “No improvements on human rights, no U.S. aid.” If that’s how “America first” foreign policy is translated in Africa, I ain’t got no problems whatsoever. I say, “Let’s git her done!”

For the T-TPLF,  26 years in power is more than enough time to make changes.

But the T-TPLF, instead of making changes, imposed a “state of emergency decree” and jailed and massacred thousands of citizens without due process of law.

Tillerson’s message to Egypt, the T-TPLF and their brethren in Africa is. “We mean what we say and say what we mean when we say, ‘No human rights improvements, no U.S. aid’.”

Tillerson mentioned Africa 15 times in his speech.  U.S. policy in Africa in the Obama administration “really boils down to” effective counterterrorism actions to defeat ISIS and depriving it a haven in Africa.

The question for the Trump Administration is, “How do we develop policies and bring regional players together to address these threats of ISIS and counterterrorism?”  How can the U.S. stop the cancerous terrorist networks from spreading in Africa?

Tillerson stated in his speech that U.S. policy will principally focus on preventing Africa from becoming a terrorist haven and to safeguard African nations by “disrupting” “terrorist networks that weave their way through Africa”. He said,  “The continent of Africa is so important from a national security view [that] we cannot let Africa become the next breeding ground for a re-emergence of a caliphate for ISIS.”  The U.S. will continue “looking at Africa for potential economic and trading opportunities” and pursue  “health initiatives, because Africa still struggles with huge health challenges.”

The withholding of aid to Egypt clearly shows that the Trump administration does not see counterterrorism and human rights as mutually exclusive.  Indeed, they view them as mutually reinforcing. Denial of human rights is often the fountainhead of terrorism.

Is the T-TPLF next on Tillerson’s agenda?

In his speech, Tillerson reminded his employees that “it’s important to [] remember that guiding all of our foreign policy actions are our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.” He also talked about “how [we] [can] translate ‘America first’ into our foreign policy.”  I believe Tillerson just translated it for Egypt. Writ large for Africa, “America First” in Africa should translate into “Human rights first in Africa.”

That is what “America First” means to me too: Freedom, human dignity and fair and equal treatment for all people.

“What is good for the goose is good for the gander,” goes the old saying.

If the U.S. can tell Egypt, “the world’s second largest recipient of U.S. aid” to clean up its human rights act or no aid, it can certainly tell Ethiopia, the “second largest recipient of U.S. aid in Africa” to do the same.

Another old saying goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

The proof of Trump’s human rights policy is what we are witnessing in Egypt. Tillerson gave Egypt’s el-Sisi the right pudding to eat: “No human rights, no U.S. aid.”

I shall urge Secretary Tillerson to continue with his policy of “No human rights, no U.S. aid.”

I ask all my readers to publicly and vigorously support the Trump administration’s human rights policy of “No human rights improvements, no U.S. aid.”

No doubt, what the Trump administration did in Egypt will reverberate throughout Africa and represent a teachable moment for African dictators. Today, African dictators should be on notice that the Trump administration is serious about human rights in Africa and will put its aid money where its mouth is.

Henry Kissinger reportedly said, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

I could say the same thing about Ethiopia!

Take Barack Obama, for instance. Obama ain’t no friend of Ethiopians. No doubt, he is a bosom friend of the TPLF thugs.

By the same token, Donald Trump who has said and done nothing to harm Ethiopia is no enemy of Ethiopia, or Africa. We should be careful not to conflate unrelated issues.

I believe the Trump administration’s policy of linking U.S. aid to human rights improvements is absolutely the right policy. The administration’s questions about U.S. aid accountability and corruption, use of counterterrorism cooperation as a meal ticket  for dictatorial African regimes, bogus trade deals and the double standard benefiting Chinese businesses are absolutely on point.

The T-TPLF will no longer be allowed to milk (bleed) the American taxpayer cash cow. For eleven years, the T-TPLF and the African Union have bled American taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars in the name of fighting Al-Shabab in Somalia. At its peak, Al Shabab was  estimated to have a ragtag army of 7-9000 poorly-equipped and –trained fighters.

The number of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) uniformed personnel is 22, 126. Ethiopia reportedly had some 60 thousand troops at one time in Somalia. Both the AMISOM and Ethiopian forces brimming with modern heavy weapons have been unable to defeat a ragtag group of terrorists.

Why?

That is exactly what the Trump transition team asked: “We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?”

The answer is simple. Al-Shabab is a meal ticket for the African Union and the regime in Ethiopia. Both the African Union and the regime in Ethiopia want to keep the war against Al-Shabab going because that way they can milk the American taxpayer year after year. Counterterrorism is a very profitable business of the AU and the regime in Ethiopia.

(Note well: Did you know that African dictators corruptly withheld salaries and allowances (because of “accounting issues”) from African Union troops for six months in 2016  as those brave soldiers put their lives on the line fighting terrorists?)

But the T-TPLF has not only sucked at the teats of the American taxpayer cash cow, it has also  sucked dry the poor people of Ethiopia. As Global Financial Integrity observed, “The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry.  No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage.”

The T-TPLF bosses and lackeys only have one choice. Pack up and leave and enjoy the blood money they have bled from the poor people of Ethiopia and American taxpayers. I wish them all the happy and pleasant life of junta leader Mengistu Hailemariam.

Let’s be fair. Let’s give credit where it’s due. Kudos to Tillerson!

The Trump administration did the right thing in withholding U.S. aid to Egypt over the deteriorating human rights situation in that country. This unprecedented policy is a far cry from Obama’s double standard where human rights violators who grossly violate human rights but pledge partnership on counterterrorism are given a free pass, get-out-of-jail card, and others who are simply defiant are condemned. A case in point is what Obama did days before he left office in January. Obama extended sanctions  on Zimbabwe, whose senile president remains in office in his 90s. With the same pen, Obama lifted a 25-year sanction on Sudan whose president is a fugitive from justice at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Measured against Obama’s hypocritical and duplicitous double-standard, doesn’t the Trump administration deserve some, I say a boatload, of credit for what it has done in Egypt and for the notice it sends to Africa’s panhandling criminal dictators?

So far, I like what I see and hear about Trump’s human rights policy in Africa.

As a lawyer, I could do no different. To paraphrase David Hume, I “proportion my belief to the evidence.” The evidence is , “No human rights improvement, no U.S. aid!”

What could be more fair than that?!

Oyez, oyez, oyez, African dictators!

Alas! I have read many a verse from antiquity to the present. But a poet I am not. But I offer the following words of counsel in free verse to Africa’s dictators:

Oyez, oyez, oyez, African dictators!
No human rights, no U.S. aid.
Stop terrorizing your people in the name of counterterrorism!
“For human rights invented America.”
Human rights made America great.
Hear ye! Hear ye!
“America First” means human rights first in Africa!

“Human rights first in Africa!”


Related article:

TPLF Ethiopia’s Regime Money Laundering Activities & Its Networks

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VICE: POST-COLONIAL COLONIALISM: The West Extorts Way More Money from Africa Than It Gives in Aid June 16, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Many decades after the official end of the western empires in Africa, the continent is still being sucked dry by a cartel made up of small local elites, multi-national companies and foreign governments. The money given to Africa to help its so-called “development” is referred to as “aid”, when in fact it should be seen as a form of reparations for a history of colonisation and ongoing domination that has left the African people almost as far from economic and social justice as they were when the European empires packed up and left in the years following the end of the Second World War.

POST-COLONIAL COLONIALISM
The West Extorts Way More Money from Africa Than It Gives in Aid

By OSCAR RICKETT, VICE, Jun 15 2017



We should be putting our western guilt to good use and pressuring government to regulate “investment” in the continent.


The world’s second-largest continent, Africa, is still defined in the western media in just two principle ways.

The more “woke” understanding of Africa is the idea of “Africa Rising”, which is defined by images of young people on bustling streets speaking on mobile phones. “Africa Rising” stories tend to focus on smart entrepreneurs doing something tech-related in massive urban centres like Lagos, Nairobi or Cape Town. They promote an image of the continent that is considered modern and future-focused. These stories are often, as the Kenyan journalist Parselelo Kantai once put it to me, “insidious little fictions manufactured by global corporate finance”.

The other main narrative is the more familiar one: hapless Africa, the tragic continent that can only continue to survive with the help of aid money provided to it by outsiders. This is the narrative of Live Aid and Bono, the story told to us immediately after news reports of famine and unrest in places that, we are made to believe, just can’t get by without western charity.

Given these two themes, it would seem unlikely that more money is taken out of the 47 countries that form what is commonly called “Sub-Saharan Africa” than is put back in. Yet, British and African campaign groups, including Global Justice Now, released a report this month which found that, in 2015, much more money was taken out of Africa in the form of illegal extraction of natural resources, tax avoidance and spiralling interest on debt repayments than was “given” to the continent in the form of aid and grants.

The report, entitled Honest Accounts 2017 , finds that the countries of Africa are “collectively net creditors to the rest of the world, to the tune of $41.3 billion [£32.2 billion] in 2015”.

Rather than Africa being a hapless continent dependent on the rest of the world, it is the exploited continent whose natural resources are enriching a local and global elite at the expense of the vast majority of its citizens, and whose governments can do little about the illegal syphoning of revenue into tax havens.

According to War on Want, 101 (mostly British) companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control an identified $1.05 trillion (£820 billion) worth of resources in Africa in just five commodities: oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. Twenty-five of those companies are incorporated in tax havens.

While African countries receive around $19 billion (£14 billion) in aid in the form of grants, $68 billion (£53 billion) is taken out in capital flight. The main culprits are multinational corporations and corrupt officials with their large infrastructure of lawyers, bankers, accountants and financial advisors skilled in tax dodging.

