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New African magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Africans, #AbiyAhmed November 30, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Gender parity in New African magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Africans

 New African APO

For the first time since publishing the list, there is an equal amount of men and women featuring in this year’s one hundred

Nigerians once again dominate this year’s list in terms of entries, followed by Kenyans; For the first time the list is gender balanced; Four covers featuring Mo Salah, Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Denis Mukwege and Ahmed Abiy.

For the first time since publishing the list, there is an equal amount of men and women featuring in this year’s one hundred. Although this year’s listing is dominated by entries from Nigeria and Kenya, outstanding personalities from several other African countries are also featured.

The December issue is published with four different covers featuring: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Abiy, arguably Africa’s person of the year; the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner DR Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege;  Botswana’s 32-year old Minister of Trade  Investment  Bogolo Joy Kenewendo; and Egypt’s soccer superstar, Mo Salah whose influence goes well beyond football.

The annual list has become an industry and the magazine readers’ much-awaited collation – revealing Africans who contributed in shaping the African narrative in the concluding year and envisaged to play a big role in the coming year, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Collated by and from its global network of correspondents and industry insiders, this year’s listing consists of some regular names, and some of them returning for the second, even third year. The final 2018 tally sees a drop in the number of entries for politicians, but an increase in the Arts and culture section at 16 and 22 entries respectively.

When whittling down the nominees and choosing our hundred, we ended with an equal number of women and men

In terms of countries, entries are led by Nigeria with18 names followed by Kenya (11) South Africa (10) Egypt (8) and Ethiopia (7).

“One yardstick which we often employ when coming up with the final list is to emphasise that influence is not about popularity and popularity is not always influential. The influencer’s impact on public, social and political discourse, however, is what largely helps us determine their influence. Most importantly we focus mainly on people who have been influential for Africa’s good,” says reGina Jane Jere – Editor of the magazine’s sister publication – New African Woman, who leads and oversees the 100 Most Influential Africans project.

With many reports indicating how gender parity improves the quality of governance and accelerates development, and in a year that has seen the emboldening of gender issues, with countries such Ethiopia even taking a lead in achieving gender parity in Cabinet, and appointing its first ever female President under its new reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, the magazine felt it apt to produced a 50/50 ratio in this year’s list. According to the editor of the magazine, Anver Versi, this happened as much by chance as it did by design. “When whittling down the nominees and choosing our hundred, we ended with an equal number of women and men. That was the premise of this year’s ranking but it happened naturally!”

One other outstanding feature of this year’s list is the increased inclusion of people of African descent making their mark at a global level in the African Diaspora. “This is a clear indication of the wealth of talent that our continent possesses and shows that given the slightest opportunity, our men and women can eclipse their peers worldwide in their chosen fields of endeavor,” explains Versi.

Also of note is the inclusion of men and women in the seemingly unglamorous fields such as conservation and climate change, whose work is often overlooked by the media.

The December issue of New African is available on newsstands in 75 countries and via the app store and the magazine’s digital channels.

To read this month’s edition and our full archives shop at: shop.exacteditions.com/new-african

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of New African Magazine.

Media Contact:regina@icpublications.com

Click here to read at APO

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#OromoProtests: Oromo Community in Toronto Protests in Solidarity with Protests in Oromia against Fascist TPLF Ethiopia Mass killings December 31, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.

 

In drought (famine) ravaged Ethiopia there is a thin line between life and death. The last decent rains fell here two years ago. Families watch their animals die and wonder if they are next. October 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Famine in Ethiopia, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa.
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???????????Famine in Ethiopia 2015povertyAfrica is still struggling with povertyTPLF Ethiopian forces destroyed Oromo houses in Ada'a district, Central Oromia, July 2015Tigrean Neftengna's land grabbing and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

“…UN now warning that without action some “15 million people will require food assistance” next year, more than inside war-torn Syria.  ….Hardest-hit areas are Ethiopia’s eastern Afar and southern Somali regions, while water supplies are also unusually low in central and eastern Oromo region.” Unicef

Millions hungry as Ethiopia drought bites

(Unicef,  News24, October 22,  2015): The number of hungry Ethiopians needing food aid has risen sharply due to poor rains and the El Nino weather phenomenon with around 7.5 million people now in need, aid officials said on Friday.

That number has nearly doubled since August, when the United Nations said 4.5 million were in need – with the UN now warning that without action some “15 million people will require food assistance” next year, more than inside war-torn Syria.

“Without a robust response supported by the international community, there is a high probability of a significant food insecurity and nutrition disaster,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, said in a report.

The UN children’s agency, Unicef, warns over 300 000 children are severely malnourished.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), which makes detailed technical assessments of hunger, predicted a harvest “well below average” in its latest report.

“Unusual livestock deaths continue to be reported,” FEWS NET said. “With smaller herds, few sellable livestock, and almost no income other than charcoal and firewood sales, households are unable to afford adequate quantities of food.”

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, borders the Horn of Africa nation of Somalia, where some 855 000 people face need “life-saving assistance”, according to the UN, warning that 2.3 million more people there are “highly vulnerable”.

El Nino comes with a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, and can cause unusually heavy rains in some parts of the world and drought elsewhere.

Hardest-hit areas are Ethiopia’s eastern Afar and southern Somali regions, while water supplies are also unusually low in central and eastern Oromo region.

Sensitive issue

Food insecurity is a sensitive issue in Ethiopia, hit by famine in 1984-85 after extreme drought.

Today, Ethiopia’s government would rather its reputation was its near-double-digit economic growth and huge infrastructure investment – making the country one of Africa’s top-performing economies and a magnet for foreign investment.

Still, nearly 20 million Ethiopians live below the $1.25 poverty line set by the World Bank, with the poorest some of the most vulnerable to weather challenges.

Ethiopia’s government has mobilised $33m in emergency aid, but the UN says it needs $237m.

Minster for Information Redwan Hussein told reporters at a recent press conference that Ethiopia is doing what it can.

“The support from donor agencies has not yet arrived in time to let us cope with the increasing number of the needy population,” he said.

http://www.news24.com/Multimedia/Africa/Malnutrition-in-Ethiopian-children-20110916

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Millions-hungry-as-Ethiopia-drought-bites-20151002

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Jiraattonni aanaaAdaamii Tulluu , gargaarsa dhabanii beelaan miidhamaa jiru.

OMN:Oduu Onk. 21,2015 Beelli godinaalee Oromiyaa hedduu miidhaa jiru, gara godina Shawaa bahaa aanaa Adaamii Tulluu Jidduu Kombolachaa jedhamutti, babaldhatee akka jiru himame.

Jiraattonni aanaa kanaa, gargaarsa dhabanii beelaan miidhamaa jiraachuu isaanii dubbatan.

Beelli Oromiyaa godinaalee adda addaa keessatti bara kana namootaa fi loon miidhaa jiru, ammas kan hin dhaabbanne ta’uun himamaa jira.

Haaluma kanaan gara godina Shawaa Bahaa aanaa Adaamii Tulluu Jidduu Kombolchaatti babaldhatee akka jirullee jiraattonni dubbatan.

Jiraataan aanichaa tokko OMN f akka himanitti, rooba dhabameen wal qabatee, hoongee uumameen, namoonni hedduun araddaalee gara garaa keessa jiraatan, beelaaf saaxialamanii jiru.

Bara kana keessa bokkaan si’a lama qofa reebe kan jedhan namni kun, sababa kanaan namoonni midhaan facafachuu qaban, nyaataaf oolfataniiru.

Kan hafe ammoo kafaltii xaa’oo akka baasaniif wayta mootummaan dirqisiiseetti, midhaan facafachuuf qopheeffatan gurguranii baasiif kennanii jiru.

Namoonni hedduun qabeenya harkaa qaban waan fixataniif, beelaaf saaxilamuu danda’aniiru jedhan.

Akka namni kun jedhanitti, namoonni hedduun baadiyaa keessa jiraatan, beela sukaneessaa isaan miidhaa jiru jalaa, qe’ee isaanii dhiisanii gara magaalatti deemaa jiru.

Namoota gara magaalatti deemaa jiran keessaa manguddoonni humna dhabeeyyi ta’anis ni jiru.
Erga magaalaa gahanii booda, lubbuu ufii jiraachisuuf jecha, hujii humnaa olii hojjatanii jiraachuudhaaf dirqamanii jiran.

Hujii humnaa kana hojjachuudhaaf kan dirqaman, lubbuu ufii du’a irraa hambisuuf kan jedhan namni kun, beelli bara kana aanaa isaanii muudatee jiru, haalan yaddessaa ta’uu dubbatan.

Namoota beela kanaan miidhamanii asii fi achi deemaa jiran kana, gama mootummaa biyya bulchaa jiruun, haga ammaatti birmannaan taasifameef tokkollee akka hin jirre namni kun dubbatan.

Namoonnii baay’een daa’imman isaanii waan nyaachisan dhabanii rakkataa jiru. Loon ammoo marga dheedan dhabuun du’aaf saaxilamaniiru jedhan.

Rakkoo kanaan dura muldhatee hin beekne kana, mootummaanis gargaaruu dhiisee caldhisee ilaalaa jira kan jedhan namni kun, sababa kanaaf haalli ammaan kana jiru garmalee yaaddessaadha.

Mootummaan humanan taaytaa qabatee jiru, diinaggeen biyyattii dijiitii lamaan guddatee jira jechuun wayta faarsaa jiru kanatti, lammiileen biyyattii hedduun beelaan saaxilamuu isaanii midiyaalee gara garaa gabaasaa jiraachuun ni yaadatama.

Usmaan Ukkumetu gabaase.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/jiraattonni-aanaaadaamii-tulluu-gargaarsa-dhabanii-beelaan-miidhamaa-jiru/

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/omn-oduu-onk-21-2015/

Why is Ethiopia hungry again?

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/why-is-ethiopia-hungry-again/

The Cause of Ethiopia’s Recurrent Famine Is Not Drought, It Is Authoritarianism

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/the-cause-of-ethiopias-recurrent-famine-is-not-drought-it-is-authoritarianism/

Drought, food crisis and Famine in Ethiopia 2015: Children and adults are dying of lack of food, water and malnutrition. Animals are perishing of persisting drought. The worst Affected areas are: Eastern and Southern Oromia, Afar, Ogaden and Southern nations.

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/drought-food-crisis-and-famine-in-ethiopia-2015-children-and-adults-are-dying-of-lack-of-food-water-and-malnutrition-animals-are-perishing-of-persisting-drought-the-worst-affected-areas-are-e/

The tale of two countries (Obama’s/TPLF’s Ethiopia and Real Ethiopia): The Oromo (Children, Women and elders) are dying of genocidal mass killings and politically caused famine, but Obama has been told only rosy stories and shown rosy pictures.

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/ethiopia-the-oromo-children-women-and-elders-are-dying-of-genocidal-mass-killings-and-politically-caused-famine-but-obama-has-been-told-only-rosy-stories-and-shown-rosy-pictures-africa-oromia/

War on Want: Africa: a continent of wealth, a continent of poverty Afrikaa: Ardii qabeetti ardii iyyeetti June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Poverty.
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???????????A shocking investigative journey into the way the resource trade wreaks havoc on Africa, ‘The Looting Machine’ explores the dark underbelly of the global economy.

Africa: a continent of wealth, a continent of poverty

There has been much talk of an African renaissance in recent years. Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s second post-apartheid president, has spoken of a ‘rebirth that must encompass all Africans’. So as African politicians and mining companies convene in London this week for ‘Mining on Top’ – Africa’s annual mining summit – where are the voices of civil society? Their absence speaks volumes.

Africa is blessed with a rich bounty of natural resources. The continent holds around 30% of the world’s known mineral reserves. These include cobalt, uranium, diamonds and gold, as well as significant oil and gas reserves. Given this natural wealth it comes as no surprise that, with the tripling of global mineral and oil prices in the past decade, mining has exploded on the African continent. Over the period 2000 to 2008 resource extraction contributed more than 30% of Africa’s GDP while the annual flow of foreign direct investment into Africa increased from $9 billion to $62 billion (most of this into extractive industries). However, despite being so richly endowed, and despite the mining boom of the past decade, Africa has drawn little benefit from this mineral wealth and remains one of the poorest continents on the globe, with almost 50% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day.

So, why is it that a continent with such vast potential wealth can remain so poor? It is in large part down to ‘illicit financial flows’: the illegal movement of money or capital from one country to another. The exploitation of mineral resources has all too often led to corruption and a large proportion of the continent’s resources and revenues benefiting local and foreign elites rather than the general population. Trade mispricing (and in particular transfer pricing and trade misinvoicing) is the most common way of transferring illicit funds abroad. Through trade mispricing, companies seek to maximize profits artificially through maximizing expenses in high-tax jurisdictions and maximizing revenue and income in low-tax jurisdictions. This enables corporations to minimize tax payments illegally and transfer the funds abroad.

Such illicit flows undermine social development and stymy inclusive economic growth. Instead of investing resource revenues into improving infrastructure, health and education, political elites, often in collusion with mining companies, have siphoned off proceeds from the continent’s mineral and oil wealth – lining their own pockets to the detriment of ordinary Africans.

Zambia presents as a wealthy country – the largest producer of copper in Africa and the 7th-largest globally. Yet Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 74% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day and 43% of the population being undernourished. This is in part due to a haemorrhaging of wealth, mainly to transnational mining companies. According to the Zambian Deputy Finance Minister, in 2012 the country was losing $2 billion a year from tax avoidance – around 10% of Zambia’s GDP. The mining industry was the largest culprit and the bulk of the loss was attributed to transfer pricing – where parts of the same company trade with each other at prices that they determine on their own – and to the over-reporting of costs and under-reporting of production. The situation is compounded by overly generous tax incentives provided to companies by the Zambian government.

The Zambian example is not an isolated case. Such corporate practices in the mining sector are common right across the continent. In South Africa, illegal capital flight through trade-misinvoicing (a means to evade tax) is rife in the ores and metals sector. Over the period 1995 to 2006 trade misinvoicing alone amounted to $167 million. And when it comes to fuel-exporting countries, over the period 1970 to 2008 states were losing on average $10 billion per year because of misinvoicing – the sum accounting for nearly half of all illicit financial flows from Africa during this time. Moreover, statistical data generated through the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, which was introduced in 2003, revealed that diamond production was nearly twice as large as estimated, indicating massive smuggling, under-reporting and tax evasion in the sector. The list goes on.

So, what is to be done? At the heart of any solution must be transparency. Countries need to be more open in their dealings with mining companies, put in place and enforce fairer tax regimes and anti-corruption rules, and pursue economic policies that promote diversified economies and reduce dependence on revenues from mineral wealth. International mining capital would also, of course, have to play by the rules or be held to account for its indiscretions. Such measures would go some way to ensuring that the continent’s wealth benefits ordinary people and puts Africa onto a path to greater prosperity.

Mining routinely disrupts and destroys people’s livelihoods while damaging their health and the environment. It is local communities right across the continent that are most affected by the extractives industry. ‘Mining on Top’ should be the perfect opportunity to bring these communities into the very discussions that will affect their lives. Shamefully, they’ve not been invited. So while the mining elite discuss how best to exploit a continent, ordinary Africans continue to lose out.