The main device used is transfer pricing. By overpricing imports and under-pricing exports on customs documents, companies and individuals can move money to tax havens. This means that multi-national companies deliberately misreport the value of their imports or exports in order to reduce the tax they have to pay on them. Furthermore, these same companies repatriate $32 billion (£25 billion) in profits made in Africa to their home countries every year. Money made on the continent of Africa, then, is returned to enrich those outside of Africa.



The report goes on to say that African governments paid out $18 billion (£14 billion) in debt interest and principal payments in 2015. Though they received $32.8 billion (£25.6 billion) in loans, the overall level of debt is rising rapidly, and loans often lock African governments into even more debt: private lenders, the report notes, “are encouraged to act irresponsibly because when debt crises arise, the IMF, World Bank and other institutions lend more money, which enables the high interest to private lenders to be paid, whilst the debt keeps growing”. Ghana is losing 30 percent of its government revenue to debt repayments. Private lenders benefit, while ordinary Africans suffer.

Illegal logging, fishing and the trade in wildlife and plants are also hurting Africa, with an estimated $29 billion (£22.6 billion) a year being stolen from the continent through these practices. Climate change is hitting the continent particularly badly; though of course the extractive and industrial practices that led to climate change were a phenomenon of non-African countries.

As Bernard Adaba, policy analyst with ISODEC in Ghana, says: “‘Development’ is a lost cause in Africa while we are haemorrhaging billions every year to extractive industries, western tax havens and illegal logging and fishing. Some serious structural changes need to be made to promote economic policies that enable African countries to best serve the needs of their people rather than simply being cash cows for western corporations and governments.”

Many decades after the official end of the western empires in Africa, the continent is still being sucked dry by a cartel made up of small local elites, multi-national companies and foreign governments. The money given to Africa to help its so-called “development” is referred to as “aid”, when in fact it should be seen as a form of reparations for a history of colonisation and ongoing domination that has left the African people almost as far from economic and social justice as they were when the European empires packed up and left in the years following the end of the Second World War.

Recognising the troubling role western governments and companies play in the impoverishment of Africa could serve as a beginning to reverse this process. The Honest Accounts report proposes a number of steps that can be taken to help reverse the flow of money out of Africa, including putting less faith in the extractives industry, enabling transparent and responsible lending and regulating the investment that corporations bring in to African countries.

Tax havens are a key issue, one that was recognised in Labour’s election manifesto, which said that the “current global tax system is deeply unjust”. Jeremy Corbyn’s party promises to “act decisively on tax havens”, which play a key role in allowing vast sums of money to be taken out of Africa. The UK enablesthis wealth extraction to take place and sits at the head of a vast network of tax havens.

Finally, there is the need for more public recognition of what is going on. This is not about stoking up western guilt; it is about identifying the causes behind rising inequality in Africa and elsewhere, and about correcting a lazy media narrative that patronises and insults Africans while keeping everyone in a state of ignorance. The truth is this: Africa is still being plundered. It is time western governments and the western media stopped pretending otherwise.

 


 

WEF: Africa doesn’t need charity, it needs good leadership May 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa.
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Incompetence in leadership in most African countries is not only the problem of people who occupy positions in government; it is a reflection of the leadership culture. We’ve had different leaders with the same results for decades. The power distance that exists between leaders in government and citizens is also reflected in organizations and families. In such a structure, leaders don’t serve; they are served, because occupying leadership positions make leaders superior and unaccountable to the people they lead. Africa needs leadership development systems, and it is incumbent on development partners and global leaders to understand how cultural differences affect these.

 

It has become obvious that it is politics that drives the economies of nations. Acemoglu and Robinson assert in their seminal book Why Nations Fai’ that the major difference between developed countries and developing countries is in their political evolution. Developed countries have political and economic systems that are inclusive and offer opportunities for most people to create wealth.

However, most developing economies have political and economic systems that are extractive. Those in the ruling class have a strong hold on political power, and use it to channel economic resources to benefit themselves and those close to them. Foreign aid, when channelled through such extractive systems, almost never reaches the most vulnerable in society. We need to rethink the form of aid Africa needs and the platforms for distributing or offering it.


African National Congress Youth League members interrupt a memorial service for anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada in Durban, South Africa, April 9, 2017.

Image: REUTERS/Rogan Ward


There is an ongoing discussion on the effectiveness of foreign aid in helping the economic development of Africa. One thing is obvious: the results are not exactly what Africa’s development partners have expected, and the reasons are not far-fetched. Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author, contends in her book Dead Aid that while foreign aid that addresses humanitarian needs caused by drought and conflict is helpful, most of the aid given to African countries is rather harmful. The OECD provides comprehensive statistics on the kinds and volume of aid received by the continent up until 2015. Moyo lists the problems enhanced by aid to include corruption, civil conflict, shrinking of the middle class, and the instilling of a culture of dependency. All of these combine to make Africa unattractive to global investors.

It has become obvious that it is politics that drives the economies of nations. Acemoglu and Robinson assert in their seminal book Why Nations Fai’ that the major difference between developed countries and developing countries is in their political evolution. Developed countries have political and economic systems that are inclusive and offer opportunities for most people to create wealth.

However, most developing economies have political and economic systems that are extractive. Those in the ruling class have a strong hold on political power, and use it to channel economic resources to benefit themselves and those close to them. Foreign aid, when channelled through such extractive systems, almost never reaches the most vulnerable in society. We need to rethink the form of aid Africa needs and the platforms for distributing or offering it.

Also, globalization is the reality of our day and age. There is increasing economic, social, technical, cultural and political interdependence between nations. People are more inter-connected now than ever before. The availability of worldwide communication systems through rapid improvements in communication technology and the internet has led to more international trade and cultural exchange. But globalization does not appear to be hastening Africa’s development. The problem is also rooted in the political structure and the leadership culture prevalent in Africa.

The problem is leadership

Some years ago, I had a discussion with Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State in Nigeria. I commended his vision for a plan to attract large numbers of tourists from around the world, impacting positively on the economy of the state and the nation. I observed that a large number of leaders in Nigeria can’t envision Nigeria as a developed nation, and talk more of mobilizing citizens to actualize the vision. He replied with an illustration: Nigeria, he said, is like an aircraft that is being flown by pilots that did not go to flying school. He added that when the plane crashes, everyone blames the pilot. The question therefore is: where are Africa’s leadership “flying schools?” How and where do Africans acquire sophistication in the leadership skills required to guide the continent into development?

Children return from school in the mid-morning, in Ikarama village on the outskirts of the Bayelsa state capital, Yenagoa, in Nigeria's delta region October 8, 2015. Tensions are building in the swampland of the Niger Delta as an amnesty that aimed to bring stability to Nigeria's volatile southern region is due to expire at the end of the year. While the region's towns and cities are mostly calm, local residents say kidnappings and armed robberies are on the increase in the mangrove swamps, where most oil wells are located. Former military ruler and Muslim northerner President Muhammadu Buhari said in his inauguration speech in May that he might

Image: REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The cultivation of leaders with exceptional character and skills is critical to Africa’s development. Africa’s development partners should recognize that it is too late to teach someone who occupies a high position in government how to lead during side talks at global events. They should also bear in mind that there has to be alignment between the sense of identity of the leader and that of the followers for leadership to work.

Incompetence in leadership in most African countries is not only the problem of people who occupy positions in government; it is a reflection of the leadership culture. We’ve had different leaders with the same results for decades. The power distance that exists between leaders in government and citizens is also reflected in organizations and families. In such a structure, leaders don’t serve; they are served, because occupying leadership positions make leaders superior and unaccountable to the people they lead. Africa needs leadership development systems, and it is incumbent on development partners and global leaders to understand how cultural differences affect these.

Wanted: effective leadership development systems

Opportunities for developing leaders have never been greater in our increasingly complex world. Diagnosing leadership development needs, especially in Africa, requires an assessment of the entire leadership culture. For example, the GLOBE project, conceived of by Robert J. House of the Wharton Business School and conducted on organizations and middle-level managers around the world, describe countries in sub-Saharan Africa as scoring high in power distance and in-group collectivism, but low in performance orientation. Leaders do whatever it takes to produce results in such a leadership culture, and they usually position themselves and their cronies above the law. Most of the citizens have leadership potential, but several factors inhibit their leadership development, such as bad governance, poverty, corruption and religious bias. Most young people in Africa are hungry to learn and to realize their potential. They seek respected mentors and resources to help them navigate the complex life challenges they face. However, there is a dearth of institutions and curricula to help them realize such desires.

A broader view of leadership development provides insights into why some initiatives are more successful than others at generating change in individual behaviour. To have an impact, the capabilities being developed in the individual need to mesh with the leadership culture in which the leader is embedded. Most of the leadership development curriculum developed in Western countries may not particularly address individual situations, especially youth in developing parts of the world, who have little education as a foundation, and who are distracted by the struggle for survival occasioned by rampant poverty.

According to the GLOBE studies, emerging leaders in some developing countries approach foreigners cautiously; that’s because they’re not used to participative styles of leadership, and prefer bold, assertive styles of leadership. The notion of fear is high due to the conservativeness in the culture, and most people have not been trained to be independent thinkers that are willing to step outside their ‘boxes’ unless directed to do so by leaders. They have developed a learned state of helplessness, with the overwhelming feeling that they cannot change their circumstances. The culture is permission seeking. Unfortunately, the ruling class is not interested in granting permission for the mass of the people to be admitted into its cadre. In such a culture, the community dominates the individual, and women are hardly empowered.

Change is possible

Africa’s large youth population presents a great opportunity to influence the emergence of a new generation of leaders. The reality, though, is that the elite class on the continent tends to appropriate the existing curriculum for leadership development in expensive executive education programmes in business schools, whose fees are beyond the capabilities of the major part of the population. There is a need to democratize the leadership development process in the developing world. The high rate of infusion of mobile technology could be an advantage. This will make formal and informal leadership development an inclusive process that will reach people at all levels of society.

Africa needs cultural change agents that will leverage both business and non-profit platforms to offer leadership development training to a large proportion of the population. Such agents must have experienced a change in their own mind-sets. Development partners around the globe who genuinely seek Africa’s transformation should appreciate that the extractive leadership structures in that part of the world will not allow the intellectual, material and financial resources they distribute to create any meaningful and lasting change on the continent. They should cut down on the volume of financial aid, while partnering with cultural change agents who are democratizing the development of leaders at all levels, enhancing the evolution of inclusive political and economic structures.


 

Aid: World is plundering Africa’s wealth of ‘billions of dollars a year’ May 25, 2017

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African countries received $162bn in 2015, mainly in loans, aid and personal remittances. But in the same year, $203bn was taken from the continent, either directly through multinationals repatriating profits and illegally moving money into tax havens, or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change adaptation and mitigation. This led to an annual financial deficit of $41.3bn from the 47 African countries where many people remain trapped in poverty. – Honest Accounts 2017.

World is plundering Africa’s wealth of ‘billions of dollars a year’

Research by campaigners claims aid and loans to the continent are outweighed by financial flows to tax havens and costs of climate change mitigation

The headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Campaigners said illicit financial flows account for $68bn a year. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

More wealth leaves Africa every year than enters it – by more than $40bn (£31bn) – according to research that challenges “misleading” perceptions of foreign aid.

Analysis by a coalition of UK and African equality and development campaigners including Global Justice Now, published on Wednesday, claims the rest of the world is profiting more than most African citizens from the continent’s wealth.

It said African countries received $162bn in 2015, mainly in loans, aid and personal remittances. But in the same year, $203bn was taken from the continent, either directly through multinationals repatriating profits and illegally moving money into tax havens, or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This led to an annual financial deficit of $41.3bn from the 47 African countries where many people remain trapped in poverty, according to the report, Honest Accounts 2017.

The campaigners said illicit financial flows, defined as the illegal movement of cash between countries, account for $68bn a year, three times as much as the $19bn Africa receives in aid.

Tim Jones, an economist from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: “The key message we want to get across is that more money flows out of Africa than goes in, and if we are to address poverty and income inequality we have to help to get it back.”

The key factors contributing to this inequality include unjust debt payments and multinational companies hiding proceeds through tax avoidance and corruption, he said.

African governments received $32bn in loans in 2015, but paid more than half of that – $18bn – in debt interest, with the level of debt rising rapidly.

The prevailing narrative, where rich country governments say their foreign aid is helping Africa, is “a distraction and misleading”, the campaigners said.

Aisha Dodwell, a campaigner for Global Justice Now, said: “There’s such a powerful narrative in western societies that Africa is poor and that it needs our help. This research shows that what African countries really need is for the rest of the world to stop systematically looting them. While the form of colonial plunder may have changed over time, its basic nature remains unchanged.”

The report points out that Africa has considerable riches. South Africa’s potential mineral wealth is estimated to be around $2.5tn, while the mineral reserves of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are thought to be worth $24tn.

However, the continent’s natural resources are owned and exploited by foreign, private corporations, the report said.

Bernard Adaba, policy analyst with Isodec (Integrated Social Development Centre) in Ghana said: “Development is a lost cause in Africa while we are haemorrhaging billions every year to extractive industries, western tax havens and illegal logging and fishing. Some serious structural changes need to be made to promote economic policies that enable African countries to best serve the needs of their people, rather than simply being cash cows for western corporations and governments. The bleeding of Africa must stop!”

However, Maya Forstater, a visiting fellow for the Centre for Global Development, a development thinktank, said the report did not provide a meaningful look at the issues.

Forstater said: “There are 1.2 billion people in Africa. This report seems to view these people and their institutions as an inert bucket into which money is poured or stolen away, rather than as part of dynamic and growing economies. The $41bn headline they come up with needs to be put into context that the overall GDP of Africa is some $7.7tn. Economies do not grow by stockpiling inflows and preventing outflows but by enabling people to invest and learn, adapt technologies and access markets.

“Some of the issues that the report raises – such as illegal logging, fishing and the cost of adapting to climate change – are important, but adding together all apparent inflows and outflows is meaningless.”

Forstater also questioned some of the report’s methodology.

The coalition of campaigners, including Jubilee Debt Campaign, Health Poverty Action, and Uganda Debt Network, said those claiming to help Africa “need to rethink their role”, and singled out the British government as bearing special responsibility because of its position as the head of a network of overseas tax havens.

Dr Jason Hickel, an economic anthropologist at the London School of Economics, commenting on the report, agreed that the prevailing view of foreign aid was skewed. Hickel said: “One of the many problems with the aid narrative is it leads the public to believe that rich countries are helping developing countries, but that narrative skews the often extractive relationship that exists between rich and poor countries.”

A key issue, he said, was illicit financial flows, via multinational corporations, to overseas tax havens. “Britain has a direct responsibility to fix the problem if they want to claim to care about international poverty at all,” he said.

The report makes a series of recommendations, including preventing companies with subsidiaries based in tax havens from operations in African countries, transforming aid into a process that genuinely benefits the continent, and reconfiguring aid from a system of voluntary donations to one of repatriation for damage caused.


 

Forbes: Ethiopia’s Cruel Con Game March 3, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The amount of American financial aid received by Ethiopia’s government since it took power: $30 billion. The amount stolen by Ethiopia’s leaders since it took power: $30 billion.


Ethiopia’s Cruel Con Game

Forbes Opinoin, GUEST POST WRITTEN BY David Steinman, 3 March 2017


Mr. Steinman advises foreign democracy movements. He authored the novel “Money, Blood and Conscience” about Ethiopia’s secret genocide.


In what could be an important test of the Trump Administration’s attitude toward foreign aid, the new United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, and UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien have called on the international community to give the Ethiopian government another $948 million to assist a reported 5.6 million people facing starvation.

Speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, during the recent 28th Summit of the African Union, Guterres described Ethiopia as a “pillar of stability” in the tumultuous Horn of Africa, praised its government for an effective response to last year’s climate change-induced drought that left nearly 20 million people needing food assistance, and asked the world to show “total solidarity” with the regime.

Women and children wait for care at an outpatient treatment center in Lerra village, Wolayta, Ethiopia, on June 10, 2008. (Jose Cendon/Bloomberg News)

Ethiopia is aflame with rebellions against its unpopular dictatorship, which tried to cover up the extent of last year’s famine. But even if the secretary general’s encouraging narrative were true, it still begs the question: Why, despite ever-increasing amounts of foreign support, can’t this nation of 100 million clever, enterprising people feed itself? Other resource-poor countries facing difficult environmental challenges manage to do so.


Two numbers tell the story in a nutshell:

1. The amount of American financial aid received by Ethiopia’s government since it took power: $30 billion.

2. The amount stolen by Ethiopia’s leaders since it took power: $30 billion.


The latter figure is based on the UN’s own 2015 report on Illicit Financial Outflows by a panel chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and another from Global Financial Integrity, an American think tank. These document $2-3 billion—an amount roughly equaling Ethiopia’s annual foreign aid and investment—being drained from the country every year, mostly through over- and under-invoicing of imports and exports.

Ethiopia’s far-left economy is centrally controlled by a small ruling clique that has grown fantastically wealthy. Only they could be responsible for this enormous crime. In other words, the same Ethiopian leadership that’s begging the world for yet another billion for its hungry people is stealing several times that amount every year.

America and the rest of the international community have turned a blind eye to this theft of taxpayer money and the millions of lives destroyed in its wake, because they rely on Ethiopia’s government to provide local counterterror cooperation, especially with the fight against Al-Shabab in neighboring Somalia. But even there we’re being taken. Our chief aim in Somalia is to eliminate Al-Shabab. Our Ethiopian ally’s aim is twofold: Keep Somalia weak and divided so it can’t unite with disenfranchised fellow Somalis in Ethiopia’s adjoining, gas-rich Ogaden region; and skim as much foreign assistance as possible. No wonder we’re losing.

The Trump Administration has not evinced particular interest in democracy promotion, but much of Ethiopia’s and the region’s problems stem from Ethiopia’s lack of the accountability that only democracy confers. A more accountable Ethiopian government would be forced to implement policies designed to do more than protect its control of the corruption. It would have to free Ethiopia’s people to develop their own solutions to their challenges and end their foreign dependency. It would be compelled to make the fight on terror more effective by decreasing fraud, basing military promotions on merit instead of cronyism and ending the diversion of state resources to domestic repression. An accountable Ethiopian government would have to allow more relief to reach those who truly need it and reduce the waste of U.S. taxpayers’ generous funding. Representative, accountable government would diminish the Ogaden’s secessionist tendencies that drive Ethiopia’s counterproductive Somalia strategy.

Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn attends the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017. (ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

But Ethiopia’s government believes it has America over a barrel and doesn’t have to be accountable to us or to its own people. Like Mr. Guterres, past U.S. presidents have been afraid to confront the regime, which even forced President Barack Obama into a humiliating public defense of its last stolen election. The result has been a vicious cycle of enablement, corruption, famine and terror.

Whether the Trump Administration will be willing to play the same game remains to be seen. The answer will serve as a signal to other foreign leaders who believe America is too craven to defend its money and moral values.

 

The inconvenient truth about foreign aid: The aid system colludes in redistributing wealth from poorer to richer. Under an aura of beneficence, aid is harnessed to self-interest. February 9, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

The inconvenient truth about foreign aid

For recipients aid has been a very mixed blessing, but for donors it’s been a bonanza.

Credit: Flickr/DFID. Some rights reserved.

It’s astonishing when you think about it. Why should an old and poorly-performing industry carry on, burdened with even more tasks, and provided with yet more money? I’m talking about foreign aid, whose mixed results have been reconfirmed countless times in the last 70 years.