The ‘Mining on Top’ Africa – London Summit takes place on 24-26 June at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, 200 Westminster Bridge, SE1 7UT. On Thursday 25 June, War on Want will join London Mining Network and Gaia Foundation in protest at the failure of organizers to include civil-society representatives at the summit.

http://newint.org/blog/2015/06/24/africa-a-continent-of-wealth/

Ethiopia: GNI per capita , Atlas method (current US$) June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Ethiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015Ethiopia's Per capita income trend, relative to  Sub-Saharan Afr 001

Ethiopia’s Per Capita Income trend, relative to Sub-Saharan Africa Average

Sub-Saharan African countries are the poorest regions of  Africa and the world. The World Bank’s Per Head Income trend from 2005 shows that Ethiopia’s trend is by far below Sub-Saharan Africa average trends with constantly widening gap. With Per Capita Income of  below $500 throughout the trends,  World Bank data shows that Ethiopia’s trend has been below the averages of world’s low income countries. So, what is the point of Ethiopia’s ‘fastest growth’ hype?

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) GNI per capita (formerly GNP per capita) is the gross national income, converted to U.S. dollars using the World Bank Atlas method, divided by the midyear population. GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. GNI, calculated in national currency, is usually converted to U.S. dollars at official exchange rates for comparisons across economies, although an alternative rate is used when the official exchange rate is judged to diverge by an exceptionally large margin from the rate actually applied in international transactions. To smooth fluctuations in prices and exchange rates, a special Atlas method of conversion is used by the World Bank. This applies a conversion factor that averages the exchange rate for a given year and the two preceding years, adjusted for differences in rates of inflation between the country, and through 2000, the G-5 countries (France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States). From 2001, these countries include the Euro area, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. -World Bank national accounts data, andOECDNational Accounts data files

Solar power to the people: Rap-artist Akon smacks that kerosene out of #Africa, with solar academy June 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Energy Economics.
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???????????solar energy

“Politics is at the heart of Africa’s energy crisis. The continent’s power utilities are notoriously inefficient. This is partly down to mispricing and underinvestment. But it’s also because utilities are vehicles for political patronage and, in some cases, institutionalised theft.” “The sheer scale of Africa’s energy deficit often fuels a sense of fatalism and paralysis. Yet on the flipside of this crisis are enormous opportunities. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the world’s most abundant and least exploited renewable energy sources, especially solar power. With the price of solar panels plunging, there are opportunities for firms and governments to connect millions of poor households to affordable small-scale, off-grid systems. This would help the poorest most.” The Guardian, 5 June, 2015.

Rap-artist Akon smacks that kerosene out of Africa, with solar academy

If you haven’t heard any of Akon’s music such as his hit Smack That, you may missed the pun in the headline, and you may have also done yourself a service (depending on your music taste). However, it is outside of music that Akon is really helping humanity. Having already set up his Lighting Africa initiative, Akon, 42, is now setting up a solar academy in Mali, and will enlist the assistance of European solar technicians and experts to supply training programs, equipment and guidance. Solektra International is to partner on the project. The solar academy will teach students how to install and maintain solar powered electricity systems and microgrids. “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities,” said Akon Lighting Africa co-founder Samba Baithily. “We now need to consolidate African expertise.” “We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions,” added Niang. “With this academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further.” Akon’s Lighting Africa scheme is present in 14 African countries and continues to expand in an effort to help subsidise the cost of installing solar on households who want to switch from the polluting kerosine lamps (which are currently used by almost 250 million people in Africa without electricity), to solar energy. Read more at: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/rap-artist-akon-smacks-that-kerosene-out-of-africa-with-solar-academy-85077

Solar power to the people: how the sun can ease Africa’s electricity crisis

, The Guardian,  5 June 2015

    The scale of the continent’s energy deficit often fuels a sense of fatalism and paralysis. Yet on the flipside of this crisis are enormous opportunities
Solar power in Guinea-Bissau
A solar panel on a roof in Guinea-Bissau. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the world’s most abundant and least exploited renewable energy sources, especially solar power. Photograph: WestEnd61/Rex
“We shall make electric light so cheap that only the wealthy can afford to burn candles,” said Thomas Edison, inventor of the modern lightbulb. That was almost a century and a half ago. Today in Africa, 621 million people – two-thirds of the population – live without electricity. And the numbers are rising. A kettle boiled twice a day in the UK uses five times as much electricity as someone in Mali uses in a year. Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest oil exporters but 93 million residents depend on firewood and charcoal for heat and light. On current trends, there is no chance Africa will hit the global target of energy for all by 2030.

Sudanese refugees stand around solar stoves during a training session in Iridimi camp, north-eastern Chad
Sudanese refugees stand around solar stoves during a training session in Iridimi camp, north-eastern Chad. Photograph: Corbis

Unlike droughts, health epidemics and illiteracy, Africa’s energy crisis seldom makes the headlines. Yet the social, economic and human costs are devastating. Inadequate and unreliable electricity undermines investment. Power shortages cut economic growth by 2-4% annually. The toxic fumes released by burning firewood and dung kill 600,000 people a year – half of them children. Health clinics are unable to refrigerate life-saving vaccines and children are denied the light they need to study. Politics is at the heart of Africa’s energy crisis. The continent’s power utilities are notoriously inefficient. This is partly down to mispricing and underinvestment. But it’s also because utilities are vehicles for political patronage and, in some cases, institutionalised theft. Some $120m went missing from the Tanzanian state power utility last year through a complex web of offshore companies. The sheer scale of Africa’s energy deficit often fuels a sense of fatalism and paralysis. Yet on the flipside of this crisis are enormous opportunities. Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the world’s most abundant and least exploited renewable energy sources, especially solar power. With the price of solar panels plunging, there are opportunities for firms and governments to connect millions of poor households to affordable small-scale, off-grid systems.

This would help the poorest most. The latest Africa Progress Panel report, published this week, estimates that 138 million households living on less than $2.50 a day spend $10bn annually on energy-related products, including charcoal, candles and kerosene. Measured on a per-unit cost basis, these poor households pay 60-80 times more for energy than people living in London or Manhattan. Off-grid solar power could slash these costs, releasing resources for productive investment, health and education, driving down poverty and raising life expectancy. If you think this is a pipedream, think again. Bangladesh has installed more than 3.5m off-grid solar power systems, and the figure is set to double over the next few years. The key to success? Financial and technical support from government, allied to new business models. In Africa, a vibrant off-grid solar industry is poised for takeoff. The only thing missing in most countries is government action to support, encourage and enable this investment. Supporting the development of large-scale renewable energy is not just the right thing to do for Africa. It is also the smart thing to do on climate change. One of the symptoms of Africa’s energy poverty is the destruction of forests to produce charcoal for rising urban populations: fewer trees means the loss of vital carbon sinks.

Small-scale solar energy can provide millions of people with a first step on the energy ladder. But it cannot in the medium term fill the energy void left by large-scale utilities. African governments must aim for an annual growth rate in power generation of 10% a year for the next two decades – about five times current levels. Countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda have demonstrated this is possible. Both have simultaneously increased public investment while attracting large-scale foreign investment. Aid donors can help by providing bridging loans and helping to reduce risk.

Throughout history electricity has fuelled the growth that has created jobs, cut poverty, and improved the quality of life. Now, almost 150 years after Edison developed the lightbulb, it is time to spark an African energy revolution. We lack neither the finance nor the technologies to do so: all that’s needed is the vital connection of international cooperation and political will.

  • Kevin Watkins, director of the Overseas Development Institute, is lead author of the 2015 Africa Progress Panel report, Power, People, Planet.

Read more at:- http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2015/jun/05/solar-power-africa-sun-electricity-crisis

Prof. Habtamu Dugo Introduces the Oromo People at the ASA’s Conference (Indianapolis, Nov. 2014). #Oromia. #Africa March 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Fordi jeg er oromo, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land Grabs in Oromia, Oromia, Oromia at The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), Oromo Nation, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia.
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THE DEPTHS OF ETHIOPIA’S CORRUPTION. #Africa March 11, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Corruption in Africa, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia.
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O

According to the World Bank, companies held by business group the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) account for roughly half of the country’s modern economy. The group is closely allied with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF), an alliance of four parties.

EFFORT is a conglomerate formed from assets collected in 1991 by the EPRDF to rehabilitate the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia after it had been decimated by poverty and conflict. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the lead party in the EPDRF coalition.

Tigrayans, however, only account for eight percent of the country’s 90 million people. According to Abebe Gellaw, an exiled Ethiopian journalist and founder of Addis Voice, a web platform that provides news that is otherwise censored by the Ethiopian government, EFFORT has become a business racket for the Tigrayan elite who are monopolising major sources of the country’s wealth.

“The TPLF controls key government institutions and a significant portion of the economy. For over 15 years, EFFORT has been used by the TPLF to channel public resources and funds to the coffers of the TPLF through illegal deals, contracts, tax evasion, kick-backs and all sorts of illegal operations,” he told IPS.

Azeb Mesfin, Zenawi’s widow, currently manages the multi-billion-dollar business empire.

She claims her husband paid himself a modest salary of 250 dollars a month, yet the online website “the Richest.org”, which publishes the net worth of the richest people in the world, recently divulged that Meles was in fact one of Africa’s wealthiest leaders having amassed a personal fortune of three billion dollars.

http://www.africacradle.com/2015/03/11/the-depths-of-ethiopias-corruption/

The TPLF Corruption network

THE DEPTHS OF ETHIOPIA’S CORRUPTION

(Africa cradle, Finfinnee/London) – Ethiopia may be one of the fastest-growing, non-oil producing economies in Africa in recent years, but corruption in this Horn of Africa nation is a deterrent to foreign investors looking for stable long-term partnerships in developing countries.

“Bankers, miners and developers presenting projects to investment committees in countries that fare badly in corruption rankings frequently struggle to get investment. Corruption raises red flags because it makes local markets uncompetitive, unpredictable and therefore largely hostile to these long-term players,” Ed Hobey, the East Africa analyst at the political risk firm Africa Risk Consulting, told us.

On May 11, in the biggest crackdown on corruption in Ethiopia in the last 10 years, authorities arrested more than 50 high profile people including government officials, businessmen and a minister.

Melaku Fanta, the director general of the Revenue and Customs Authority, which is the equivalent rank of a minister, his deputy, Gebrewahid Woldegiorgis, and other officials were apprehended on suspicion of tax evasion.

But the arrests have raised questions about the endemic corruption at the heart of the country’s political elite.

Berhanu Assefa of the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission of Ethiopia told us that these arrests highlighted how corruption has insinuated itself into the higher levels of officialdom.

“Corruption is a serious problem we are facing. We now see that corruption is occurring in higher places than we had previously expected. Areas vulnerable to corruption are land administration, tax and revenue, the justice system, telecommunications, land procurement, licensing areas and the finance sector,” he said.

Ethiopia ranks 113 out of 176 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International, a global civil society coalition that encourages accountability. The country has also lost close to 12 billion dollars since 2000 to illicit financial outflows, according to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), whose statistics are based on official data provided by the Ethiopian government, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Dr. Getachew Begashaw, a professor of economics at Harper College in the United States, told IPS that there was a fear that the recent high profile arrests were merely political theatre designed to placate major donors such as the World Bank and the IMF, and to give credibility to the new regime’s fight against corruption. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn took over leadership of the country after Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died in August 2012.

“They are using this as a PR stunt to appease not only the donors, but to also dupe the Ethiopian people. Because many non-party affiliated Ethiopians in the business community are complaining, and this complaint is trickling down to the average people on the streets,” he told IPS.

According to the World Bank, companies held by business group the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) account for roughly half of the country’s modern economy. The group is closely allied with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF), an alliance of four parties.

EFFORT is a conglomerate formed from assets collected in 1991 by the EPRDF to rehabilitate the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia after it had been decimated by poverty and conflict. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the lead party in the EPDRF coalition.

Tigrayans, however, only account for eight percent of the country’s 90 million people. According to Abebe Gellaw, an exiled Ethiopian journalist and founder of Addis Voice, a web platform that provides news that is otherwise censored by the Ethiopian government, EFFORT has become a business racket for the Tigrayan elite who are monopolising major sources of the country’s wealth.

“The TPLF controls key government institutions and a significant portion of the economy. For over 15 years, EFFORT has been used by the TPLF to channel public resources and funds to the coffers of the TPLF through illegal deals, contracts, tax evasion, kick-backs and all sorts of illegal operations,” he told IPS.

Azeb Mesfin, Zenawi’s widow, currently manages the multi-billion-dollar business empire.

She claims her husband paid himself a modest salary of 250 dollars a month, yet the online website “the Richest.org”, which publishes the net worth of the richest people in the world, recently divulged that Meles was in fact one of Africa’s wealthiest leaders having amassed a personal fortune of three billion dollars. This has led many to question the provenance of the erstwhile leader’s wealth – when he had no known business engagements.

Illicit financial flows as a result of corruption are a major hindrance to a country’s development, undermining institutions, economies and societies. According to the Africa Progress Panel’s Africa Progress Report 2013, the continent is losing more through illicit financial outflows than it receives in aid and foreign direct investment.

A commitment to greater accountability and transparency to curtail illicit financial flows should occur on both the national and international levels, according to E. J. Fagan, deputy communications director at GFI.

“Reforms and policies are needed to strengthen customs enforcement and make governing apparatuses more transparent. The international community can create a multilateral system of automatic exchange of tax information that African countries like Ethiopia can access, so as to make it difficult for illicit actors to hide money and transfer large amounts of illicit money without detection,” he told IPS.

Begashaw added that corruption in the social sphere also breeds social inequality, disenfranchisement and a breakdown in national unity and civil society.

“The very existence of parastatals and TPLF-affiliated endowed business conglomerates like EFFORT is a major source of corruption. The Birr (Ethiopian currency) will depreciate and inflation will skyrocket. The capacity of the state to provide public goods and services will decline. Free market competition will be eroded. Government revenue will be reduced and the budget deficit will rise.

“If they are really serious about combating corruption, they should start doing so from the top,” he said.

Oromo: Ethiopian Government Official Threatens Local Authorities as Clampdown on Activists is Likely to Increase Before the Election in May February 25, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Leadership curse, Political Ponerology, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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???????????Oromo

 

 

In a leaked recording, a senior official of the Ethiopian Government, Mr Abay Tsehaye, threatens officials from Oromia regarding a delay in the implementation of the tendentious ’Addis Ababa master plan’. Oromo political and human rights activists fear an increased crackdown on the population, as they believe these threats are part of a wider persecution mainly due to the upcoming national elections, which will take place in May 2015.  http://unpo.org/article/17983

 

Below is an article published by O Pride:

 

The Oromo social media have been buzzing over comments attributed to senior Ethiopian official, Abay Tsehaye. In a leaked audio Tsehaye can be heard threatening officials from the state of Oromia for a delay in implementing the controversial Addis Ababa master plan.

Ethiopia is also gearing up for yet another symbolic election. The two events signal the potential return of crackdown on Oromo leaders and human rights activists.

In recent years the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has adopted a series of draconian legislations to profile and target dissenting Oromos. If EPRDF’s conducts during the past four elections are any guide, the persecution of the Oromo is likely to increase over the next few months ahead of the May [2015] vote.

The Tigrean Liberation Front (TPLF) controlled regime in Ethiopia associates every dissenting Oromo with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). After proscribing the group as a terrorist organization in 2011, authorities have turned to two legal instruments adopted in 2009 to criminalize and eliminate any presumed threat to its reign: the Civil Societies and Charities law and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

Counterterrorism has been on the international agenda since 1934 when states made a failed attempt to come up with a comprehensive international convention to prevent the rising threat of terrorism.