For aid’s backers, such skepticism is unfair or at best premature. Successes, from combating diseases to promoting the ‘green revolution,’ are held as self-evident. With new, smarter policy formulas and management focused on results, failure is soon going to be minimized. Across most of the Left-Right spectrum, aid still enjoys political backing. Western spending continues largely upward. New aid donors from Turkey to Thailand are joining in. And tasks are expanding.To achieve the 169 targets of the world’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, global leaders concur that foreign aid is vital.

For aid’s critics, however, ‘mixed results’ is a euphemism for badly designed, poorly-managed efforts guided by donor hobbies and flip-flopping policies that ignores the graveyards of failed programmes, the histories of waste, and the sometimes toxic outcomes of aid born of coercion and incoherence. China and Vietnam reduced poverty significantly with almost no Western aid, while aid-dependent countries like Malawi and Timor-Leste have fared badly—in which case why does the aid industry keep on prospering?

To answer that question we have to look at the drivers and navigation systems at work upstream in the system where the captains of the aid industry confer. These drivers get little serious probing, but the knowledge we do have points to an inconvenient truth: the main systems of development aid chiefly serve the donors. The aid system colludes in redistributing wealth from poorer to richer. Under an aura of beneficence, aid is harnessed to self-interest.

Here’s how.

To buy goodwill from others or coerce them, aid provides a classic tool of statecraft. For the biggest donors it can buy votes at the United Nations, keep client regimes ‘onside’, punish troublemakers and open doors to powerful people. As a former senior US aid official put it, “Foreign aid … is like political campaign contributions:  it can facilitate the access of those providing it to those receiving it.” Giving aid helps governments to look good in diplomatic forums while encouraging taxpayers to feel good about their generosity.

In addition, ‘our security’ is at stake. Since 9/11 development and humanitarian aid has increasingly been subordinated to hard power aims—that is ‘securitized.’ European aid, for example, is now supposed to help curb irregular migration from Africa.  Meanwhile, military doctrine and operations have become ‘developmentalized,’ complementing older practices in which aid lubricates access to strategic assets as in Kyrgyzstan, where western aid was exchanged for use of an airbase serving NATO operations in Central Asia.

Boosting exports and investments are major objectives of aid providers. A scholarly consensus, backed by many studies, holds that the mercantile interests of aid givers usually enjoy priority over the interests of aid recipients. For donors the pay-offs are many. For example, for every €10 the Dutch provide in bilateral aid to an average recipient country, Dutch exports to that country increase in the short run by €7 to €9. In the longer run, as goodwill and force of habit take hold, aid-induced sales then become even more lucrative. In the period 1988-2004, each dollar in Western bilateral aid yielded 2.15 dollars in additional exports of goods and services by Western businesses.

Donors use aid to gain footholds for their industries, like Japanese fishing fleets in the South Pacific, French uranium mining in Niger and oil and gas companies in emerging producers of hydrocarbons. Aid providers work assiduously to lower costs and risks for their business investors using subsidies like low-cost loans, insurance and market advice. In recipient countries they add to physical infrastructure and occasionally skilled-up workforces. But the aid system’s most powerful contributions involve the transmission and enforcement of ‘sound policy’, meaning policy that is suitable for investors.The formulas are well-rehearsed: sell-offs of public property; weaker protection of labour rights and environmental safeguards; and taxes shifted from foreign flows to domestic sources.

Under the World Bank’s ‘competitive cities’ approach, municipalities are pushed to compete for outside investment by offering tax ‘sweeteners’, land and other subsidies. With the rise of financial sector power, donors have facilitated the growth of stock markets and hot money flows. Key to these investor-friendly climates has been austerity—driving down public spending in recipient countries.

Acting almost as bailiffs, donors also help to extract payments to big pharmaceutical and software firms who own patents, copyrights and other kinds of ‘intellectual property.’ In the years 2012-2015, sub-Saharan African countries together paid about $10 billion to these private interests, up from about $8.7 billion in the years 2007-2010. But because rich country tax laws allow firms to hide profits, these World Bank data may actually understate the true scale of extraction.

Under vigorous donor pressure, poorer countries have poured trillions of dollarsinto Western banks under a rationale of self-insurance. As the economist C. P. Chandrasekhar has pointed out “This reverse flow of capital essentially means that excess savings in emerging markets are being ‘recycled’ in ways that put the responsibility of allocating that capital in the hands of a few financial decision makers … sitting at the apex of a concentrated global financial system.”

Consistent with their promotion of rent-seeking from ‘intellectual property’, donors show almost no interest in curbing cartels and other anti-competitive practices by transnational firms. Research is scarce, but it points to massive losses for poorer countries. One study estimates that annual losses are equivalent to at least 50 percent, and could equal as much as 300 percent of aid disbursed.

Donors have also invested in knowledge, but gains can flow back disproportionately to themselves. Aid for the ‘Green Revolution’, for example, helped boost crop yields in poor countries, but major beneficiaries have been western agribusinesses. Up to the early 1990s, estimated returns to such firms were forty times the amount of aid paid out originally by the US for research and development of the ‘Revolution’s’ higher-yield technologies.

Contrary to the belief that aid-financed programmes target diseases that mainly affect people in the tropics, research shows that “development aid is intended to alleviate the threats to populations within the donor state.” And since the 1960s, foreign aid has brought hundreds of thousands of students from poorer countries to study at universities in Europe and North America. Today, student fees and expenses annually absorb more than $3 billion in aid—virtually all of it spent in donor countries.  Where the longer-term benefits from aid-funded scholarship programmes go isn’t known with much precision, but there is some evidence that former scholarship holders from Africa tend to stay in richer countries, or to work abroad in Western firms and other organisations.

In sum, poorer countries routinely put more resources at the disposal of donor country interests than they receive in foreign aid, yet it isn’t easy to demonstrate this inconvenient truth conclusively. Estimating the extent of the aid system’s collusion in ‘perverse’ aid is often guesswork because the system’s upper reaches lack transparency. Laws, rules, political agreements and sheer inattention shield many counter-flows from public view. Every year, thousands of evaluations of aid’s ‘downstream’ activities take place but I know of no formal evaluation of aid mechanisms ‘upstream’ that would indicate with precision who benefits and by how much.

Does it have to be this way?

In 1943, at a time of enormous human suffering, one of the 20th century’s greatest activist-philosophers, Simone Weil, wrote about the characteristics of practical compassion for others.  She insisted that help must be concrete and authentic: “All human beings are bound by identical obligations, although these are performed in different ways according to the circumstances…. The obligation is only performed if… expressed in a real, not a fictitious, way.” Today, in framing debates about obligations across borders, that plea has lost none of its relevance.  It calls for lucidity, and hence the rejection of pseudo-solutions promoted through the foreign aid system.

Activists, academics, journalists and NGOs in a number of fields are already focusing on counter-flows and the legal gimmicks and non-transparency that promote them.  Although based outside the mainstream aid system, these initiatives are getting respectful attention from some donors, notably in Norwaybut also in a few knowledge centres of the United Nations. A prime example is the movement for tax justice.These combined efforts have begun to pay off as better tax enforcement and new rules yield more revenues for public purposes. Meanwhile a bloc of non-Western governments at the United Nations led by Ecuador is pressing to create a global tax body.

A system of global taxation won’t be with us soon, but as this idea gains traction it may open up a pathway towards an authentic system of redistribution across national borders. In so doing it could help to replace today’s machinery of upward redistribution, re-build decent social contracts, and ultimately sideline foreign aid as we know it.

Aid to Africa Projected to Fall During Trump’s Presidency December 17, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

USaidmoneyHowMuch

Aid to Africa projected to fall during Trump’s presidency

Report by chartered accountants says US likely to cut spending by reining in development aid.


The report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) says the Trump presidency raises the risk of the US rolling back development aid, thus affecting dependent countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The accountancy and finance body said that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration, coupled with spending cuts to build dollar reserves for infrastructure development, are likely to lead to a decrease in aid to African countries.

“Aid is probably the main channel through which a change in US policy under a new president could impact Africa,” states the fourth quarter (2016) report commissioned by ICAEW and produced by partner and forecaster Oxford Economics.

“Policymakers and businesses across the continent will be keen to see President-elect Trump’s plans for development policies once he takes office,” the report adds.

Donald Trump is expected to be formally inaugurated as the country’s 45th president on January 20, 2017.

According to the report, and drawing on insights from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US is sub-Saharan Africa’s major donor in bilateral official aid, with over $9 billion distributed to the region to date.

It is followed by the United Kingdom, with just under $4 billion distributed, and France with just over $2 billion.

In terms of official development aid receipts in East Africa, Ethiopia received the largest amount at over $3.5 billion, followed by Kenya and Tanzania with over $2.5 billion each, and Uganda with over $1.5 billion.

Doing business

According to the report, the change in the US administration will also affect Africa’s trade and investment prospects. It states that steady progress is being made in the continent’s business environment, with Mauritius ranked 49th out of 190 countries globally in terms of the ease of doing business.

The World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report ranked Rwanda at position 56h, Morocco 68th, Botswana 71st and South Africa 74th. Oil giants Nigeria and Angola were ranked 169 and 182 respectively. According to the report, foreign direct investment inflows into Africa fell by 7 per cent to $54 billion in 2015, with decreasing flows to SSA offsetting larger inflows into North Africa.

Large inflows into Angola saw investment into the Southern African region increase by 2 per cent.

East Africa received $7.8 billion in FDI during 2015, a two per cent decrease from 2014; Central African receipts decreased by 36 per cent and West Africa by 18 per cent.

Increase in FDI

The region is expected to see an increase in net FDI in the coming years, with a 10 per cent rise expected in 2017. Tanzania is expected to attract considerable investor interest in the country’s natural gas sector.