Most states now agree on the increasing risks of terrorism and the need for collective response. However, given the lack of comprehensive convention or even an agreement on what constitutes terrorism, national counterterrorism efforts have contributed to the worsening of human rights and civil liberties, especially in authoritarian states such as Ethiopia.

In its preamble Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism proclamation states that it aims, inter alia, to enable the country cooperate with other states in the fight against terrorism and to enforce its international obligations. However, the EPRDF made the true purpose of the legislation clear by proscribing major opposition groups as terrorists, thereby systematically reserving legally sanctioned power to relentlessly crackdown on any opposition to its rule.

Article 3 of the law stipulates very broad and vague definitions of terrorism, which has enabled the government to severely restrict human rights in violation of both the country’s constitution and its international treaty obligations. The disproportionate targeting of the Oromo using the counterterrorism legislation has been confirmed by independent investigations by human rights organizations such as the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The proscription of the OLF as a terrorist organization has made it easier for the TPLF regime to profile and intensify its crackdown on the Oromo.

The Ethiopian Constitution provides for the legitimate exercise of the right to assembly. However, the vague provisions of the anti-terrorism law has given the regime a free reign to link any attempt to advocate for the advancement of Oromo rights as a ‘moral’ support for the OLF. Authorities label any conscious Oromo as having involvement or sympathies for the OLF and hence a terrorist.

Multitudes of Oromo youth, activists and leaders involved with legally recognized political organizations, civil society groups; religious and cultural institutions have been victims of such unfounded association. Even critical members of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) are not immune from this collective persecution.

The anti-terrorism law classifies ‘damage to property’, natural resources, historical or cultural heritages, and interruption or disruption of any public service as acts of terrorism. The legitimate exercise of the right to peaceful assembly could result in a minor breach involving any of these activities effectively enables the TPLF government to classify them as terrorist activities and make a prior restraint to the right to peaceful assembly. These activities could have been governed under ordinary criminal law. One of the main purposes of an anti-terrorism legislation is to tackle serious threats to civilian lives not minor offenses that could be dealt with within the bounds of the existing criminal law.

Over the past half-decade thousands of Oromo students, teachers, business owners and farmers, who took part in peaceful protests, have been charged with under the sweeping legislation. These include those who were detained, tortured or killed last year following Oromia wide protests against Addis Ababa’s master plan, which Tsehaye has vowed to implement with or without regional support.

EPRDF has no tolerance for any dissenting political views but the impact of suppressing Oromo’s freedom of expression is far reaching. The anti-terrorism law provides harsh punishment for ‘publishing or causing the publication of a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all of members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement for terrorism.’

Such broad definitions have enabled the government to crackdown on Oromo journalists, bloggers and anyone who is critical about its oppressive laws and policies.

Currently, there is no active independent TV, radio, newspaper or magazine in Afaan Oromo inside Ethiopia. The government actively monitors and routinely blocks media outlets based outside the country. Oromo journalists working for state owned media that dare speak out on the interest of the Oromo nation are persecuted or threatened with dismissal. This restriction on freedom of expression has made independent Oromo press non-existent.

In theory, the 1995 Ethiopian constitution provides extensive guarantees for the rights of the Nation, Nationalities and Peoples in Ethiopia. Its preamble commences with the phrase ‘we the nations nationalities and peoples’ asserting the role of the constitution as an expression of their sovereignty and inalienable right to self-determination. The constitution also aims to rectify the oppression perpetrated against minority ethnic groups under previous Ethiopian regimes.

It makes the country’s nations and nationalities the sovereign power holders, entrusts them with the power to interpret the constitution and guarantees their right to self-determination which extends from establishing autonomous regional government to an independent State.

The formation of Oromia state was a vital step toward ending the century old yoke of oppression against the Oromo. The constitution gives Oromos the right to establish an organization, which can advocate for its self-determination. The decision to remain within federal Ethiopia or to form an independent state through a referendum is theirs to make.

The broad and vague provisions of Ethiopia’s terrorism law and its aggressive and discriminate application undermines Oromos right to self-determination, violates the country’s constitution and international treaties ratified by the country. The law has made it impossible for the Oromo to enjoy their right to self-determination in all of its expressions such as celebrations of Oromummaa, Waaqeffannaa, Afaan Oromo and Oromo history without fear of persecution. It is unthinkable to even imagine the establishment of a political organization that openly advocates for the creation of independent Oromia through referendum. All these acts are construed as terrorism and punishable under the anti-terror law.

The 1995 Constitution widely recognizes fundamental human rights for all in accordance with international human rights instruments that Ethiopia has ratified. As the supreme law of the land and its requirement of interpreting these human rights tenets in accordance with international human rights documents ratified by the country places more weight on the document. As such, any law and decisions of state organs that contravenes the constitution is null and void.

This means that the raft of oppressive legislations adopted by EPRDF, including the anti-terrorism proclamation are in clear violation of the constitution and a range of international treaties. This also includes the decision to expand Addis Ababa’s jurisdiction with clear disregard to a series of individual and collective human rights of the Oromo and the constitution’s “special status” clause with respect to Oromia’s rights.

Unfortunately, the 1995 Constitution suffers from various contradictions including some rooted in the document itself. In fact, it is used to create a facade of democracy and cover up EPRDF’s despotic rule. Besides, the constitution entrusts the task of interpreting the law to the House of Federation. The EPRDF dominated House considers the constitution as a political rather than a legal document. These factors made the constitution practically illegitimate outside the governing party. It serves the sole purpose of defending the regime’s transgressions.

Oromo activists should continue to appeal to international organizations and donors to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to respect human rights and monitor their aid disbursements. Yet real solutions to Oromos quest for liberty, equality and justice lie in locally based response. Given the circumstances, there is no better place to start than demanding the implementation of the constitution itself. Unruly officials like Abay Tsehaye must be challenged using the same constitution that they swore to uphold but break at will. And they must be brought to justice for the gross human rights violations they are committing against innocent civilians.  http://unpo.org/article/17983

Ethiopia’s poverty reduction – who benefits? February 20, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Corruption in Africa, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, Uncategorized.
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OEthiopia poverty reduction

 

Tigray first

The answer is clear: it is the people of Tigray, whose party, the TPLF led the fight against the Mengistu regime and took power in 1991, who benefited most. What is also striking is that the Oromo (who are the largest ethnic group) hardly benefited at all.

This is what the World Bank says about this: “Poverty reduction has been faster in those regions in which poverty was higher and as a result the proportion of the population living beneath the national poverty line has converged to around one in 3 in all regions in 2011.”

The World Bank does little to explain just why Tigray has done (relatively) so well, but it does point to the importance of infrastructure investment and the building of roads. It also points to this fact: “Poverty rates increase by 7% with every 10 kilometers from a market town. As outlined above, farmers that are more remote are less likely to use agricultural inputs, and are less likely to see poverty reduction from the gains in agricultural growth that are made. The generally positive impact of improvements in infrastructure and access to basic services such as education complements the evidence for Ethiopia that suggests investing in roads reduces poverty.”

Not surprisingly, the TPLF under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and beyond concentrated their investment on their home region – Tigray. The results are plain to see.

martinplaut

The World Bank has just published an authoritative study of poverty reduction in Ethiopia. The fall in overall poverty has been dramatic and is to be greatly welcomed. But who has really benefited?

This is the basic finding:

In 2000 Ethiopia had one of the highest poverty rates in the world, with 56% of the population living on less than US$1.25 PPP a day. Ethiopian households experienced a decade of remarkable progress in wellbeing since then and by the start of this decade less than 30% of the population was counted as poor.

There are of course many ways of answering the question – “who benefited” – were they men or women, urban or rural people. All these approaches are valid.

The Ethnic Dimension

But in Ethiopia, where Ethic Federalism has been the primary driver of government policy one cannot ignore the ethnic dimension.

Here this graph is particularly telling:

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10 of the Richest (and Poorest) Countries in the World. #Ethiopia #Africa February 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Poverty.
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O

The difference between rich and poor countries

10 of the Richest (and Poorest) Countries in the World
wallstcheatsheet.com

 

 

When politicians and motivational speakers are trying to excite and inspire an audience, they’ll often talk about America as “the land of opportunity,” or as the most “powerful nation in the world.” And, while these sentiments absolutely hold some degree of truth, America is by no means number one on every chart, wiping the floor with every other nation in every area.

Several other developed nations rank higher than America in regards to medical care, and even education. In terms of wealth, we’re among the wealthiest nations, but we’re certainly not number one in that area either. Using data from The World Bank, we’ve created a list of some of the richest and poorest nations in the world.

These lists are based on each country’s GDP per capita. That is, the sum value of the all of the finished goods produced within a country during a certain time period (often a year), divided by each country’s middle-of-the-year population. To provide a bit of perspective, we’ve included information on the cost to rent a small furnished apartment in some of these places as well.

10 of the richest countries in the world (ranked in order based on their GDP per capita)

Rank Nation GDP Per Capita (PPP) in USD Monthly rent for a 900-square-foot furnished apartment in an expensive area
1 Luxembourg $110,697.00 $2,260 (in Luxembourg)
2 Norway $100,818.50 $2,539 (in Olso)
3 Qatar $93,714.10 $3,353 (in Doha)
4 Macao SAR, China $91,376.00 $1,864 (in Macao)
5 Switzerland $84,815.40 $3,506 (in Zurich
6 Australia $67,458.40 $2,358 (in Sydney)
7 Sweden $60,430.20 $2,088 in (Stockholm)
8 Denmark $59,831.70 $2,206 in (Copenhagen)
9 Singapore $55,182.50 $3,750 (in Singapore)
10 United States $53,042.00 $4,208 (in New York City)
sources: Expatistan and The World Bank

10 of the poorest countries in the world (ranked in order based on their GDP per capita)

Rank Country GDP Per Capita (PPP)
1 Malawi $226.50
2 Burundi $267.10
3 Central African Republic $333.20
4 Niger $415.40
5 Liberia $454.30
6 Madagascar $463.00
7 Congo, Dem. Rep. $484.20
8 Gambia, The $488.60
9 Ethiopia $505.00
10 Guinea $523.10
Source: The World Bank

Read more: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/business/10-of-the-richest-and-poorest-countries-in-the-world.html/?a=viewall#ixzz3Rx3PSXq3
http://wallstcheatsheet.com/business/10-of-the-richest-and-poorest-countries-in-the-world.html/?a=viewall

 

Ethiopia is among the top 10 African countries in terms of being a source of illicit financial flows (IFFs), most of which makes ways to the developed world. #Africa February 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia.
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 OIllicit financial outflows from Africa Ethiopia makes among top 10

 With Nigeria leading the pack of top loser counties in Africa, Ethiopia alone lost a cumulative of USD 16.5 billion between 1970 and 2008. But, since 2010, Ethiopia more likely lost USD 10 billion which could have shortened significantly the 13 years journey that the country have taken to achieve MDG4 (reduce child mortality by two thirds ) to nine years. In addition to that, the panel found out that failing to curtail illicit financial flows cost the country some six percent of its GDP annually.

Ethiopia: Panel Names One of Ethiopia Top Sources for Illicit Financial Flow

By Berhanu Fekade,  All Africa

 

A high level panel delegated by the African Union (AU) and chaired by Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, has found Ethiopia to be among the top African nations in terms of being a source of illicit financial flows (IFFs), most of which makes ways to the developed world.

The panel was tasked to find out how prone Africa is for a systematic financial theft which mostly is orchestrated by giant multinational companies operating in the continent. The panel’s report dubbed “track it, stop it and get it” found that in five decades alone, the continent is estimated to have lost one trillion dollars; and currently nations including Ethiopia are losing some 60 billion dollars due to illicit financial flows across the board. With Nigeria leading the pack of top loser counties in Africa, Ethiopia alone lost a cumulative of USD 16.5 billion between 1970 and 2008. But, since 2010, Ethiopia more likely lost USD 10 billion which could have shortened significantly the 13 years journey that the country have taken to achieve MDG4 (reduce child mortality by two thirds ) to nine years. In addition to that, the panel found out that failing to curtail illicit financial flows cost the country some six percent of its GDP annually.

This figure puts the country among the top ten losers; rather creditors via illicit financial flows. Next to Nigeria, countries like Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Angola, Algeria, Cote d’Ivorie, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the top ten countries which are still losing out billions of dollars in form of “illegally earned, transferred or used” money as it (illicit financial flow) is defined by the panel. Names of the top illicit finance receiving nations include the US, China, India, Spain, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, and the like.

During the summit of heads of state and government which was concluded late last week, the panel appeared before the leaders to present its report on the findings of the three-year-long study that the panel has conducted. In its 15 main findings, the report made it loud and clear that the amount of money leaving Africa via IFFs is muscling up over the years. In 2010, the sums of dollars that flew out of the continent are estimated to be 60 billion dollars. Hence, the report went on to indicate that time has come to prompt the continent to the fact that illicit financial flows are political issues. According to Mbeki, the leaders have decided to adopt the report during the 24th ordinary summit.

The report basically made three classifications regarding the way illicit finances are flowing: via commercial activities, falsification of prices (trade mispricing), quantities and qualities of traded goods. Transfer pricing, profit shifting, tax evasion and the tax incentives which lack cost benefit analysis are some of the systemic commercial thefts the high level panel reported upon. Arms and drugs smuggling, human trafficking, poaching, oil and mineral theft are the criminal activities facilitated by illicit financial flows, the panel argued. Corruption and nontransparent deals are also the impeding factors to curtail the flight of finance from Africa. However, some studies allude to the fact that it is corruption which is extremely bleeding the continent really bad. These studies indicate that, up to 150 billion dollars annually is lost due to corrupt systems along the board in the continent.

To make matters worse, the continent faces huge gaps to finance infrastructural requirements as well as human development issues. The illicit flights alone largely exceed the official development assistants many African nations receive, Mbeki noted.

 

Read More at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201502090215.html

#Africa is NOT rising – Part III February 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Corruption in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, Uncategorized.
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Ocorruption-empire

“For African farmers, what some are calling rising has been a sinking.
The sabotage of African economies by Africans is on the rise, be it through deficit theft, corruption or wars that never seem to end, our capacity to destroy our treasures and manpower is growing faster than our capacity to build them.
This definitely does not constitute rising, because:

  • You cannot rise when you do not have electricity to power your industries.
    You cannot rise without technology or industries, not in the century, not ever.
    You cannot rise with poor or not transport infrastructure.
    You cannot rise when the majority of your people are sleeping on empty stomachs, raising malnourished children whose survival in the world is made uncertain by stunted development of their brains and bodies.
    You cannot be rising if your share of profits from agricultural production is declining.
    You cannot rise if you are busy wrecking your own economy through corruption, theft and other forms of sabotage
    And you definitely cannot be rising if the environment and biodiversity that sustains life is dying in your hands.

So, what am I saying? I am not saying that Africa cannot rise, on the contrary, I am saying that Africa CAN rise but only if we work extra hard, understand the world we live in and take charge of our destiny.

I love the final quote from Mr. Annan “We should not mistake hope for achievement”. Given the situation in Africa at the moment, I am scared to think the some leaders if not all are complacent with where we are. To me, this is leadership WITHOUT vision. There are so many issue plaguing our continent right now ASIDE from diseases. The greatest illnesses that kill us are birthed from we, ourselves. Power hunger, greed, selfishness, hate, over zealous self ambition, a disgusting lack of humility and intense vanity.