Click here to Read more at The EastAfrican

AFRICA- AN EXAMPLE OF WOUNDED CULTURE AND ECONOMY July 25, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoo

It is known that the development of language as a medium of expression is the key factor of communication and is also responsible for the growth of a culture as well as education. History itself is the witness in case of Africa, where language originated initially.It is accepted in almost every part of the world that the language of Egypt influenced the Greek and Latin languages; even though these two languages are Indo-European. On a broader scale, the roots of most of the European languages like Greek, Latin, German and English are present in Cush African languages itself. But, these languages were further developed in the Central European area.Most of the historians believe that the word “Africa” is derived from ‘Afri-uka’ which is from the ancient Egyptian language and it means ‘motherland’.Before moving ahead, I would like to tell you one thing- the people of south east India, specially Andaman and Nicobar have a striking resemblance in their genetic aspects with the African natives, proving that we are not so different from the Africans.

Source: AFRICA- AN EXAMPLE OF WOUNDED CULTURE AND ECONOMY

When Aid Goes Wrong January 17, 2016

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Odaa OromooDounle digit Ethiopia

 

The World Bank accepted a rap on the knuckles for the massive flaws in the PBS programme but did not cancel it. DfID re-routed funds to other programmes in Ethiopia, the aid flowed to the authoritarian regime as before. In late 2015 and early 2016, famine threatened. No one asked the obvious question: how much has Ethiopia’s brutal, donor funded, economic experiment contributed to the collapse in livelihoods?

 

Of all the academic economists working on Ethiopia, I could not find one who was willing to speak on the record for this article. Much of the professional field of development studies is dependent on DfID research grants, with many academics serving on multimillion-pound study teams.

“If you challenge the consensus and make headlines, it is going to make your life harder,” said one economist at a London university, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

Evaluations of PBS relied on figures supplied by the Ethiopian government; there were huge, unexamined risks of corruption in funnelling the money through the Ethiopian treasury, and the metrics used to measure success were simply the things purchased by the programme, such as schools built, wells dug, pupils enrolled or teachers hired. The donors had, in fact, no way of measuring whether those things actually benefitted the populations concerned.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/12/ethiopian-refugee-who-took-on-the-british-government

 

Geography:Excel

ETHIOPIA-TRANSPORT-RAILWA-009 Development in Ethiopia’s capital city. But at what cost?

Most more economically developed countries give aid to those that are less developed and this is almost always seen as a positive thing. However there have been cases when the aid provided has done more harm than good.

This article looks at the situation in Ethiopia. This country has been a major recipient of western aid since the 1980s and much of it seems to have been successful in helping the country to develop and to fend off the worst of the famines that ravaged the country in the past. Currently though the development drive in Ethiopia has been implicated in forcing people off their land and in to less fertile areas.

It is a long read but full of information that could really develop your essay writing.

Consider the following points.

  1. Why are people being moved from their ancestral…

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Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa’s Future March 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Corruption in Africa, Development.
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Director of the Global Justice Now Nick Dearden said:

“It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems. Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the richest, not the needs of ordinary people. Here the British government is using aid money to make the problem even worse.”

Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria, Benin, Malawi and Senegal are all involved in the New Alliance.

In a January 2015 piece in The Guardian, Dearden continued by saying that development was once regarded as a process of breaking with colonial exploitation and transferring power over resources from the ‘first’ to the ‘third world’, involving a revolutionary struggle over the world’s resources. However, the current paradigm is based on the assumption that developing countries need to adopt neo-liberal policies and that public money in the guise of aid should facilitate this. The notion of ‘development’ has become hijacked by rich corporations and the concept of poverty depoliticised and separated from structurally embedded power relations.

Business in Ghana

By Colin Todhunter, Global Research

Some £600 million in UK aid money courtesy of the taxpayer is helping big business increase its profits in Africa via the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. In return for receiving aid money and corporate investment, African countries have to change their laws, making it easier for corporations to acquire farmland, control seed supplies and export produce.

Last year, Director of the Global Justice Now Nick Dearden said:

“It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems. Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the…

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Foul Sides of Development Aid Business March 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa.
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O

Tarig Anter on Protect & Reinvent Democracy

Celtel advertising in rural Uganda Celtel advertising in rural Uganda

Here are two different perceptions of the development aid business that is targeting developing countries. One is from Forbes.com; while the other is from Euro-correspondent.com. interestingly, both of these opposing understandings are admitting the controversy of excessive profits made by those rich funding agencies and their middlemen who are paid to invest on their governments’ behalf.

Looking at these contrasting perceptions, they both confirm that it is totally unacceptable to create hundreds of billions of dollars for European agencies and European citizens in just few years out of the poverty of Africa, Asia and Latin America under the covers of development aid and business. Such practices shed lights on the undisclosed objectives of development aid and business.

Claiming that the fast huge wealth made by middlemen, such as Mo Ibrahim and Celtel, from the British aid agencies backing is justified because they made mobile phone revolution…

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The tyranny of experts vs the real cause of poverty:The unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Poverty, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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How development experts have empowered dictators and helped to trap millions and millions of people in poverty

“Ethiopia, for example, reaps money and plaudits from development giants such as the Gates Foundation while remaining a bastion of authoritarian rule. Economic growth and other positive development outcomes in such states are a mirage, the author argues. His central claim is that no matter how much international aid is poured in, the lives of citizens won’t durably improve without freedom.” -SARAH CHAYES, Book Review, Wall Street Journal

‘The international professionals perpetrate an illusion that poverty is purely a technical problem, distracting attention away from the real cause: the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights. The dictators whom experts are advising are not the solution — they are the problem. The individual economic and political rights crucial to development include all those we take for granted at home, such as the right to your own property, the right to trade with whomever you wish, the right to protest bad government actions (don’t burn down our houses!), and the right to vote for politicians who do beneficial actions (clean our water!). Technical experts in development sometimes concede some rights and deny others, which disrespects rights for what they are: unalienable. The Uganda story shows the Mubende farmers’ lack of both economic rights (rights to their own property) and political rights (prevented at gunpoint from protesting). The tyranny of experts that neglects rights is first of all a moral tragedy. It reflects a double standard in which we respect rights for the world’s rich — is it conceivable that we would forget these farmers if the story had happened in Ohio? — but not for the poor.
The technocratic approach of dictators advised by experts is also a pragmatic tragedy, because it does not actually work to end poverty.  New research by economists on history and modern experience suggest that free individuals with political and economic rights make up remarkably successful problem-solving systems. Such systems based on rights reward a decentralized array of people: Economic entrepreneurs with property rights get to keep the rewards of solving the problems of their consumers. Political entrepreneurs at many government levels and in many departments get rewarded with a longer tenure in office if they solve the citizens’ problems, and they are driven out of office if they don’t. …Focusing on rights yields two perspectives on how development success happens. First, societies that have already attained individual freedom are likely to have already escaped poverty. Economists have gone back deep into our own history to confirm this widely-accepted story for how we in the West escaped our own poverty, but we seem unwilling to consider that the same story could play out in the rest of the world. Second, societies in which there is a positive change in in freedom will likely see a positive change in prosperity (ergo, rapid economic growth and fall in poverty). So what should we do about rights for the poor? Possible starting places for Western policy changes are to not fund dictators, to not support projects that torch farms, to not break promises to investigate rights abuses, and to not let us forget such abuses and missing investigations. But obsessing too much on the “what should we do?” question should not hand the agenda back to the same technical experts who have showed so little interest in the rights of the poor in the first place. The danger of such a tyranny of experts is illustrated by a long history of politicians using technical poverty debates as an excuse to avoid debating rights for the poor. The danger of such a tyranny of experts is illustrated by a long history of politicians using technical poverty debates as an excuse to avoid debating rights for the poor.’ – Read the details and analysis at the original source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/10/the_new_tyranny

Book Review: ‘The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor’ by William Easterly

dictatorsThe notion of development assistance was born in a period of unabashed racism.

By SARAH CHAYES

March 7, 2014 (The Wall Street Journal) — Why does poverty persist across so much of the world, despite billions of dollars in international aid and the efforts of armies of development professionals? That is the question that William Easterly explores in “The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor.” His answer: a lack of respect for liberty—not just on the part of governments of impoverished countries but also, more provocatively, on the part of the would-be developers themselves.

Mr. Easterly, an economics professor at New York University, joins other students of international aid in decrying the preference for technical fixes when the political structures of recipient states are built to deny political participation and economic opportunity to most of their citizens. “The technocratic illusion,” he writes, “is that poverty results from a shortage of expertise, whereas poverty is really about a shortage of rights.”

Ethiopia, for example, reaps money and plaudits from development giants such as the Gates Foundation while remaining a bastion of authoritarian rule. Economic growth and other positive development outcomes in such states are a mirage, the author argues. His central claim is that no matter how much international aid is poured in, the lives of citizens won’t durably improve without freedom.

Mr. Easterly recalls that the very notion of development assistance was born in a period of unabashed racism, out of a conjunction of two opposing demands. One was the need for late colonial empires to provide a different rationale than racial superiority for their continued domination of the Third World. The other was the desire of Third World leaders to legitimize seizing authoritarian power themselves.

Touting the virtues of development designed by “experts” and delivered by autocrats proved to be a useful strategy for both camps. “Sun Yat-sen,” writes Mr. Easterly of China in 1924, “suggested the idea of technocratic development to resist European imperialism in China, while at the same time in Versailles, the Allies suggested technocratic development to expand European imperialism in Africa.” And, a few decades later, “the new African leaders found state-led technocratic development to be a justification for their own aspirations to unchecked power.”

This marriage of convenience may have sabotaged democracy’s chances of emerging from the rubble of empire, Mr. Easterly suggests, drawing on evidence from China, Colombia and West Africa. The bias in favor of technocratic fixes, and against fundamental political reform, has certainly helped enable autocratic regimes, which, now as then, capture development aid like any other rent. In Yemen, for example, before counterterrorism security cooperation grew to its current scale, aid was a key source of funding for the Ali Abdullah Saleh regime.