Even though might be what we see at the moment, I see an Africa that is free from the above. An Africa that is led by people wanting to make a difference in the world and not in the depth of their pockets. The situation now is NOT what is will always be. However, for that to happen, WE, the fourth generation MUST stand up in belief for our Africa, pull up our socks and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. What do you think?

No great nation was made by Wimps – You can quote me on that!”

Africa is not rising, survey shows. Research suggests that the boom benefits only a narrow elite while leaving the poor and unemployed behind.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/02/africa-not-rising-survey

DEAR AFRICA PROJECT

5064Here is me picking up from where I left off with my Africa is NOT rising article which is a featured presentation from Mr. AlI Mfuruki from Tanzania. The presentation was done at a Tedx event late last year. This is in fact part 3 of a 3 series post dedicated to his presentation (Simply because his assessment of the “Africa rising” media propaganda was so relevant and accurate for anyone wanting to build the continent). In case you have not had the chance to go through the first 2 posts, here you go: Africa is NOT rising – Part I & Africa is NOT rising – Part II

This is the final post in this series. Mind you; Only once you had read the first 2 posts, will you be able to get the full gist of his presentation. Please go on and click the links above then come…

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Land Grabs in #Africa: Farmers and local communities in north-eastern Nigeria are losing their livelihoods February 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Land Grabs in Africa.
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???????????

Global alliance deal evicts Nigerian farmers

This is Africa, investigative top story

http://thisisafrica.me/nigerian-farmers-evicted-global-alliance/

January 28, 2015 — Farmers and local communities in north-eastern Nigeria are losing their livelihoods, as American prisons tycoon turns their land into a profit-making venture under the guise of US and UK aid

Farmers in the Taraba area affected by Dominion Farms' takeover of the lands they've worked for generations

Farmers in the Taraba area affected by Dominion Farms’ takeover of the lands they’ve worked for generations

Small-scale farmers are being forced to leave the lands their families have farmed for generations so that an American corporation can set up a huge agribusiness plantation in north-eastern Nigeria, supported by the Nigerian, American and British governments.

Dominion Farms is run by evangelical Christian Calvin Burgess from Oklahoma in the United States. In the US his business Dominion Properties develops and leases properties to government bodies from the Drugs Enforcement Agency to US Border Patrol, and has also developed more high-security prison facilities than any other privately owned company in the US.

It’s clear that he personally regards his farm enterprises in Africa as missions – as it says on his own company website: “Mr Burgess is active in the organization and operation of faith-based missions focused on the citizens of poor and developing nations, including his personal investment in Dominion Farms Ltd.”

However Dominion Farms already has a questionable track record in Kenya, where it took over the Yala River area and was said to have displaced local farmers, as well as releasing chemicals and pollutants into local land and water.

In Nigeria, farmers in the state of Taraba are being ejected from lands they have traditionally used all their lives to make way for Dominion Farms to establish a 30,000 hectare rice plantation. The lands Dominion Farms is using are in fact part of a public irrigation scheme that thousands of families rely on for their food needs and wider livelihoods. People living locally were not only not informed about the Dominion Farms project but also had no opportunity to feed in to the process. Although the company has already started to occupy the land, local inhabitants have still heard nothing about any plans for compensation or resettlement.

The lands are part of an irrigation scheme that families rely on for their food needs

The lands are part of an irrigation scheme that families rely on for their food needs

The Dominion Farms project forms part of the US- and UK-backed New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa and the Nigerian government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, both of which pay lip service to food security and farmers’ livelihoods but which in practice seem to have the opposite effect.

‘Food security’ is often used as a way to justify large tracts of land being subjected to agricultural industrialisation, as well as moves to single monolithic crops. In fact, many local farmers’ groups and cooperatives – in Nigeria, Kenya and other countries subject to New Alliance incursions such as Ghana – point out that the idea of food security is an illusion as it is dependent on outside forces, often with hidden agendas. In fact, ‘food sovereignty’ is a much more useful aim, where local farmers can pool knowledge of indigenous crops and crop mixing techniques that allow them to be self sustaining and beyond.

Local farmer Mallam Danladi K Jallo said: “Our land is very rich and good. We produce a lot of different crops here like rice, beans, guinea corn, cassava, soya beans, millet, yam as well as fish farming and the rearing of animals like goats, sheep and cattle. But since Dominion Farms people arrived with their machine and some of their working equipment we were asked to stop our farm work and even leave our lands as the land is completely given to the Dominion Farms project.”

Rebecca Sule, one of the affected woman farmers from the local community, said: “The only story we hear is that our land is taken away and will be given out. We were not involved at any level. For the sake of the future and our children, we are requesting governmental authorities to ask Dominion Farms to stay away from our land.”

“We are requesting authorities to ask Dominion Farms to stay away from our land.”

“We are requesting authorities to ask Dominion Farms to stay away from our land.”

Raymond Enoch, who is one of the authors of a new report on Dominion Farms in Nigeria and director of the Center for Environmental Education and Development in Nigeria, said: “The local people are united in their opposition to the Dominion Farms project. They want their lands back so that they can continue to produce food for their families and the people of Nigeria.”

Heidi Chow, food sovereignty campaigner from Global Justice Now, which has been challenging the UK Government on its role in these events, said: “Aid money should be spent supporting communities to develop sustainable agriculture rather than supporting initiatives which are enabling companies to evict those communities. Initiatives like the New Alliance seem to be more about providing opportunities for agribusiness to carve up the resources of African countries rather than trying to address poverty or hunger.”

An area of the land that farmers have been evicted from

Today’s report was produced by two Nigerian NGOs, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Center for Environmental Education and Development, with the support of Global Justice Now and GRAIN. It is based on field investigations and interviews conducted with local farmers, community leaders and government officials.

Farmers, in the already volatile and insecure northern part of Nigeria, have been really left in limbo when it comes to their future livelihoods. Also affected are the pastoralists who have historically roamed across these lands with cattle. Readers in Nigeria, the US and the UK can contact their respective governments to tell them what they think about what is happening – while this has grave implications for the people affected, it is also a part of a huge US and UK-led agribusiness strategy that affects all countries that have signed up to the New Alliance (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania).

In the meantime, another Taraba farmer, Mallam Ismaila Gebi, is putting himself and his family on the line: “We had all the intention of writing to the state government. We were ready for peaceful demonstrations, dialogue and even to cry out to the whole world just to hear our voices, the voices of poor innocent farmers. But if none of the above mentioned strategies did not work out then we can mobilise against Dominion Farms for our land, the land of our forefathers, with our families and remain there until they answer us.”

 

 

Source:

http://thisisafrica.me/nigerian-farmers-evicted-global-alliance/

The new scramble for Africa: A soft power game January 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, China and Africa, Corruption in Africa, Youth Unemployment.
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“The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world’s established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs.” Al Jazeera

 “Some private-equity money is going into private health clinics and educational institutions such as universities. In much of the rich world, bringing the profit motive into public services is controversial; in Africa, where there is so much unmet need for such services, there is less of a taboo. In general, African entrepreneurs have begun to appreciate how private equity can help their businesses expand and, by improving such things as internal auditing and book-keeping, make them more robust. The rich world’s negative association of private equity with asset-stripping “vultures” does not apply here.” The Economist

 

Decades after the European powers carved up the African continent for their own imperial needs, Africa is undergoing a new wave of resource and strategic exploitation – some are calling it the new scramble for Africa.

The United States is increasing its footprint across Africa with AFRICOM, fighting terrorism and ensuring stability are the trumpeted motivations. Resource security is a more hushed objective.

But it is not just about the US.

During the last decade, China’s trade with Africa not only caught up with America’s, it has more than doubled it.

The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world’s established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs.

India, Brazil and Russia are all invested in Africa’s present and future, and old imperial powers like France are fixing to retain their loosening grip on the riches of former colonies.

So what does all this mean for Africa and Africans?

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/empire/newscrambleforafrica/2014/07/new-scramble-africa-2014723203324932466.html

Source: Al Jazeera

Read more at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/empire/newscrambleforafrica/2014/07/new-scramble-africa-2014723203324932466.html

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21640327-private-equity-investors-are-getting-hot-africa-businesses-there-need-all-capital?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/pe/subsaharanafrica

The World’s Next Country: Kurdistan. #Oromia January 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Catalonia, Kurdistan, Kurds, Self determination.
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O

oromia  Oromia

Kurdstan map

The World’s Next Country

(EBIL, Iraq) — As you walk around the streets of this city of 500,000, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in the capital of a small but up-and-coming Middle Eastern country. Police officers and soldiers sport the national flag on their uniforms — the same flag that flies proudly on public buildings, and, in a giant version, from a towering pole in the center of town. There’s a national anthem, which you might hear on the national evening TV news, broadcast solely in the local language. You’ll also notice imposing buildings for parliament and the prime minister, as well as thediplomatic missions of a number of foreign states, some of them offering visas.

Yet appearances deceive: This is not an independent state.

Yet appearances deceive: This is not an independent state. You’re in Iraq — more precisely, the part of northern Iraq known officially as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). You’ll be reminded of this fact when you open your wallet to pay for something: the local currency is still the Iraqi dinar (though the U.S. dollar circulates widely). Nor do any of the foreign governments that maintain consulates in Erbil recognize Kurdish statehood; nor, for that matter, does the government of the KRG itself. For the time being, Iraqi Kurdistan is still under Baghdad’s writ.

Emphasis on “for the time being.” In July of last year, KRG President Massoud Barzani asked his parliament to start preparing for a referendum on independence. It was a suitably dramatic response to the stunning disintegration of the Iraqi state under then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Earlier, in January 2014, Maliki’s government had cut off financial transfers to the Kurds as part of a fight over control of oil resources, enraging Erbil even as his repressive policies toward Iraq’s Sunni Arabs were fueling the dramatic rise of the Islamic State (IS). Last summer, after IS forces shocked the world by seizing control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, the jihadists pushed from there deep into Kurdish territory, at one point getting within 25 miles of Erbil.

Buoyed by U.S.-led airstrikes on IS positions, the Kurdish army, the Peshmerga, soon rallied, forcing the Islamic State to retreat. But the Kurds didn’t stop there. The collapse of the demoralized Iraqi Army in large swathes of northern Iraq had created a vacuum that Kurdish troops were only too happy to fill. Almost by accident, KRG leaders abruptly found themselves ruling 40 percent more territory than at the start of the conflict.

This expansionbrought a particularly important prize: Kirkuk, the city long hailed by Iraqi Kurdish nationalists as “our Jerusalem,” the spiritual and political focus of a future state.

This expansion brought a particularly important prize: Kirkuk, the city long hailed by Iraqi Kurdish nationalists as “our Jerusalem,” the spiritual and political focus of a future state. It also helps that Kirkuk sits at the center of one of Iraq’s biggest oil fields, and that gives the Kurds a lucrative source of income that could help to sustain the economy of a new country. Iraq’s Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen have long squabbledover control of the city; in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein poured huge resources into an “Arabization” campaign that used forced population transfers to undermine Kurdish influence there. In June 2014, by contrast, the government in Baghdad could only look on helplessly as Peshmerga forces supplanted fleeing Iraqi troops and took over the city.

The 30 million Kurds of the Middle East don’t only live in Iraq, of course. But all of them are feeling the tremors of change. Iran, which has a significant Kurdish minority of its own, is strengthening its ties with the KRG, which it views as a vital ally in the fight against IS. In Syria, the civil war has enabled Kurds to set up wide-ranging self-administration in the northeast of the country — thus eroding the border between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, who now travel back and forth across the line without visas. And in Turkey, home to the region’s largest Kurdish minority, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has abandoned long-held policies aimed at the suppression of a distinct Kurdish identity and is conducting peace talks with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), responsible for a decade-long insurgency in eastern Turkey.

All of this means that the Kurds, who enjoy the unenviable status of the world’s largest nation without a state, now find themselves on the verge of establishing their first viable national homeland — nearly a century after the Great Powers carved up the post-World War I Ottoman Empire into the countries of today’s Middle East, ultimately leaving the Kurds out in the cold. (The Soviet Union sponsored the creation of a Kurdish republic in Iran in 1946, but it quickly collapsed when the Soviets withdrew their support.)

“An independent Kurdistan is something that all Kurds dream of,” retiree Ramzi Maaroof, 65, told me as we chatted in the Erbil bazaar. “I’ve been waiting all my life to see it.”

“An independent Kurdistan is something that all Kurds dream of,” retiree Ramzi Maaroof, 65, told me as we chatted in the Erbil bazaar. “I’ve been waiting all my life to see it.”

If the dream finally becomes a reality, there is one nation in particular that the Kurds will have to thank for it: the United States. Even though U.S. policy toward the Kurds has often been subordinated to the same spirit of realpolitik that defines so many of Washington’s policies in the region, today’s Iraqi Kurdistan traces its origins to two key events: the establishment of a no-fly zone over the region after the Allied victory over Saddam in 1991, and the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator in the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. As a result, Kurds tend to be overwhelmingly pro-American — to an extent that comes as quite a jolt to anyone who’s spent time in other parts of the Middle East.

And yet President Obama and his predecessors in the White House have all been notably reluctant to give their blessing to Kurdish statehood — out of the not entirely unreasonable fear that creating a new player in such a volatile neighborhood could invite serious instability. To name but one possible risk: a declaration of secession by Iraqi Kurdistan could prompt the final collapse of rump Iraq into separate Sunni and Shiite statelets, intensifying sectarian conflict throughout the region.

This climate of uncertainty helps to explain why Kurdish leaders respond to questions about their timetable for statehood with perceptible caution. “The path is full of obstacles,” says Fuad Hussein, President Barzani’s chief of staff. Iraqi Kurds, he says, are still a long way from standing on their own feet economically. Kirkuk may give them a promising source of petroleum, but since they have no access to the sea, they’re dependent on the goodwill of Baghdad or their neighbors to ship their oil to world markets. And even if matters have improved in recent years, Hussein notes, that goodwill is far from given. Over the past century all the governments that harbor big Kurdish minorities have embarked on brutal efforts to tamp down any hint of Kurdish self-determination — and Kurds haven’t forgotten. More urgently, Iraqi Kurds still face a major existential threat from the new Islamic State stretching along a 600-mile border to the south. Andcollapsing oil prices certainly don’t help.

Far from wholeheartedly embracing President Barzani’s announcement of the independence referendum, most Kurdish officials now hasten to downplay it. “There will come a time when Kurdistan will become an independent state,” Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani told me. “Whether now is the right time is not clear.” For his part, Hussein stressed that the Kurds are intent on giving Iraq another chance — especially now that the troublesome Maliki, who resigned in September, has given way to the much more congenial Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who recently signed a deal with the Kurds ensuring them a 17 percent share of Iraqi oil revenues as well as funding for the Kurdish military. (Indeed, Barzani’s referendum announcement may have been aimed partly at pressuring Baghdad to get serious about negotiations.)

“We want to give Iraq a chance to be a democratic state,” Hussein assured me.

“We want to give Iraq a chance to be a democratic state,” Hussein assured me. He didn’t have to add that the Kurds have been waiting for just such an outcome for more than a decade now, and that they can’t be expected to wait forever.

But they’ll still need to proceed carefully. Given the vulnerabilities of their position, the Kurds can’t afford to be seen as the ones responsible for the final demise of Iraq. If Iraqi Kurdistan really does decide to grab the ring of independence, it will need to make sure that Baghdad, its own neighbors, and, perhaps, most importantly, the United States, are all more or less reconciled with the move. Hussein compares the birth of a Kurdish state to a newborn baby: “We don’t want to have a child that has many illnesses, and that will pass away after a few months. A child must have a good environment, and parents that will take care of it.” If Kurdistan is to be born, he says, “it must be a part of stability in this area.” Of course, even the healthiest babies have sometimes been known to give fits to the neighbors. The Kurds may yet pull it off. But don’t bet on it anytime soon.

Read at:  https://foreignpolicy.com/category/christian-caryl/

Africa: resource curse or leadership curse? January 17, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Corruption in Africa, Dictatorship, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Leadership curse.
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???????????what is wealth

The main challenge for Africa is to reinvent how it grows, in a way that creates opportunities for all. The opportunity to go to a good hospital; the opportunity to attend a competent school and develop technical and intellectual skills; the opportunity of not being discriminated against based on gender; or simply the opportunity to produce a couple more litres of milk and become an abundant farmer instead of a subsistence farmer. The key is having the possibility of living like Malik wanted to, by trading and sharing his goats and vegetables, or choosing a more “westernized” lifestyle.

In order to shape this new kind of growth and reverse this leadership curse, it is fundamental to reinvent leadership itself.

Africa’s “eternal” incumbent leaders – such as Equatorial Guinea’s president, Obiang; his Uganda congener, Museveni; or Cameroon’s head, Biya – have not steered the wheel in the direction of generalised prosperity. They have instead narrowed the chances for anyone else to achieve it.

Africa needs leaders from different disciplines, places and generations, who are capable of challenging the status quo and framing a new development phase. And the importance of involving both policy and business is large. The curse can only be lifted if government, civil society and business leaders collaborate to craft long-term strategies for their countries and people.

In a nutshell, there is a need to develop African leaders who are capable of acting differently. Leaders who not only have a broad understanding of the contextual world but also have an in-depth knowledge and respect for local behaviour. Leaders who are capable of composing a better future by going beyond the golden GDP growth quest or revenues pursuit; and who instead value their ecosystems as a whole: their existing human and natural resources. Leaders who Malik would be proud to go home to.

The big question remains: is Africa ready to overcome these barriers?

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/xynteo-partner-zone/2015/jan/16/africa-resource-curse-or-leadership-curse?CMP=share_btn_fb

Africa: resource curse or leadership curse?

Xyntéo analyst Joao Sousa blogs on an encounter that made him reflect on what the golden GDP quest means for the people of Africa

Joao Sousa, The Guardian

A few weeks ago, on one of my regularly-occurring train rides to Oslo airport, I sat next to someone who would make me rethink the way I perceive the world. This man was a 40-something Somalian who had been living in Oslo for longer than he wanted. I greeted him and he greeted me back, telling me his name was Malik and that he was from Jilib, in Somalia.

I have always been curious about life in Somalia, and wondered whether the Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah’s books convey the media-blurred reality of the place.

So I asked him what it was like in Somalia. “Very good,” he said, “in Somalia we would be very rich if it were not for the war.”

I wondered what he could be talking about, considering Somalia isn’t known for riches and resources. He then showed up humans’ differing perceptions of “wealth” by saying, “We have lots of goats and we even grow our own vegetables.” Wealth, to Malik, is evidently very different from wealth according to the average westerner.

Knowing the situation in Somalia is now more stable, I asked him whether he had any plans to go back, and he told me, with watering eyes, that one of his remaining dreams is to return home and live from what he can get from the land, with his community.

The same week that I met Malik, newspapers all over the world were full of stories about Nigeria’s “miraculous” GDP recalculation, which saw its numbers double overnight despite “missing billions”. The ordinary Nigerian person, however, stood exactly in the same place as they were the day before.

Nigeria and Somalia are very different sub-Saharan countries. The first, one could say, suffers from the resource curse; the second simply suffers. Nigeria is the largest African oil producer; Somalia has one of the lowest GDP per capita (PPP) in the world, 90 times lower than in Norway.

But in spite of the differences the two countries have many similarities (and, no, I don’t mean Boko Haram and Al Shabaab). Both are highly exposed to climate change, which degrades their land and causes food and water scarcity. Both have dysfunctional educational systems, malfunctioning political arrangements, hindered rules of law, and flawed wealth distribution. (Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, was right when he connected all these issues in one sentence: “We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change.”) And both have an enormous untapped natural and human potential that can only be met if their future leaders are visionary and transformative.

Spin the globe, close your eyes and try to point to Africa. The probability is that your finger lands on a country with similar symptoms to Nigeria and Somalia. Look at Angola, with its rocketing growth over the last decade; or the frequently-cited success story of Botswana, with its impressive economic indicators. GDP figures might indicate everything is rosy, but scratch the surface and the symptoms described above – dysfunctional education systems and so on – remain. Oil-rich, gas-rich, tanzanite-rich, just-culturally-rich or not-rich-at-all, many African countries suffer from the same syndromes. This makes me wonder if there is a resource curse or if it is instead a leadership curse.

Africa’s asymmetric and trembling growth has its foundations in models primarily designed by and for developed countries. Moreover, its success is – most times wrongfully – measured by its countries’ GDPs alone, leading to occurrences like the misleading example of Nigeria’s recent GDP recalculation.

Crucially, millions of “Maliks” don’t think GDP is relevant when they think about measuring wealth. By Malik’s measure – having the ability to live among his community and from the land – Africa is perfectly placed to create a new kind of growth, by approaching consumption and wealth in a way that isn’t simply about GDP or revenue and that is, instead, about looking holistically to people’s current and future needs and behaviours.

The main challenge for Africa is to reinvent how it grows, in a way that creates opportunities for all. The opportunity to go to a good hospital; the opportunity to attend a competent school and develop technical and intellectual skills; the opportunity of not being discriminated against based on gender; or simply the opportunity to produce a couple more litres of milk and become an abundant farmer instead of a subsistence farmer. The key is having the possibility of living like Malik wanted to, by trading and sharing his goats and vegetables, or choosing a more “westernized” lifestyle.

In order to shape this new kind of growth and reverse this leadership curse, it is fundamental to reinvent leadership itself.

Africa’s “eternal” incumbent leaders – such as Equatorial Guinea’s president, Obiang; his Uganda congener, Museveni; or Cameroon’s head, Biya – have not steered the wheel in the direction of generalised prosperity. They have instead narrowed the chances for anyone else to achieve it.

Africa needs leaders from different disciplines, places and generations, who are capable of challenging the status quo and framing a new development phase. And the importance of involving both policy and business is large. The curse can only be lifted if government, civil society and business leaders collaborate to craft long-term strategies for their countries and people.

In a nutshell, there is a need to develop African leaders who are capable of acting differently. Leaders who not only have a broad understanding of the contextual world but also have an in-depth knowledge and respect for local behaviour. Leaders who are capable of composing a better future by going beyond the golden GDP growth quest or revenues pursuit; and who instead value their ecosystems as a whole: their existing human and natural resources. Leaders who Malik would be proud to go home to.

The big question remains: is Africa ready to overcome these barriers?

See more at http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/xynteo-partner-zone/2015/jan/16/africa-resource-curse-or-leadership-curse?CMP=share_btn_fb

http://amzn.to/1KU6O9N

2015 Global Economic Prospects January 15, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Economics.
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???????????World Bank Group

The global economy is still struggling to gain momentum as many high-income countries continue to grapple with the legacies of the global financial crisis and emerging economies are less dynamic than in the past. After rising marginally in 2014, to 2.6 percent, world GDP will grow by an estimated 3.0 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent in 2016, supported by gradual recovery in high-income countries, low oil prices, and receding domestic headwinds in developing countries. Developing economies are expected to see an increase in growth from 4.4 percent in 2014 to 4.8 percent and 5.3 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Lower oil prices will lead to sizeable real income shifts to oil-importing countries from oil-exporting ones. Risks to the global outlook remain tilted downwards. Weak global trade growth is anticipated to persist during the forecast period, potentially for longer than currently expected should the Euro Area or Japan experience a prolonged period of stagnation or deflation. Financial conditions could become volatile as high-income economies tighten monetary policy on diverging timelines. Rapid reassessment of risk could also be triggered by a spike in geopolitical tensions, bouts of volatility in commodity markets, or financial stress in major emerging market economies. Worryingly, the weak recovery in many high-income economies and slowdowns in several large emerging markets may be a symptom of deeper structural weaknesses.
Developing countries face significant policy challenges in an environment of weak global growth and considerable uncertainty. Fiscal buffers need to be rebuilt to ensure the effectiveness of fiscal policy in the future. Central banks need to balance policies to support growth against measures to stabilize inflation and currencies or to bolster financial stability. Progress on implementing structural reforms must be continued to boost long-term growth. The fragile global outlook makes the implementation of growth enhancing policies and structural reforms even more urgent to improve the odds of achieving the World Bank Group’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
The current juncture presents a window of opportunity for reform. The sharp decline in oil prices means that policymakers could implement subsidy and tax reforms to help rebuild fiscal space or finance better targeted pro-poor policies while removing distortions that hinder activity. The challenge now is for policymakers to seize this opportunity.
Kaushik Basu, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President
The World Bank

Read more at https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/20758

http://amzn.to/1KU6O9N

What is a developed country? January 12, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Developed country, Economics.
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“A developed country is one, where all its people are literate, have respect for their fellow beings around them, have job security, medical insurance, a well planned and organized retirement for elderly, an organized system of operating private business, an organized system of security, both for individual, family, business and as well as society, and most importantly, a vision to develop with science.”

Oromian Voices: Current Affairs, News, Views, Analysis and Entertainment from Oromia Media Network, Madda Walaabuu and Other Various sources January 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient African Direct Democracy, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development.
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5 comments

O     Oromia knwoledge and social media sources

http://www.gadaa.com/oduu/

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/

http://www.bakkalchatv.com/

http://qeerroo.org/2014/03/29/sbo-bitootessa-30-bara-2014-oduu-fi-qophiilee-keenya-kan-dhageenyee-fi-dubbifne-irraa-dabalatee-waan-gara-garaa-qabnaa-nu-caqasaa/

https://oromos.com/

Do you know this facts about Oromo and Oromia? http://www.oromoliberationfront.info/press/Oromo-flyer-ver.4.0.pdf

http://qeerroo.org/2014/12/20/sbo-mudde-21-bara-2014-oduu-dhimma-artistoota-oromoo-irratti-gabaasa-akkasumas-qophiilee-adda-addaa/

SBO Sadaasa 30 Bara 2014 Oduu – Gabaasa Oduu – Filannoo Wayyaanee irratti qophii qophaa’ee fi Qophiilee biroo

http://http://qeerroo.org/2014/11/02/sbo-sadaasa-02-bara-2014-oduu-sirna-yaadannoo-sadaasa-9-guyyaa-fdg-waggaa-9ffaa-oslo-norwayitti-sadaasa-01-2014-geggeeffamee-gaaffii-fi-deebii-art-caalaa-bultum-kutaa-xumuraa-fi-sadaasa-9-guyyaa-f/

Does British aid to Africa help the powerful more than the poor?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ethiopia/11198471/Does-British-aid-to-Africa-help-the-powerful-more-than-the-poor.html

 

 

UK gives £1bn to brutal Ethiopian regime

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4250755.ece

Thousands of Ethiopians tortured by brutal government security forces… while Britain hands over almost £1 BILLION in aid money

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812850/Thousands-Ethiopians-tortured-brutal-government-security-forces-Britain-hands-1-BILLION-aid-money.html#ixzz3HZYFsNOe
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812850/Thousands-Ethiopians-tortured-brutal-government-security-forces-Britain-hands-1-BILLION-aid-money.html

 

http://https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/10/omn-oduu-onkololeessa-9-2014/

SBO Onkoloolessa 08 Bara 2014 Oduu – Qophii Ayyaana Irreechaa fi SBO Sagantaa Afaan Amaaraa

Ummatni Oromoo fi dargaggootni Oromoo addatti ammo barattootnii University, Kolejotaa fi Manneen barnootaa sadarkaa tokkoffaa fi Lammaffaa torbanoota lamaan darbe gaaffii sirna fi seeraa Mootummaan Oromiyaa akka deebisuu fi mirga abbaa biyyummaa Oromoo gaafataa turre. Haa tahu malee gaaffii keenyaaf deebiin mootummaa human Polisa Federalaa biyyattiin qabdu hidhannoo guutuu waliinii fi waraana Agazii dargaggota, barattootaa fi ummata harka qullaa irratti bobbaasuun Oromiyaa guutuu dirree waraanaa godhee lubbuun namaa hedduu fi qabeenyi barbadaawee jira. Gaaffiin keenya gaaffii mirgaa fi seera qabeessaa waan taheef: Ummatni fi barattootni kumaan lakkaawaman kan mana hidhaa haaraa bakka bakkatti Polisi Federalaa bane keessatti dararamaa jiran hatattamaan akka gadi lakkifaman. Galmeen hidhamtootaa kumaan lakkaawamu kunis Ummta Oromoo fi addunyaaf ifa akka tahu. Kanneen Barattotaa fi Ummata Oromoo nagaa meeshaa baraneen bakka bakkatti ajjeefaman kudhanootaan lakkaawaman ajjeesan fi akkataa itti ajjeefaman Qaama Walaba Tahe Mootummoota Gamtoomaniin utubameen akka qoratamanii fi seeratti akka dhihaatan. Hidhamtootni Siyaasaa biyyatti guutuu keessa waggaa 23 darban hidhaa keessatti murtii kijibaan fi murtii malee dararamaa jiran hundi haal duree tokko malee akka gadi lakkifaman. Polisni Federalaa fi waraanni mootummaa Federalaa naatoo tokko malee irra deddeebi’ee ummata Oromoo fi ummatoota biro mirga isaanii nagaan gaafatan rashanaa jiru Oromiyaa keessaa hatattamaan akka gadi lakkisee bahu. Poolisnii fi Dabballootni Wayyanneen/EPRDF University, Kolejotaa fi Manneen barnootaa keessaa akka gadi lakkifamanii fi mooraan barnootaa hundi siyaasaa partii EPRDF fi tikaa fi Poolisa irraa bilisa akka tahu. Oromiyaa Guutuu Keessatti Ummata Oromoo lafa irraa buqqisuun akka hatattamaan dhaabbatu fi kanneen buqqifamaniif beenyaan akka baafamu Mirgi Hiree Murteeffannaan Ummata Oromoo akka kabajamu Qabsoon Bilisumma Oromoo fi sochiin gaaffii mirgaa Qeerroon gaggeeffamu nagaan kan gaggeeffamuu fi nagaan mirga falamtuu tahuu mirkaneessina. Qabsoo karaa nagaa gaggeessinu kanaaf deebii karaa nagaa akka nuuf kennamu gadi jabeessinee gaafatna. Qabsoon keenya fi sochiiin nagaan godhamu kun ummata nagaa saba kamuu, lammii kamuu fi nam tokkeenis tahe gurmuun kan nagaan hojjatatee bahee galu ykn qabeenya isaa kan target godhate miti. Gaffiin keenya sirna cunqursaa fi gaaffiilee mirga ummata Oromoo fi hegeree jireeneya keenya kan ilaalan akka deebii argatan qofaa dha. Kanneen maqaa keenaan ummata biraa irratti duulaa fi doorsisa godhan ni mormina. Gaaffiilee keenyas barnoota keenya barataa ummata keenya waliin nagaan akka deebii argatan sochii keenya itti fufaa hanga gaaffiin keenya deebii gahaa argatan kan hin dhaabbatne tahuu mirkaneessina Sochiin keenya fi gaaffiin keenya kan haqaa waan tahaniif humni Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo caasaa isaa guutummaa Oromiyaa keessatti diriirfatee sochii kana adda durummaan erga gaggeessuu eegalee waggoota lama gahee jira. Ummanni Oromoo Oromiyaa keessa fi biyya alaa jiru ofitti simatee deggersa nuu taasisaa jiruuf guddoo galateeffatna. Gama biraan ammo humnoonnii fi namoonni dhuunfaan sochii warraaqsaa Oromiyaa keessatti finiinee ol bahe kana gaaffii haqaati jechaa gama tokkoon ammo sochiin biyya keessaa hogganummaa hin qabu jechuun qindoominaa fi bilchina dhalooti ammaa irra gahee sochii FDG Oromoo kana gadi xiqqeesuun sochii hogganaa fi qindoomina kan hin qabne fakkeessuun warri dhiheessuu barbaaddan doggoggora kana irraa of ittiftanii dargaggoonni humnaa fi dandeettii sochii kana qindeessuu qabaachuu keenya bartanii akka nu cinaa dhaabbattan waamicha isinii goona. Kana malees nagaa jallattootni fi kannen mirga ilma namaa kabajan hundi akka nu cinaa dhaabbatan waamicha keenya gadi jabeessinee dabarfatna Ilmaan Oromoo waraana mootummaa , Poolisa Federala, hidhattootaa gandaa fi poolisni Oromiya obbolaa keessan irratti dhukaasuu keessaa akka dhaabbattan fi yoo waamicha kana diddan seenaa fi seerri akka isin gaafatu hubachiifna. Waraana, Poolisa Federalaa fi tika mootummaa Fedralaa keessa kan jirtan hundi ummata nagaa fi barattoota da’aimman irratti dhukaasuu akka irraa dhaabbattan gadi jabeessinee gaaftna. Seenaa fi seeraan akka itti gafatamuufdeemtan hubachiifna Ka’i Qeerroo!! Qabsoon Hanga galii isaa gahu Itti Fufa! Qeerroo Bilisummaa Caamsaa 9, 2014 Finfinnee Ibsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo, Caamsaa 9, 2014 Finfinnee Gadaa.com