Mr. Easterly’s alternative to the autocrat-driven, technocratic model of development is simple: Apply abroad what we know has worked at home—bottom-up solutions, a free flow of ideas leading to innovative experiments and democratic politics. His positive examples aren’t drawn from the international-assistance realm but rather from the organic emergence of economic prosperity in such environments as 12th-century Italian city-states or the Korean auto industry. Hyundai’s rise is presented as an example of an efficient division of labor engineered almost as a matter of course by free-market forces. Unable to farm his infertile land, Chung Ju Yung, who liked tinkering with cars, set up as a mechanic, thereby exchanging “his problem-solving talents . . . for the problem-solving talents of others in producing food for him.” He would go on to found Hyundai.

Mr. Easterly is hardly the first to criticize the international-development community for its avoidance of politics and fixation on technical solutions. But his belabored insistence that freedom and democracy are the only reliable paths to economic prosperity is too general and thus not very helpful for anyone thinking seriously about how to reform development assistance. While he is right to castigate the many aid efforts undertaken in autocratic contexts, few serious Western development professionals today actively promote dictatorship. Indeed, acceptance of much of Mr. Easterly’s reasoning has driven, from the 1990s on, a sharp increase in support for grass-roots development and democratization efforts.

But Mr. Easterly fails to acknowledge such evolutions. And he thereby misses an opportunity to highlight the obstacles that this approach, in turn, has encountered: the tendency of such grass-roots organizations to respond to the desires of donors rather than their own constituencies, their inability to live up to outsize expectations or, when successful, their tendency to suffer repression at the hands of authoritarian states. Nor does Mr. Easterly contend in detail with the fundamental question raised by his book: What explains the persistence of such a “momentous double standard on rights for the West and not for the Rest?”

Some explanations do emerge in passing. Geostrategic priorities, for example, have impelled the U.S. to use foreign aid to reward autocratic allies in the fights against Communism and terrorism. Racism, blatant or otherwise, has made Westerners doubt non-white non-Westerners’ desire for rights and ability to handle them. The desire to self-perpetuate has also been a powerful motive to stick to the status quo for an industry as large as international assistance—a motive Mr. Easterly doesn’t emphasize. Challenging entrenched power structures is a good way to get thrown out of a country, as a number of democracy-promotion organizations recently learned in Egypt.

Apart from these gaps, and the book’s lack of explicit recommendations, its analysis raises some philosophical problems. It draws too sharp an opposition between individualism and collective values. By depicting a global “East” caught in a feedback loop of autocracy and “collectivist values,” Mr. Easterly falls into Samuel Huntingtonesque generalizations. Similarly, he seems to suggest that geography and climate predisposed the Southern Hemisphere to slave-based or extractive economies.

The generalizations, moreover, evade a lot of contrary nuance. The Nordic countries are widely seen as more respectful of community values than the U.S. or Britain. And many of their health and development outcomes outstrip ours. Some might argue that these are smaller, more homogeneous societies, but so are some of the negative examples of “collectivist values” that Mr. Easterly cites, such as the “Maghribi” network, a 10th-century Cairo-based Jewish trading community. And the world economic meltdown of 2008, with devastating development effects for tens of millions, was the result not of excessively collectivist values but the reverse. Poor development outcomes, in other words, aren’t only a matter of rights, as Mr. Easterly argues. At issue is also the distribution of power—justice as well as liberty.

The book’s argument about the power of freedom and democracy to beget development is made by way of a vast historical tableau. From the 12th-century Italian city-states, the narrative winds past the slave trade, expounds the virtues of migration, explores the ideas of Adam Smith and ruminates on the structure of technological innovation. Supporting anecdotes include a Senegalese religious trading community, the Korean automotive industry and an evolving Manhattan neighborhood.

It is hard to trust an author to command such a welter of detail. And indeed, the result is too often haphazard, self-contradictory or erroneous. For example, while the Maghribi traders are said to demonstrate self-sabotaging collectivist values, the Mourides, a modern Somali religious brotherhood that is organized along nearly the same principles, is cited to illustrate the virtues of migration. The Korean auto industry, depicted as embodying “the amazing potentials of specialization and trade,” emerged under an autocratic government applying protectionist laws.

By my count, finally, about 15% of Mr. Easterly’s text recaps what was just said or announces items from later chapters. Subheadings like “Another Key Moment in This Book” suggest an argument that isn’t tight enough to convince on its own merits. And that’s too bad. Mr. Easterly calls for a profound overhaul of the way powerful nations conceive of and implement aid—and, more important, of the broader foreign-policy decision-making of which aid is a component. That change is needed. It’s just not clear this book is crisp or cogent enough to help advance it.

Ms. Chayes is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

To buy this book Click Here

http://ayyaantuu.com/articles/book-review-the-tyranny-of-experts-economists-dictators-and-the-forgotten-rights-of-the-poor-by-william-easterly/

Ethiopia: The Declining of the Much Vaunted GDP Growth, the Rise of Youth Unemployment, Extreme Poverty & Social Discrimination February 9, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Oromia, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Odaa Oromoo

‘The second poorest country in the world according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multidimensional Poverty Index, [2] Ethiopia consistently ranks extremely low upon a variety of socioeconomic, development and human rights indicators. [3] Recently, however, Ethiopia has experienced economic growth – making it amongst ‘Africa’s best performing economies.’ [4] This development reiterates the Ethiopian government’s lofty ambitions to attain ‘middle-income status by 2020.’ [5] The validity, sustainability, and possible ramifications of Ethiopia’s purported and ambitious economic transformation in the near future – which could prove beneficial domestically and regionally – merits closer analysis.’  – http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/90435

To begin with, it is important that Ethiopia’s economic growth translate into broad scale development. While Ethiopia has reportedly witnessed tangible progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), [7] the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that there still remains ‘a pressing need for policies to translate positive growth outcomes into stronger employment gains and further reduction in poverty and set off a dynamic, virtuous cycle of self sustaining and broad-based growth.’ Further challenges include high levels of youth and female unemployment, greater efforts being required to identify and address the needs of those in severe and chronic poverty (approximately 25 million or 27 percent of Ethiopians live in extreme poverty), and pervasive malnutrition. [8]

Ethiopia’s economic growth also arouses questions of equitable growth and redistribution. Handley et al. (2009) outline that, although essential, economic growth is not always wholly sufficient to reduce poverty or inequality. Rather, an assortment of measures must be undertaken to ensure that poorer strata of society are incorporated into national economic growth. [9] Even with Ethiopia’s past reduction of much national inequality, dramatic inequities in education and employment – and broad discrimination – along rural-urban, gender, and ethno-religious lines are starkly apparent. [10]

Another critical issue emanating from Ethiopia’s economic growth and general developmental efforts is the manner in which they have been pursued. For example, a vital component of Ethiopia’s agricultural development strategy is the ‘villagization’ program that entails the relocation of millions of people from locations reserved for industrial plantations. [11] Ethiopia is an agrarian-based society in which more than 80 percent of Ethiopians depend on agriculture and pastoralism for subsistence. Issues arising from the program have led to greater food insecurity, a destruction of livelihoods and the loss of cultural heritage. Additionally, the program, which frequently utilizes forced evictions, has been plagued by a plethora of human rights violations. A variety of human rights groups have documented beatings, killings, rapes, imprisonment, intimidation and political coercion by the government and authorities. [12]

While Ethiopia has suggested that leasing land to foreign investors is necessary to modernize farming, enhance domestic food production and generate employment, [13] it continues to struggle mightily with hunger, under-nutrition and stunting. [14] Further, a UN report has even suggested that such investment deals negatively impact local populations. [15]

Importantly, projections of Ethiopia’s forthcoming evolution into a middle-income country must address the fact that Ethiopia remains overwhelmingly dependent on foreign aid. Long unable to produce enough food for its population, the nation has been dependent on foreign food aid for decades; [16] recent World Food Programme data illustrates that the country remains one of the largest recipients of food aid in the world. [17]

Siyoum, Hilhorst, and Van Uffelen (2012) also note that more than 8 million Ethiopians rely on food aid. Furthermore, the authors find that Ethiopia’s food insecurity stems from government failures in addressing major structural problems including poor soil fertility, environmental degradation, population pressure, fragmented landholdings and a severe lack of income-generating opportunities outside of agriculture. [19]

In addition to its reliance on food aid, Ethiopia is highly dependent on external economic assistance. In 2011, Ethiopia was the world’s fifth largest recipient of official humanitarian aid and received $3.6 billion in total assistance, [20] the latter figure representing between 50-60 percent of its total budget. [21] Additionally, Ethiopia’s 2011 share of total official development assistance – approximately 4 percent – placed it behind only Afghanistan.

According to Finland’s Country Strategy for Development Cooperation in Ethiopia, published by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia’s dependency challenges include the fact that its ‘…humanitarian support programmes are fragmented,’ [22] an outcome likely influenced by the expansive network of foreign development, religious, and charity organizations (2000-4000 in total). [23] The Finnish report also notes that ‘a large proportion of the Ethiopian people have limited coping mechanisms at their disposal.’ Furthermore, the country is faced with ‘an immediate need [to] transition from humanitarian aid to development [and]…without a range of dynamic and comprehensive activities to promote effective private sector development, particularly in agriculture, it will be very difficult to achieve the anticipated growth rates under the [growth and transformation plan].’ [24]

In fact, recent years have seen Ethiopia’s vaunted annual GDP growth rate decrease. [25] Utilizing World Bank data, which reports Ethiopia’s 2012 GNI per capita as $380 (current US$), [26] Ethiopia’s transition to lower middle-income status (between $1,036 – $4,085) [27] would require an annual growth rate of approximately 20 percent. This would appear to be highly unlikely, even if overlooking its recent descending economic trend or the negative effects of inflation.