OROMO VOICE RADIO

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http://http://qeerroo.org/2014/10/03/sagalee-qeerroo-bilisummaa-oromoo-onkoloolessa-03bara-2014/

http://http://qeerroo.org/2014/10/02/sagalee-qeerroo-bilisummaa-oromoo-qophii-afaan-amaariffaa-kan-onkoloolessa-01-2014/

                      Ibsa Ejjannoo Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ/UOSG

Ibsa Ejjannoo Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ/UOSG

Fulbaana/September 17, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/09/ibsa-ejjannoo-hirmaattota-kora-38ffaa-tbojuosg/ Date: 14-09-2014 TBOJ (UOSG) Tel: 01745994312 E-Mail: tboj.uosg@gmail.com Kora 38ffaa Tokkummaa Barattoota Oromoo Jarmanii (TBOJ) Fulbaana 14 bara 2014 Sa’a booda saatii 12:15 irraa egalee waaree booda amma saatii 18:30 magaalaa Frankfurt, galma Universitii Joon Volfigaang kessatti geggefame. Kaayyoon waliga’ii:- 1ffaa haala qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo (QBO) yeroo ammaa irratti mariiyatuun hubannoo siyasaa argatuu fi 2ffaa raawii hojii TBOJ/UOSG Caayaa ABO Onkoololeessa 6 bara 2012 amma Fulbaana 14, 2014 gamaagamun booda Koree Hojii Geggesitu (KHG) gadaa ittii aanuu filachuudha. Walga’iin ergaa Eeebbaa Manguddoo Oromoottin tahe boode, faaruu Alaabaa Oromiyaan akkasumas Jaallan QBO irrati otto falmanuu kufaniif yaadannoo godhun banamee. Hogganaa olaanaa ABO mata duree bara 1990 asi “QBO” ABOn gageefamu maal akka fakkaatu fi maal keessa akka darbe fi amma hoo ABO maal akka gochaa jiru akkasumas WBOn maal gochaa akka jiru irratti Ibsaa balaa Miseensoota TBOJ/UOSG kennaniruu. Mata duree kana irratti gaaffii fi deebiin akkasumas Yaada Ijaaroo tahan balinaan kennaniruu. Itti-aansuun gabaasaan raawii hojii Onkoololeessa bara 2012 haga Fulbaana 14, 2014 KHG TBOJ fi KHG damilee TBOJ irraa hirmaatota waliga’iif dhiyaate. Gabaasaa gamaagamuu fi raggaasisun booda KHG gadaa ittii aanuu filachuu fi ibsa Ijjannoo baafatun sagantaan koraa 38ffaa TBOJ milkiin xumurameera. Ibsa Ejjannoo Nuti miseensotiin TBOJ walga’ii kana hirmaannee turre haala siyaasaa QBO irratti ergi mariyanneen booda, ummata Oromoo fi Oromiyaa sirna gabiromfannaa (kolonii) bara ammaa motummaa Habashaa, gartuu wayaaneen (TPLFn) hogganamaa jiru, jalatti gidirfamaa jiru bilisomsuuf qabsoo hadhooftuu hogganummaa jaarmaa ABOn geggefamaa jiru gutummaan tumsaa, gumaata nu irraa barbaadamu gama maraan kennuuf qophii ta’uu kenya ni mirkaneessina! 1. QBO hirmannaa ummata Oromoo fi hogganummaa ABOn geggefamaa jiruu ni deggerra! 2. Qabsoo hidhannoo, siyasaa, fi dipilomasii ABO geggessaa jiru diinagideen ni utubna! 3. Qabsoo fincila diddaa gabirummaa karaa qeerroo Oromiyaa, barattotaa, fi ummata Oromoo geggefamaa jiru waan nu irraa barbaachisu maraan ni tumsina! 4. Sagalee QBO haala hundaa kessatti firotaa fi dinoota ni dhageessifina! 5. Saamichaa Lafa fi Qabeenya Oromoof Oromiyaa akkasumas shororkaa ummata Oromoo irratti dinoti fi farreen QBO raawataa jiraatan injifachuuf hubannoo fi kutannoon sagantaa QBO milkomsuuf heera jaarmaa ni tiksina! 6. Araaraa ABO QC fi ABO giduuti tahe labsamee ni deggerra! 7. Yakkoota dhittaa mirga-namomaa ummata Oromoo irratti karaa motummaa gabironfataa TPLF (Wayaanee) raawatamaa jiru ni balaaleffanna! 8. Hogganummaa motummaa wayaaneen yakkoota dhiittaa mirga namaa ummata Oromoo irratti raawatamaa jiru hambisuuf akka hawaasoti Addunyaa dhibbaa godhan ni gaafanna! 9. Lammii Oromiyaa kanneen meeshaa motummaa TPLF ta’uun yakkoota hiriyaa hin qabne ummata Oromoo irratti raawachisuun sirna motummaa Habashootaa tiksuuf boojiyamtan akka gara moraa QBO makamuun mirga abbaa biyyummaa ummata Oromoo kabachisuuf qabsooftan waamicha ilaalcha Oromummaa hundeefate isiniif erginerra! 10. Master Plan –> Master killer dha! Kana cimsinee morminaa! Injifatnnoon ummata Oromoof! Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ (Jarmanii, Frankfurt – Fulbaana 14, 2014) KHG TBOJ/UOSG Tokkummaa Bartoota Oromoo Biyya Awurooppaa, Damee Jarmanii Union of Oromo Students in Europe, German Branch Postfach 510610 • 13366 Berlin Tel: + 49 (0)151 63727696 e-Mail: tboj.uosg@gmail.com   embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUQxnvRrm5Q[/embed]      

The Oromo Gadaa System Lecture Tour: By Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo of Caffee Tulama at the OSA Workshop on “Gadaa Research and Renaissance”

Reported  Fulbaana/September 4, 2014  By  Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

The following is a statement from the President of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), Ob. Jawar Mohammed. ———————————————————————– SUBJECT: Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo’s Visit to North America You might recall that Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo, due to issues related to his visa, was unable to arrive on time to speak and participate as a distinguished guest at OSA’s 28th Annual Conference that took place at Howard University in Washington, DC on August 2-3, 2014, with the theme, “Gadaa and Oromo Democracy: Celebrating Forty Years of Research and Renaissance.” We are pleased to inform you that he was finally able come to the United States. OSA has extended its theme focusing on the Gadaa democracy through the end of the year, and Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa will speak at a series of OSA-organized workshops in various cities in the United States from September 6-27, 2014 – focusing on the ongoing work of reviving the Gadaa system.

AbbaaGadaaBayyanaaSanbatooDC2014_2He will also participate as a Guest of Honor at several Irreecha celebrations organized by the Oromo in the Diaspora.We invite all who are interested in the Gadaa democratic system, and Oromo culture in general, to attend these workshops and participate in the spectacular Irreecha celebrations to be held throughout September and October 2014.We would like to extend our appreciation to local individuals and institutions – who participated in preparing these events. We are also grateful to the United States Consular Service for the assistance they provided in issuing Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa’s travel documents.The attached flyer contains general information about dates and cities where Abbaa GadaaBayyanaa will be speaking.Jawar Mohammed President, Oromo Studies AssociationAbbaaGadaaBayyanaaSanbatooDC2014_3

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/09/complete-list-of-the-u-s-a-lecture-tour-abbaa-gadaa-bayana-sanbatu-of-caffee-tulama-at-the-osa-workshop-on-gadaa-research-and-renaissance/                   Photo   OromoSportsLeeds2014-480x675     Annual Oromo Sports  Event   in UK, 23rd August 2014 held in Leeds, England.                          

Little Oromia (aka Minnesota) Agust 2014:The Year’s Biggest Diaspora Festival of Oromummaa

OSFNA_OromoWeek_2014_NewDVD2http://www.osfna.org/                 The Oromo Gadaa Democracy meets the American Congress Democracy. Abbaa Gadaa (Rt.) Aagaa Xanxanoo and Abbaa Gadaa (Rt.) Moonaa Godaanaa meet Senator Al Franken (from the State of Minnesota).                 10559738_10203587157733535_8872767818813299952_n1904122_10203587156893514_9090899789730180287_n10551074_10203587148253298_1943382031520133457_n (July 20, 2014 (Gadaa) — Minnesota’s Twin Cities, also known as “Little Oromia” for being the home of the largest Oromo population outside of the Horn of Africa, will be the venue for the 2014 OSFNA Sports Tournaments. Less than two weeks are left before this year’s 19th Annual OSFNA Soccer Tournament kickoff on August 2, 2014. First started in 1996, the OSFNA (Oromo Sports Federation of North America) organizes an annual soccer tournament among teams drawn from majorNorth American cities with sizable Oromo expat populations, and the venue for each year’s tournament has been rotating among the participating cities over the last 19 years. Unlike previous years, the 2014 OSFNA Sports Tournaments will include basketball, women’s volleyball and the Abebe Bikila Legacy Two-Mile Race in addition to the soccer tournament, according to information posted on OSFNA.org. What’s more, this year’s Soccer Tournament will also include gameparticipants from Australia. OMN (Oromia Media Network) has also partnered with OSFNA to broadcast the 2014 OSFNA Soccer Tournaments live.

Lasting for a week (August 2, 2014 to August 9, 2014) known as the OROMO WEEK, sports is only one of the activities in Little Oromia. The OROMO WEEK is also a time of heritage (Oromummaa) celebration for the Oromo expats in Little Oromia and those visiting Little Oromia from all over the world. A number of music concerts with Oromo recording artists, the Bakakkaa Oromo

Music Awards (debuting this year), the Mr. and Miss Oromo North America Pageant Show, and community and civic conferences are among the non-sports activities during this year’s OROMO WEEK. In addition, heritage products (such as music CD’s, drama/music DVD’s, drama/music VCD’s, cultural clothes, food, etc.) will be available for purchase at stalls located at/near the event arenas. The following is a mini-schedule of the activities during the 2014 OROMO WEEK in Little Oromiathis section will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. August 2, 2014 – August 9, 2014: OSFNA Sports Tournaments For full content, visit Gadaa http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/little-oromia-aka-minnesota-gears-up-for-the-years-biggest-diaspora-festival-of-oromummaa/    

OSA2014: Remarks by Former Abbaa Gadaa Aagaa Xanxano, and Gadaa Scholar Prof. Asmarom Legesse

The  Oromo Studies Association’s 2014  Annual Conference theme:  “Gadaa and Oromo Democracy: Celebrating 40 Years of Research and Oromo Renaissance.”   Oromo Gadaa leaders  as they taking part in  the 28th OSA Conference at Howard University in Washington DC, 2nd August 2014.  Jemjem Udessa, Lagassa Dhaba, Dirribi Demissie speaking about Gadaa System. Standing ovation for Prof. Asmerom Leggese as he receives a collection of books from the Guji Oromo Gadaa delegation (see pictures below):           Embedded image permalinkEmbedded image permalink   Prof. Asmerom Leggese, Lecturing Gadaa System                                               The Oromo Abbaa Gadaa -Abbaa Gadaa of Tuulama Oromo, two Yubas (EX-AbbaGadaas-Aagaa Xinxanoo and Moonaa Godaanaa) with other Gadaa leaders arrived in DC on 30 July 2014 to attend the OSA  Conference    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0aqyhiv4w276thu/OSA%202014%20Conference%20Program%20Final.docx See Pictures below:                                               Below is Bakkalcha TV’s 2-part interview with Oromo recording artist Lencho Abdishakur. Also, check out Lencho Abdishakur’s new album, titled “Yoomi Laata Guyyaan? 2014, Vol. 3″ – now available on Amazon.com. What’s more, Lencho Abdishakur’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, “Makiyayee, Vol. 2,” is also available on Amazon.com. Source: http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/07/bakkalcha-tv-interview-with-oromo-recording-artist-lencho-abdishakur/ http://www.oromotv.com/young-oromo-diaspora-leadership-is-promising-meet-the-president-of-osfna/              

OMN: ODUU ADOOLESSA 23, 2014

Oromia Media Network

Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisummaa kan Adoolessa 22 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAfvf9kLqdc#t=180

Oromo Voice Radio (OVR) Broadcast, July 23, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCCWLKlgxXs       https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/07/omn-oduu-adoolessa-23-2014/   https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/07/omn-oduu-adoolessa-22-2014/     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDSoVBx_bTQ&list=PLMNB_JthHxcCU3N6iOxQldUGudVOL55_e https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vzaSCKU0V4M https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=11ZHm75or34 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk1laLxpFGg https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-gLah0JCWdE http://oromovoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/alpha6-140721-1600.mp3   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sgaa5HYKyI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DjxcpgKW0A https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Sj3sXKweGOM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIRbjvL1blQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgLg0RVlSeY https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FMqpFQ1Du9k   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYtTuI3Xd_o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mciWlvurIBo

‘Maqaa Shororkeessummaan Doorsisamuun Qabsoo Karaa Nagaa irraa Nu Hin Deebisu’

Namoo Daandii

 —Mootummaan Ihaadegrakkoodimookiraasiibiyyattiikeessaakaraanagaafuruunkaraaitti danda’amu mariibiyyoolessaafbalbalabanuuirramormitootattimaqaashororkeessummaamoggaaseehidhuu,doorsisuufigidirsuunqabsookaraanagaaboodattideebisuu hin danda’u,jechuudhaangamtaanpaartiileemormitootaaMedrekibsabaasee jira.Barreessaan ol’aanaan paartichaa,ObboGabruuGabre-mariyaamakkajedhanitti,hoogganoonni,miseensonniifideggertoonni gamtaaisaanii,keessumaaOromiyaa fiTigiraaykeessattihedduunhidhamaniijiran.OromiyaakeessattikarooramagaalaaFinfinneedantaaOromiyaadhabsiisa,jedhanmormuudhaanbarattootahiriiranagaabahanirrattitarkaanfiiajjeechaafihidhaafudhatameealagaazzexeessotamootummaadhugaajirugabaasuuyaalanirrattitarkaanfiinfudhatamuuisaailleedubbatu,ObboGabruun.Gaaffii fideebiiguutuudhaggeeffadhaa.Marsariitiinkeenya kanirraanudhaggeeffachuudandeessan.