These issues may be exacerbated by an array of financial risks. According to the IMF, Ethiopia faces growing external debt, [28] even though it was the beneficiary of debt cancellation in 2005 via the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives (MDRI) programs. [29] Additionally, it is has experienced a worsening of its foreign exchange shortage, and a lack of sufficient financing for its growth and transformation plan. [30]

Beyond the aforementioned developmental challenges, issues of aid dependency and financial risks, domestic governance and external geopolitical factors represent critical concerns for Ethiopia. A multicultural, ethnically-diverse country with a state-structure built along institutionalized ethnic entrenchment in a nominal federal arrangement dominated by a single minority group; rising tensions with a resilient, large and historically repressed Islamic constituency; and troubled ties with neighbours are both challenges and possible impediments to Ethiopia’s projected economic growth unless adequately addressed.

Currently, political oppression, ethnic discrimination, extrajudicial executions, torture and other abuses in detention, [31] in addition to economic factors, have led hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to flee the country. Many fall prey to human smugglers and traffickers who engage in a variety of the most depraved forms of abuse or exploitation. [32]

Additionally, Ethiopia has been at the forefront of a variety of conflicts. The separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) continues to wage an insurgency against the central government, [33] while terrorism – largely arising from Ethiopia’s policies and interventions in neighbouring regions – has been a constant threat. According to Global Humanitarian Assistance, in each of the years from 2002-2011 Ethiopia was engaged in some form of active conflict. [34] Prior, the 1998-2000 period saw Ethiopia wage a costly war against Eritrea. Since then, Ethiopia has failed to abide by its obligations as ruled by the international Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, [35] and instead continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territories – thus posing an unnecessary problem to both countries and the surrounding region. [36] Ethiopia’s recent tension with Egypt regarding the construction of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is an additional dimension that complicates an already tenuous regional political landscape. [37]

Last, a potential crisis within or outright collapse of the Ethiopian state calls into question any projections of Ethiopia’s impending transition to middle-income status. Since 2006, Ethiopia has experienced a downward trend in the Fund for Peace (FFP) Failed States Index, while for 2013 it received amongst the lowest rankings. [38] This outcome is buttressed by Marshall and Cole’s (2011) State Fragility Index and Matrix which classifies Ethiopia as one of the eight ‘most fragile’ states in the world. State fragility is reported as an aggregate score of an array of governance categories including state effectiveness, legitimacy, security, armed conflict and other socio-economic and political factors. [39] Finally, the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds (2012) suggests that Ethiopia is among the top 15 ‘high risk’ nations slated for state failure by 2030. [40]

In conclusion, Ethiopia’s recent economic growth and developmental progress are respectable achievements, particularly within a region long plagued by a variety of ailments. However, suggestions of Ethiopia’s socioeconomic transformation may prove fanciful if they fail to consider and address a variety of significant concerns.

-Fikrejesus Amahazion, a PhD candidate focusing on Political Economy, Development and Human Rights.
Read more from original source @:
http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/90435

Related reference:

The Food Index

The interactive snapshot of 125 countries showing the best and worst places in the world to eat, and the challenges people face getting enough of the right food.

Around the world, one in eight people go to bed hungry every night, even though there is enough food for everyone.

Ethiopia ranks 123 (worst)  in over all food availability.

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/good-enough-to-eat

The genocidal Ethiopia and Its Janjaweed Style Liyu Police: The Killings of 59 Oromo Men, Women and Children, The Wounding of 42 Others, the Confiscation of Property and the Forcible Removal of People from Their Ancestral Land in Eastern Oromia January 19, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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Oromo Studies Association’s (OSA’s) Letter to U.S. Secretary of State on the Killings of 59 and Wounding of 42 Oromos in Eastern Oromia by Ethiopian-Trained “Liyu Police”:

January 17, 2014

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC20520

Subject: The killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others, the confiscation of property and the forcible removal of people from their ancestral land in eastern Ethiopia

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association, an independent scholarly, multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization based in North American. My purpose is to bring to your attention and to protest on behalf of the members of OSA a crime committed against the Oromo in Eastern Ethiopia, that is, the killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others and the confiscation/destruction of property with an estimated value of Eth$14,726,000 in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. These acts of extreme and unprovoked violence, killings, violent wounding, burning of houses and confiscation of cattle and other property of the Oromo citizens in eastern Oromia zone, were committed by Ethiopian government-trained special Somali militia forces known as “Liyu Police” (translation: Special Police Force). The Ethiopian regime arms Somali in that region while disarming Oromo farmers. These actions of deliberately arming one people while equally deliberately disarming the other and, thus, by creating conflict between formerly closely related people – groups who have lived peacefully as neighbors for centuries – goes beyond abdicating governmental responsibility. It is a heinous crime that this government commits against peoples within its jurisdictional borders. The world regards these victims as citizens of Ethiopia, but they are being seriously mistreated with no proper defense available.

In the past several months, there has been a new wave of killing of Oromo nationals in particular who reside in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Targeted Oromo victims suffer also the confiscation of their property and removal by the thousand of residents from their ancestral lands. This is a miserable new policy which constitutes nothing less than a strategy for creating a blood feud between the two culturally related people, namely, the Oromo and Somali in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. In the sacred land of their birth, Oromo children, women and unarmed men are killed systematically by Ethiopian government Special Police forces. Once the slaughter is completed, these government-equipped forces then callously deny their victims even decent burial, which, in itself, is a crime against humanity.

The Ethiopian government is responsible for inflicting a great deal of harm and damage on defenseless Oromo peasants through this practice of arming Somali against disarmed Oromo farmers by building special police force comprised of Somalis. This appears to be a continuation of the callously inhuman policy of the Ethiopian regime that led to the removal of Oromo peasants from seven major ancestral regions covering extensive territories in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Most OSA members are Oromo Americans, who closely follow events in the region and whose findings are confirmed by the reports of pain and suffering of their families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends – who were killed, wounded and displaced, and whose livelihood was destroyed by Ethiopian government Special Police forces made up of Somali armed by the regime.

The Oromo Studies Association, OSA, was established 26 years ago by international scholars from around the globe to promote studies related and relevant to the Oromo and other peoples in the Horn of Africa. In its attempt to create academic forums where ideas and research findings about the Oromo and other people of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa are freely discussed, OSA has established a peer-reviewed Journal of Oromo Studies, other periodic publications, as well as organizing regular mid-year and annual conferences. OSA has been involved in building a knowledge base for creating a democratic future for the peoples of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In our scholarly organization Somali and Oromo scholars work together. The Journal of Oromo Studies publishes research papers on Somali studies. Our goal is to strengthen historical relations between the two related peoples.

You may be surprised to learn that Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia, is the largest, the richest and the most densely populated regional state in Ethiopia. Because the Oromo constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia – and in the entire region – they are regarded as the greatest threat to the ruling minority group, dominated by members historically affiliated with the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF). The current government is dominated by Tigrayans persons whose ethnicity represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia. Current Ethiopian government policies, which target populations on the basis of ethnicity, are best understood in light of a history of ethnic politics and ethnic discrimination. Arming Somalis to destroy Oromo in order to confiscate their lands and other resources continues ethnic politics in its most brutal form.

Oromo do not have powerful friends in the western world who bring the injustices that they suffer to the attention of international community. The Oromo Studies Association requests that you respond to our voice as a voice of conscience uttered to the international community. We urge that you immediately put pressure on the Ethiopian regime to desist from driving Oromo out their ancestral land in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. We request that the State Department under your able leadership look into this critical matter take effective action while there is time to reverse a criminal policy and save the lives and livelihood of vulnerable populations in Eastern Ethiopia.

In the light of the issue raised which is only the most recent of an ongoing series of violent attacks on Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone during 2013, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) urgently requests that the State Department utilize its good offices to seek justice by putting pressure on the Ethiopian government to:

• Stop immediately the Liyu Police attacks on Oromo farmers in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Return, without delay, those who were forcibly driven from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Bring to speedy trial those who ordered the Liyu Police force to attack, killing 59 defenseless Oromo children, men and women and wounding 42 others while confiscating or destroying property estimated at Eth$14,726,000.

• Pay compensation for the lives lost and the property confiscated from those defenseless Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Urge the Ethiopian government officials to stop the forcible removal of thousands of Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia and make sure that such measures will never be repeated in Oromia or other parts of Ethiopia.

• Advise the leaders of the Ethiopian government to abandon the cruel and crude policy of disarming Oromo while unleashing the special police force on defenseless children, men and women.

• Strongly urge the leaders of the Ethiopian government to respect and implement the provisions in their own Constitution, which officially guarantees respect for human rights and democratic governance.

The Oromo Studies Association requests that the State Department, under your leadership, set an example by taking the above measures in a timely fashion.

You have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Oromo and other people in Ethiopia. Our scholarly association appreciates your good efforts in this regard.

Sincerely,

Ibrahim Elemo, President
Oromo Studies Association
P.O.Box: 6541
Minneapolis, MN 55406-0541
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

CC:
Ambassador Girma Birru
Embassy of FDRE, Washington, D.C
3506 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
Office of the Secretary General of United Nations
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017, USA

Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister of UK
10 Downing Street, London, UK

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23953/2014/01/19/oromo-studies-associations-osas-letter-to-u-s-secretary-of-state-on-the-killings-of-59-and-wounding-of-42-oromos-in-eastern-oromia-by-ethiopian-trained-liyu-police/#.Uts92fi_TfU.facebook

Liyu Police is Ethiopia’s (TPLF’s) style of  Janjaweed to conduct genocide against the Oromo people.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1003597/Janjaweed

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2014 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014. All rights reserved. Disclaimer

Rivalry: Japan, China & the Scramble for Africa January 14, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Land Grabs in Africa, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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???????????Real inspiration, Abebe Bikila

 

Abe (Japanese PM) recalls Abe (the legend Oromo Olympian, Abebe Bikila)

 

Japanese premier, Mr. Abe,  received a gift from the son of the late Oromo barefoot marathon legend Abebe Bikila, winner of the Tokyo Olympic marathon 50 years ago.