Gabaasaa Guutuu Armaa Gaditti Caqasaa

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1959382.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mciWlvurIBo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMAlavqCbk4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dnrfGdXn8J8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDYgba3P2UI   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jGmYAGEJGUQ

ONLF – Ethiopian Regime Trained Assassins Kill Kenyan Civilians In Garissa

July 14, 2014 (ONLF Press Release) The Ethiopian security has assassinated three Kenyan civilians and gravely wounded another one in Garissa, Kenya during the last week of June and the first week of July. The latest victim, Mr. Asad Yusuf was shot and killed in the evening of July 9, 2014. He was a Kenyan Somali civilian and was killed because he was assisting refugee from the Ogaden. He was a businessman and had a large family. A week ago another young man was also killed for the same reason and two weeks ago one man was killed and another wounded. Assassin Abdirahman Hajir who was a member of the Liyu Police, the killing squads in the Ogaden, funded and trained by the Ethiopian regime, was apprehended and has confessed that he carried out the last two killings. He also confessed that the Ethiopian security has trained and sent him and a team of 19 assassins and support staff to create chaos in Kenya. They were assembled in Addis Ababa and came through Moyale town. Furthermore, he stated “others were also dispatched to Somali and the Neighbouring countries to assassinate opponents to the regime, including Somali officers in Somalia and Ethiopian opposition figures”. The Ethiopian regime has taken a policy of coercion, extermination and mass execution against the Ogaden People in Ethiopia, so they fled to the neighbouring countries. Many of these refugee sought asylum in Kenya which has been a safe haven for the refugees in the Horn and central Africa, because of their hospitality and for their respect of International and African laws of Refugees. Therefore, since 2009, the Ethiopian government decided to routinely abduct and commit extrajudicial executions, including politically motivated killings in Kenya and so far the action taken by the Kenyan government to protect the refugees it gave asylum was not enough to stop such criminal acts. After failing to deter Somalis from Ogaden to keep seeking refugee in Kenya, despite all these inhumane acts, the Ethiopian regime has now decided to punish the local Somali Kenyans for supporting the refugees and in order to create Chaos and destabilize the North-East Provence of Kenya. Furthermore, the Ethiopian regime is getting bolder in flaunting International law and human rights laws by extending its criminal acts against its victims across international borders and is violating the Human Rights of those who seek asylum from its heinous acts in Ethiopia. The policy of the Ethiopian regime is to create chaos and endanger the stability of the Horn of Africa. If this continues unchecked it will lead to dangerous consequences for all concerned. ONLF condemns the Ethiopian regime and call upon the UNHCR and the Kenyan government to take seriously their responsibility to protect its civilians and the refugees that are under its care. (ONLF)

http://www.siitube.com/articles/onlf-ethiopian-regime-trained-assassins-kill-kenyan-civilians-in-garissa_375.html#.U8SQsqdYYyE.twitter

Why Ethiopia’s Oromo Are Angry At KTN

http://yassinjumanotes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/why-ethiopias-oromo-are-angry-at-ktn.html?m=1 http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/why-ethiopias-oromo-are-angry-at-ktn/

Kan Daandiin Harkaa Bade Hooggana Itiyoopiyaa” jedha Barruun Hayyuu Faransaay Tokk0

VOA

 —Waa’ee siyaasa Itiyoophiyaa kan hordofaniif hayyuu biyya Faransaayii kan ta’an Rene Lefort dhiiyeenya kana barreeffama mata dureen isaa “Ethiopia a Leadership in disarry“ ykn kan daandiin harkaa bade hoggana Itiyoopiyaa jedhu maxxansanii jiru. Lefort waa’eeItiyoophiyaa fikeessumaa waa’ee biyyootiiAfrikaauffeesahaaraagadiibaroota1970mootaakaaseemaxxansaaleebiyyaFaransaayiikanAkaka Le Monde, Liberation,fiLENouveljedhamaniifbarreessaa turan.Bara 2012 barreeffamamatadureenisaa  “Ethiopia after meles” yknItiyoophiyaamallasboodaajedhubarreessaniiodeeffaannooguddaankanirraargameefihedduukanduddubachiise ture.Barreefama isaammaa EthiopialeadersinDisarryjedhukanairraa ka’uudhaan ittigaafatamaansagantaaleegaanfaAfrikaa PeterHeinleinReneLefortwaliingaaffiifideebiigaggeesseejira.

Gabaasaa guutuu kutaa 1ffaa armaa gadiitti dhaggefadhaa

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1958091.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2y1esSjRd0

The following is a press release from the Australian Oromo Community in Victoria, Australia. Ebla/April 22, 2014Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria Inc. A.B.N. 52 554 165204Press ReleaseSUBJECT: Safeguarding the Rights of Oromo Refugees and Asylum SeekersThe Australian Oromo Community in Victoria Australia (AOCAV), a non- profitable organisation established in 1984 to facilitate community development, preservation of Oromo culture, and promoting cross cultural awareness and harmony between the Australian-Oromo and mainstream Australians, and to serve as voice of the Oromo people, is concerned about the ongoing swoops targeting refugees and asylum seekers in various urban centres in Kenya.Reports from different media indicate that over 6000 refugees and asylum seekers have been arrested in these crackdowns. According to AOCAV’s informant, more than two thousand asylum seekers and refugees have been detained in the Kasarani Stadium in the Capital, as a temporary police station, while some are being held at the Pangani, Kasarani and other police stations. More than 400 Oromos and other Ethiopian immigrants have been arrested in these crackdowns.AOCAV applauds the Government of Kenya for hosting nearly 400,000 refugees from nine African countries, which is an enormous task. We also appreciate the continuing efforts to strengthen security for all persons living in Kenya. While we appreciate these efforts, our concern is that innocent Oromo refugees and asylum seekers have been arrested during the security operation. AOCAV does not support refugees and asylum seekers who engage in criminal activities, but maintains that any such persons should be subjected to proper judicial procedures by the government with due respect to their vulnerability and human rights.We understand that the government’s duty to maintain national security cannot be disputed, however, it is imperative for the State to guarantee the safety and protection of all registered refugees and asylum seekers residing in Kenya. According to the Refugees Act of 2006, the government of Kenya has an obligation to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers – which includes the right to seek asylum. Kenya is party to various international and regional conventions governing protection of refugees and asylum seekers, and therefore, it has a duty to protect such persons.AOCAV urges the government to uphold and safeguard the rights of Oromo refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya even as it continues its security operations. It is our stand that recent government’s actions should not negate the gains made by the state towards the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya. We call upon the leaders of the government of Kenya to guard against making remarks and actions which may jeopardize the protection of Oromo refugees and asylum seekers. AOCAV also requests the governments of the Western countries as well as international organizations to continue interfering in this matter so that the safety and security of the arrested Oromo refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya could be ensured.Sincerely,Yadata SabaPresident, Australian Oromo Community in Victoria Australia120 Race course Rd Flemington, VIC 3031P.O.BOX 2123 Footscray VIC 3011Tel + 61 412 795 909 Tel +61 422 869 709Email: ocaustralia@gmail.com Website: www.oromocommunity.org.au
Gadaa.com: Oromo & Oromia » Safeguarding the Rights of Oromo Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Kenya
gadaa.com

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Panel discussion: on the Integrated Regional Development Plan

Panellists Temam Batee Head of Foreign Affairs for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Kumsa Burayou (the former Editor-In-Chief of Madda Walabu magazine) and Tsegaye Regassa (the former Senior Lecturer at Addis Ababa University and PhD Candidate at University of Melbourne Law School), talk about the university students protest against the “Integrated Regional Development Plan” (AKA Addis Ababa Master Plan) in Ethiopia. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/ethiopian-journalist-branded-terrorist-and-locked-18-years-wins-2014-golden-pen-freedom           http://www.themusichutch.com/listen-song/sbo-waxabajjii-04-bara-2014/128252/           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoA1XeEUX4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmhotqD1vQM https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/05/omn-qophiilee-caamsaa-24-2014/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLMNB_JthHxcCU3N6iOxQldUGudVOL55_e&v=3mH510uAL-w&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6w2R8rvfdA https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bzenDDZ_j2Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqgY-Afn6T4   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDNJUOJ9gas https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jYwbZciZYlc   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PW6vhAkBMko   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytucWS5-dAg https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rPG4YJAWpcw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Q761JoIaM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyJNfZ95KZU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3hKQBqOaavY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSBMvJn2Biw   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj9mOxZt7AA https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OyJNfZ95KZU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6tlAHIhmZig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpKR3WNgI4s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbiwjG7D_rQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pTCj5we8-5Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XRgJ86tC_0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0yA2iI815rw https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pF7eSGNVPpU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9wgY9Q5h8Vs https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ta2QKPz04XI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbiwjG7D_rQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6JewLUjlzI https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rgkdy_IMcEE https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-hK54sVF1l0   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZhrdtoVJk4U     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k9AnlqNzmg   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lalEpADudik

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WBEZ’s Worldview: Oromo students fight for land rights – Oromo Activists Kadiro Elemo and Seenaa Jimjimo Speak to the Chicago Public Radio

https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview/ethiopias-oromo-students-fight-for-land-rights   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tooxiccoRu8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KSMs45auZQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aZR4h9Xl_mo https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dz1CYnjwjsE https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lv8-ZF9yvyI https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lv8-ZF9yvyI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG_7VvnqEzU

Musical Arrangement: Oromo Students Movement – #OromoProtests

Discussion on ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ with former and current IOYA presidents … tune in here for all locations: http://tunein.com/radio/KTNF-950-s31969/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjW32C_4VS0

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The South Sudan peace process: prospects for 2015 January 7, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, South Sudan.
Tags: , , , , ,
1 comment so far

 

Osouth sudan

 ‘These are not achievements of which IGAD can be too proud. The peace process is at a particularly perilous juncture. The last round of talks in December 2014 went nowhere.’

 

(, 6th January 2015) Predicting conflict in South Sudan is easy. Those who warn that the coming of the dry season means further bloodshed are not being especially astute; they are stating the obvious. What to do about this likelihood is a much harder question.

Almost as obvious is to observe that the peace process is weakened by continued fighting. Is the sequence of a comprehensive cessation of hostilities first, then productive peace talks second, necessary? Desirable, yes, but necessary?

Almost paradoxically, limited, ongoing violence has not so far been the main obstacle to progress in the peace process: more of a problem is the inability of the parties to demonstrate goodwill and genuinely commit to finding a solution. Since the Bahir Dar talks in September 2014, violence certainly hasn’t prevented both warring parties from continuing to talk – in the earlier months of 2014 this was not always the case.

Today, more consequential to the environment for talks are the rhetoric and antagonism of preparations for escalating the conflict, rather than any individual episode of conflict itself; the increasing authoritarianism and paranoia of the government in Juba; provocative declarations that national elections will be held on schedule (all too similar to the strategy of the NCP in Sudan, unfortunately); and on both sides, prevaricating leaders who care more about their own interests than that of their so-called constituencies.

Which returns South Sudan to external intervention: the formal, IGAD peace process. For all its flaws, without the peace process, the war would be completely unconstrained.

Neighbouring states would have privileged their narrow, bilateral interests even more than they have done already. A full-fledged proxy war between Sudan and Uganda could have developed months ago – there is still a real risk that it might.

These are not achievements of which IGAD can be too proud. The peace process is at a particularly perilous juncture. The last round of talks in December 2014 went nowhere.

The consultations of the government in Juba, and the SPLM/A (In Opposition) in Pagak, have widened rather than narrowed the gaps between the parties. The participation of political parties other than the SPLM remains contested, with other political parties having had no effective presence since Bahir Dar.

The Tanzania hosted intra-SPLM dialogue in Arusha has opened a parallel process that further detracts from the IGAD effort. Arusha, only in its second round of talks, is still in a honeymoon phase, compared to the relative bitterness now felt in almost a year of talks in Ethiopia.

(An aside: Finland and Switzerland, the donors supporting the Arusha process, should have been far more cognizant of the risks of encouraging forum shopping; this failure of understanding, particularly in the case of Switzerland, so long-engaged in South Sudan, is inexcusable.)

Having effectively exhausted the classical mode of negotiations, the mediation has turned again to that unwieldy but potentially transformative option: a summit of IGAD heads of state and government, to be held sometime later this month in Addis Ababa. This will be the seventh IGAD summit on South Sudan since December 2013, and it is unclear whether the lesson of past meetings – particularly that of the August summit – have been fully learned.

This is probably IGAD’s last chance – another summit failure and the organization’s credibility and political capital will be almost spent. The need to demonstrate ‘success’ may be counterproductive: IGAD may be tempted to spin any summit outcome positively, or threaten the parties to sign up to an agreement they are not ready to believe in.

In the limited time IGAD has left to achieve meaningful progress in resolving the South Sudan crisis, it is vital that the mistakes made in the past year are not repeated. Avoiding these errors will not be sufficient for resolution – that depends on the South Sudanese (and of course, there are plenty of other pitfalls); it will, however, make the prospect of success more likely.

Here are four tasks the IGAD mediators should urgently undertake:

Adequately prepare for the next summit.
Most events involving heads of state are so tightly choreographed and well planned they might as well be ballet performances. Recent IGAD summits have suffered from a total lack of choreography.

There needs to be a clear game plan for the summit, and strategies in place to ensure traps and detours do not ensnare the meeting. Summit meetings are not wellsuited to details and can’t get bogged down on minutiae.

It is critical that heads of state are adequately prepped and briefed before they arrive in Addis. Otherwise the summit will, at best, make little tangible progress, and at worst, go backward

Make real efforts to reach out to more South Sudanese.
At this stage, the occasional press release or press conference is not enough. The mediation needs to marshal the full force of South Sudanese society towards an irreversible peace.

Most South Sudanese – even those nominally aligned to one side or the other – have little idea what their representatives are doing in their name. The parties to the talks have proven to be intransigent and stubborn; most people don’t know enough about these machinations to express their own outrage and demand change.

Individual church leaders have demonstrated a willingness to stand up and state the uncompromised truth: IGAD should more actively compliment these efforts, and itself campaign for peace in towns and communities across South Sudan. Building a constituency for peace and pressure from below may help change the behavior of those too arrogant to otherwise work for peace

Resolve the representation of political parties, and challenge civil society delegates to be useful.
No peace process outcome will be fully legitimate if it excludes the diversity of political actors in South Sudan. Feeble though most political parties are, the exclusion of the official opposition is an open sore in the process. An exclusive, SPLM stitch-up serves the narrowest of elites, and must be avoided.