Japan’s rivalry with China is going global. After years of jousting over obscure islands in the East China Sea and competing for Asian influence, the two countries are now battling for power in a new arena: Africa.

It’s a region that Tokyo has long ceded to the Chinese, allowing Beijing to pile up massive economic and political capital across Africa. But on Friday, in a major shift in strategy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Ivory Coast to begin his first tour of sub-Saharan Africa – and the first by any Japanese prime minister in eight years.
As he has finished a three-nation tour of Africa on Monday in which he offered aid and development projects potentially worth billions of dollars to help his nation catch up with China’s enormous footprint on the continent, the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has said he wants to expand Japan’s presence in Africa, and tap a region that can serve as both a source of minerals and energy for Japan’s industrial economy and a new market for Japanese goods.

Mr. Abe has made Africa one of the centerpieces of a diplomatic push to complement his domestic growth policies, known as Abenomics, which aim to end Japan’s long economic decline.

By placing more emphasis on Africa, Mr. Abe is throwing Japan into a scramble for resources there that also involves companies from China, the United States and other Western countries. Japan is particularly keen to find new sources of so-called rare earths and metals, raw material used in electronics and cellphones that it currently imports mostly from China.

But Japan also finds itself lagging far behind its rival China, which has been investing heavily in Africa for a decade. As if to underscore that great rivalry, at the same time that Mr. Abe was in Africa, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, was on a four-nation visit to the region. Japan will find it difficult to catch up to China’s political influence here. China’s leaders are frequent visitors to the continent. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Africa last year on his first overseas trip as President. Beijing has cultivated close relationships with Africa’s ruling parties, routinely inviting their officials on junkets to China.

China’s state media were quick to portray Mr. Abe’s visit as an attempt to challenge Beijing in the African arena. Quoting several Japanese sources, state-owned China Daily said the Japanese leader is seeking to “contain” China’s influence in Africa.

Another Chinese newspaper, Global Times, quoted Japan analyst Geng Xin as saying that Tokyo was “cozying up” to Africa to try to dispel Japan’s image as an “economic giant and political dwarf.” He said Japan is wooing the votes of African countries for its bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, issued a veiled warning to Japan. “If there is any country out there that attempts to make use of Africa for rivalry, the country is making a wrong decision, which is doomed to fail,” she told a press conference this week.

Japanese officials have said that while they cannot match the $75 billion indevelopment aid that China has poured into Africa since 2000, they hope to close the gap in other ways. One is to use Japanese aid to train African engineers and technicians, in order to differentiate Japanese efforts from Chinese projects that have been criticized for employing mainly Chinese workers while offering few jobs to Africans. Japan, he said, prefers to “aid the human capital of Africa.”

The visit also brought an unusual amount of showmanship to Japan’s often drab style of diplomacy. On Friday, Mr. Abe traded jokes and even exchanged soccer jerseys with the president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara. The next day, Mr. Abe attended a tournament of the Japanese sport of judo in Abidjan.

Japan criticizes Beijing for its tendency to build lavish headquarters and office towers as donations for African politicians – including, most famously, the new $200-million headquarters of the African Union in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), where Mr. Abe is scheduled to give a policy speech next week.

“Countries like Japan … cannot provide African leaders with beautiful houses or beautiful ministerial buildings,” Mr. Abe’s spokesman, Tomohiko Taniguchi, told the BBC.

But while the two countries take verbal shots at each other, the reality is that China has adopted a far more aggressive strategy in Africa, and has been enormously successful so far. China’s investment in Africa was reported to be about seven times that of Japan in 2011, and its exports to Africa were about five times greater.

China has become the top trading partner, or second-biggest trading partner, of about half of Africa’s countries. It is a major investor in Africa’s resources sector, and the biggest buyer of oil and minerals from many African countries. Its construction companies are building roads, highways, railway lines, sports stadiums, transit systems and hospitals across Africa.

Japan has lagged far behind in this race. Most of its engagement with Africa is as an aid donor. Last year it promised up to $32-billion in public and private assistance to Africa over the next five years, but this only confirmed its reputation as a donor, rather than a business partner.

Only a handful of Japanese investors are active in Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Mozambique  According to a fact sheet by the Japanese government, there are only two Japanese companies in Ivory Coast and only one in Ethiopia.

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has kicked off a visit to Ethiopia (Oromia) by meeting the  Oromo running stars.The Japanese premier received a gift from the son of late Oromo barefoot marathon legend Abebe Bikila, winner of the Tokyo Olympic marathon 50 years ago. “My name is Abe, but everybody teased me at school, calling me Abebe,” Mr Abe said. “Many Japanese  marathon runners would actually collapse after the race but when I saw Mr. Abebe actually stretching afterwards, it was such a surprise, even for a 10-year-old.”
In his visit to Ethiopia (Oromia), the Japansese prime minister was presented with a photo of Bikila winning Olympic gold in Tokyo, a gift from the late legend’s son, Yetnayet Abebe.”Today I had the opportunity to meet famous athletes from Ethiopia as well as the son of Mr. Abebe, as well as wonderful children boys and girls who will one day be gold medalists, or who will one day be winners at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” Mr Abe said. Bikila died in 1973 from complications caused by a road accident four years before, and remains one of the great icons of running, especially in Japan. The Japanese prime minister also met with Oromo female road and track stars Meseret Defar, Tiki Gelana, Derartu Tulu and Ibrahim Jeilan.More can be read from original sources @https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=oromo+athletics&searchbutton=go

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/14/national/abe-recalls-abebe-meets-ethiopias-running-heroes/#.UtcsptJdXbh
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/140110/japan-china-lord-voldemort-africa

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/14/world/asia/japans-leader-pledges-aid-on-africa-tour.html?ref=world

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/japan-battles-china-for-influence-in-africa/article16288594/?click=tglobe

The Hidden Systematic Physical and Cultural Genocide Against the Oromo People: Who Is Responsible? July 22, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation.
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Conversation on Oromo Identity, Knowledge and the Colonizing  Structure

On July 4th, Oromians gathered in Minnesota to celebrate the 50th Golden Jubilee of artist Ali Birra. As a lifelong friend and compatriot, Dr. Gemechu Megerssa was in the U.S. to be a part of this celebration. He was also the keynote speaker. Prior to the celebration, Oromians and caught up with   Dr. Gemechu and engaged him in a conversation about his work and life. He generously shared with them the wealth of knowledge he has gained as an Anthropologist over the last 40 years. Dr. Gemechu discusses  effects of State sponsored violence on indigenous Oromo  nation,  their cultural heritage, legacy of systematized Abyssinian supremacy, and the historical portrayal of the Oromo in the Ethiopian State. http://www.gulelepost.com/2013/07/19/the-year-of-discovery-and-self-recovery/

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2013 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Theorizing Development June 8, 2011

Posted by OromianEconomist in Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Temesgen M. Erena, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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JEL: A11, A23, B13, D2, D6, O1, O5

Theorizing Development

Temesgen M. Erena (DPhil), Economist

From historical perspectives, the urgency underlying the contemporary development quest of developing economies has been recognised for the last seven decades. Of course, this should not be considered as that there were no problems of development prior to 1940’s.  However, paralleling the increasing for economic self-determination and development of developing economies, there has been a tremendous growth in intellectual activity concerning the development problems.

The past 70 years have also witnessed a gluttony  of models, theories, and empirical investigations of the development problem and the possibilities offered for transforming Asia, African, Latin American, and Caribbean nations. This body of knowledge as come to be known in academics and policy circles as development economics.

In these perspectives development is discerned in the context of   sustained rise of an entire society and social system towards a better and ‘humane life’. What constitutes a better and humane life is an inquiry as old as humankind. Nevertheless, it must be regularly and systematically revised and answered over again in the unsteady milieu of the human society. Economists have agreed on at least on three universal or core values as a discernible and practical guidelines for understanding the gist of development (see Todaro,1994; Goulet, 1971; Soedjatmoko, 1985; Owens, 1987).  These core- values include:

Sustenance:

 the ability to meet basic needs: food, shelter, health and protection. A basic function of all economic activity, thus, is to provide a means of overcoming the helplessness and misery emerging from a lack of food, shelter, health and protection. The necessary conditions are improving the quality of life, rising per head income, the elimination of absolute poverty, greater employment opportunity and lessening income inequalities;

self-esteem:

which includes possessing education, technology, authenticity, identity, dignity, recognition, honour, a sense of worth and self respect, of not being used as a tool by others for their own exigency;

Freedom from servitude:

 to be able to choose. Human freedom includes emancipation from alienating material conditions of life and from social servitude to other people, nature, ignorance, misery, institutions, and dogmatic beliefs. Freedom includes an extended range of choices for societies and their members and together with a minimization of external restraints in the satiation of some social goals. Human freedom embraces personal security, the rule of law, and freedom of leisure, expression, political participation and equality of opportunity.

Sustained and accelerated increase and change in quantity and quantity of material goods and services (both in absolute and per capita), increase in productive capacity and structural transformation of production system (e.g. from agriculture to industry then to services and presently to knowledge based (new) economy), etc. hereinafter economic growth is a necessary if not a sufficient condition for development.

As elaborated in Hirischman (1981) and Lal (1983), this corpus of thought and knowledge denotes economics with a particular perspective of developing nations and the development process. It has come to shape the beliefs about the economic development of developing countries and policies and strategies that should be followed in this process. While development economics goes beyond the mere application of traditional economic principles to the study of developing economies, it remains an intellectual offspring and sub discipline of the mainstream economics discipline. The growth in economic knowledge and the corresponding intellectual maturation of development thought and policy debate has led to the appearance of various perspectives of thought on the theory and reality of development and underdevelopment within the same discipline of development economics. The two  main paradigms are neo-classicals (orthodox), and Political economy (neo-Marxists). There are also eclectics.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2011 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2011. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.