Much has been said about civil society’s participation in the IGAD peace process. Regrettably, the most useful contributions from civil society have come from those outside of the peace process: the work of David Deng and the South Sudan Law Society, the Development Policy Forum and the Sudd Institute.

Unfortunately, the cogent work of such individuals and institutions has not been espoused by their civil society colleagues present in Addis Ababa. Civil society needs to raise its game.

The mediation needs to be blunt with civil society delegates: merely showing up to eat lunch and silently attend meetings is not good enough. Civil society delegates can still advance ideas, offer innovation and identify political hypocrisy; but they cannot do so if they are mostly silent.

Abandon the CPA model as the template for the mediation.
The CPA should not be understood outside of its context of time and place. It still offers useful elements for South Sudan in 2015.

But, far too often, the IGAD mediation, and most prominently the CPA’s chief mediator and his staff, have let the CPA model imprison their thinking and their tactics.

I do not wish to critique the CPA at length here: it is only necessary to point out that in so many ways, and not necessarily as the fault of the mediation of the time, the CPA failed or was inadequate. Consequently, it should be a cautionary guide for the current process, but not the only guide.

Similar advice would be well heeded by the parties, who themselves all too often refer to what happened in Machakos or Naivasha. Considering alternatives, being creative, and acknowledging past failure – rather than romanticizing the history of the CPA mediation effort in South Sudan as one of unmitigated success – would be far more illuminating.

As I wrote earlier, none of these actions are guarantees for success. But the mediators must understand where they have gone wrong, and quickly take corrective action.

Ultimately, should this incarnation of the IGAD mediation fail, the primary blame and responsibility must fall on those negotiating, no matter the deficiencies of the mediators. But the mediators can improve the odds.

Not every mediation can succeed. Witness the innumerable attempts (and innumerable mediators) who have tried to resolve the conflict in Palestine; more recently, the failure of both Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi to resolve the Syrian crisis.

There is no shame in accepting that this process, too, has its limitations. To fail to do so would be to a further disservice to the people of South Sudan.

The author is a diplomat based in Addis Ababa.

Source: http://africanarguments.org/…/the-south-sudan-peace-proces…/

Ethiopia: Bad governance and abysmal poverty January 5, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Corruption, Corruption in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia.
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O

 

Ethiopia:  Home of  Thousands  of Garbage Scavangers

 http://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-home-for-thousands-of-garbage-scavengers/

British journalist Caroline Knowles writes that Addis Ababa’s city dump (aka Koshe) as the main source of survival for many poor Ethiopians.  But, Why the Ethiopian government allow its people to live like this? Is it because they don’t know or because they don’t care?

By Caroline Knowles,

MY first sight of Koshe, Addis Ababa’s giant 50-year-old landfill site, is from the highway. It runs alongside it, and away from the road as far as the eye can see: a giant, murky, grey-brown raised area of partially decomposed rubbish, with occasional bright specks of colour. As my hopes rise from having found it, my heart sinks as I try to take it in.

The interpreter I have engaged for this mission through my contacts, a junior academic at Addis Ababa University, is not keen on going ahead. Leaving the taxi and crossing the highway by the bridge, I try to absorb the panoramic view afforded by this elevated viewpoint over the highway. 

This 36-hectare site – shrinking as the city attempts to regulate it – is patrolled from the air by large vultures, diving into the rubbish. Motley crews of wild dogs gambolling and snatching at the soft ground patrol it at ground level. Smoke rises in several places, adding a layer of haze to the murky colour scheme. Yellow bulldozers nose the heap and shift and level it; municipal rubbish trucks and flatbed trucks with skips arrive from all over the city and discharge their contents.

Between the dogs, the birds and the machines there was something else, something I could only slowly take in: 200 to 300 people, dressed in the same murky hues as the rubbish dump, backs bent, hooks in hand, were working on its surface.

Feeling queasy I walk towards the end of the bridge. In order to reach the steps and the rubbish, I must walk past three young men who are using the vantage point of the bridge for surveillance and information gathering. In an unspoken negotiation I don’t understand, they take in my camera, and my shoulder bag containing digital recorders and money, and let me pass. This silent confrontation, between the comforts of my world and the difficulties of theirs, only further develops my anxieties.

Korah dump in Addis Ababa is home to around 130,000 residents of Addis Ababa who survive from the garbage one way or the other

Descending the steps, I walk to the edge of the dump where I am met by the site supervisor and his aides. They want a stamped authorisation of my visit from the relevant municipal department. What looks like a vast area, open to the surrounding countryside, is as closed to me as a Korean petrochemical plant. I turn back and head into the city to secure the relevant authorisation.

TRASH TALKS

The city dump is an inventory, of a kind, of its material life. Addis in rubbish is not London or Moscow in rubbish. Rubbish provides a crude and deeply flawed account of cities and their social, political and economic contexts. Rubbish displays social, material and income differences.

Indeed, some people’s rubbish provides others with the fabric of their everyday life. Maybe this is the best way to think about Koshe – as a redistribution centre which indexes the differences between people’s life-journeys, refracted through material cultures at their point of disposal.

Korah dump site in Addis Ababa.  Hundreds survive from food that was dumped at the site

Not just the content, the handling of rubbish displays cities too. How cities deal with their rubbish reveals them. It is a major challenge for municipal authorities in Addis, who are only able to deal with two-thirds of the rubbish, distributed in collection points all over a city that is fast expanding – leaving the rest to private contractors and the age-old informal dumping practices on streets and in rivers. Thus rubbish provides a visual commentary on urban citizens’ behaviour as well as the efficacy of municipal governance.

SCRATCHING A LIVING

Getting myself into the rubbish is a story of municipal offices cluttered with old computers, fans, desks, officials and permissions. It is about writing a letter in Amharic explaining what I want to do and why. It is about waiting until the electricity comes back on and we can photocopy my university ID. There are phone calls to the landfill site and arrangements are made. Everybody is charming. I’ve come from London to take a look at the rubbish. Why? I am following a piece of plastic around the world. Really! First world problems!

I go back to Koshe – which means ‘dirty’ in Amharic – and hand over the necessary papers to the site supervisor, in his makeshift office at the roadside of the dump. Minutes later, I am scrambling after him, out on to the rubbish heap, navigating around the dogs which I fear, and the areas where it is soft underfoot and I sink up to my knees. My stomach is churning with fear. My interpreter and I are using Olbas oil to mask the smell.

– – – – – –

– – – – – –

We stop north of the main road, where it is firmer underfoot, in the area where the activity is concentrated. This is the place to which the municipal authorities and the site supervisor direct the trucks to dump their loads. A single white towelling slipper, with the Hilton Hotel logo on it, stands out in the grey-brown mush.

This area is a hive of activity that peaks to a frenetic pace with the arrival of new loads, and then falls away, leaving a more continuous stream of slower activity, and a legacy of dust and smoke that gets in everyone’s eyes.

Korah dump site in Addis Ababa.  Hundreds survive from food that was dumped at the site

As rubbish trucks turn off the main road on to the edge of the site, a group of five or six young men jump on the back and ride to the dumping area with it. This puts them at an advantage for grabbing the best items as the truck discharges its load onto the tip, but not without risk. The mechanism that crushes the rubbish occasionally catches a young man in its deadly and disfiguring grasp.

As the young men jump off with the rubbish and begin picking items that catch the eye, the line of men and women, that has formed along both sides of the truck, spring into action, grabbing items and stashing them in woven plastic sacks. These are held tightly in one hand; in the other a homemade metal hook with a white handle, used to grab and dig into the grey-brown surface of the heap, is held. This hooked instrument earns the pickers – sometimes referred to as scavengers – the name ‘scratchers’.

The moment of discharge unleashes a tense scramble for the most valuable items; a competition in which masculine physical strength prevails, and young, agile, women put up a good fight. Scratchers then go on searching, or rest until the next truck arrives, or regroup around the bulldozers unearthing new bounty. The social and material relationships of the dump demand skilled navigation.

From the vantage point of the dump, the scratchers rework the geographies and hierarchies of the city. The tensest flurries of competitive scratching accompany the arrival of trucks from the most affluent areas, with the best rubbish. The Bole area, with its upscale detached housing, mall, hotels and the international airport, sends the most prized items, the cast-offs of affluence, including waste airline food in large green plastic bags, to the dump. Scratchers collect the food discarded by airline passengers for themselves, leaving a large pool of bright green plastic bags, which attracts a herd of goats.

Korah dump site in Addis Ababa.  Awareness campaign to help the thousands of Addis Ababa residents that survived from the garbage

Rubbish from the central part of the city, from international hotels, the African Union HQ buildings and the embassies, is similarly sought after, and monopolised by the fittest young men. Scratchers recognise the sources of rubbish from the colours and types of trucks used by the different sub-cities and private contractors. And they recognise the drivers and their helpers, who regularly work the same areas. The discarded traces of the city’s more affluent lives, especially foreign residents and visitors, most animate the dump. Rubbish logs social inequalities in cities and provides a minimal redress.

The dump has temporal rhythms. Scratchers know what time the trucks arrive from different parts of the city. From 8am through the morning is the busiest time. The dump is geared to municipal collection and transportation. By 5pm things are dying down as the trucks stop for the night, and the scratching continues with fewer scratchers at a slower pace. Bulldozers moving stuff around and digging into the surface of the dump also provide new scratching opportunities, and a lively crowd gathers around them. Scratching is a 24-hour activity, with people arriving after their working day is over. Some scratchers work throughout the night wearing torches attached to headbands. Scratching it seems is a (stigmatised) way of life as much as a way of getting by.

Within the urban geographies of affluence, materials establish another set of hierarchies. Scratchers search for anything they can use for themselves, or resell. Materials have a value in recycling, providing an afterlife for discarded objects. Metals, including nails, are the most valuable booty, and men dominate this, although a few women have ventured into metals too. Wood has value as firewood. Tourist clothes and shoes can be cashed in at the Mercato salvage section. Some scratchers just come to eat.

But plastics are the most ubiquitous material on the dump, and among plastics, water bottles the scratchers refer to as ‘highland’, after a popular brand of bottled water, dominate, and in this niche women prevail.

Scratchers specialise in particular materials. Specialisms result from advice from experienced scratchers, from serendipity, or from knowledge of shifting recycling prices, gathered at the edge of the dump. Here materials are counted or weighed, and turned into cash, with the agents from factories using recycled materials.

A pile of white dusty material arrives from the leather factory. The dogs take up residence. They are ejected by a group of men, who have decided that this is a good place to sit, while waiting for the next truck.

..Why does the Ethiopian government put resources into regulating who can visit their trash dump to make sure that they don’t get too much bad publicity for how their people are being treated instead of investing those resources into getting people out of the dump?

In their working clothes – they scrub up outside of work and look completely different – scratchers are dressed similarly and grimily, making them the same colour as the rubbish heap. Men wear trousers, shirts and tee shirts, baseball caps and sometimes hoodies to protect their heads from the sun. Women wear scarves and baseball caps, skirts, trousers, t-shirts and blouses. Some carry infants on their backs. All wear sturdy shoes, often trainers.

The scratching population numbers 200–300, but expands after holidays with casual pickers. More women than men do it by a ratio of about three to one, and, while people in their 20s and 30s predominate, ages range from teens to seniors. Most live in the villages around the dump in simple, rusted, corrugated iron dwellings, sometimes with satellite dishes. Rubbish has provided a source of local employment and subsistence for generations over its 50-year history, and is firmly embedded in local calculations of subsistence and accumulation.

About 50 scratchers live in cardboard and plastic makeshift shelters off the edge of the dump, safely away from passing vehicles and next to a pen full of pigs. The rubbish sustains rural arrivals, for whom it works as a gateway to the city, as well as long-term residents, whose rural routes have settled into the past, making them locals.

The ministry and its field agents say that the rubbish dump is a source of dangerous working practices by people who, like the rubbish they sort, are consigned to live beyond the limits of civic life. A litany of accidents, deaths and disfigurements as scratchers take risks to recover value, are recited by the site supervisor:

“Food comes from some place and a guy is going into the truck and he is injured and they take him to hospital but he died. Also someone else lost their legs in an encounter with a bulldozer. Two months ago a man who jumped in the truck dropped off when it broke. In recent accidents, two were women. The bulldozer operator has a lot to do to push the garbage. If they see something they want when the bulldozer moves the garbage, they don’t think about their life.”

In living beyond formal systems of governance, this city suburb of rubbish is more like the Somali borderlands, patrolled by contrabandists and gunrunners, than a part of the city. There is a police station nearby, and policing and the justice system are slowly taking back the dump from a parallel system of authority, a mafia of five ‘big men’. The big men control access by scratchers in exchange for fees, making themselves wealthy in the process. But recently, some of them have been imprisoned, shifting the balance of power towards the authorities.

Once far away, a place outside of the city, outside systems of formal employment, taxation, law and municipal governance, Koshe is now on the edge of a city that has grown to meet it in what are fast becoming its upscale southern suburbs. A new development of large detached houses nearby anticipates this future – new housing for those in a position to benefit from rising prosperity, and a consequent shrinkage and rehabilitation of the landfill site. These changes have far-reaching consequences for the scratchers of Koshe.

– – – – –
NOTE: The above article was first published on The Guardian Newspaper under the title “Inside Addis Ababa’s Koshe Rubbish Tip Where Hundreds Literally Scratch a Living”.  It is an extract from the new book Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation’s Backroads by Caroline Knowles. (Pluto Press, £18.99).

Source:  Tesfanews.net
Read more at http://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-home-for-thousands-of-garbage-scavengers/#IEroeAVG1RmyFU7j.99

Consumerism Cycle (1) Achilles Heel. #Africa December 26, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Consumersim, Land Grabs in Africa.
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Consumerism is killing us softly. The catalyst is Advertising. Uniformed citizens are trapped in a vicious cycle. Their Achilles Heel is their illusion.

Advertising is the foundation of Mass Media and its primary purpose of Mass Media is to sell products. It also sells values, images, concepts of love and sexuality, of romance, of success and perhaps most important of normalcy: it tells who we are and who we should be.

Advertising reinforces a deceiving association between the consumer and happiness; it focuses on immediate and short term needs, diverges the focus from its bogus message, eliminates any discussion of the social & long-term needs, and leads into more squandered resources.
Common Scenario

When consumers visit the store to buy their brand, they definitely don’t ask who made that product and what resources were used. Unfortunately, some consumers are not aware that huge resources (human and natural) were wasted in the production process. The most common info they know is: Made in China.

Vicious Circle

Consumers associate with the utility and satisfaction that result from purchasing these products. However, what consumers fail to realize is that utility always decreases as the number of items/products purchased increases. And thus their satisfaction ceases to exist which would lead them into a state of emptiness, that is usually compensated by consuming more.

Awareness

Realizing that this bogus content can’t be integrated with their happiness might happen at a late stage. But hopefully not too late.

Arrow Minded

Consumerism

Consumerism is killing us softly. The catalyst is Advertising. Uniformed citizens are trapped in a vicious cycle. Their Achilles Heel is their illusion.

Advertising is the foundation of Mass Media and its primary purpose of Mass Media is to sell products. It also sells values, images, concepts of love and sexuality, of romance, of success and perhaps most important of normalcy: it tells who we are and who we should be.

Advertising reinforces a deceiving association between the consumer and happiness; it focuses on immediate and short term needs, diverges the focus from its bogus message, eliminates any discussion of the social & long-term needs, and leads into more squandered resources.

Cycle

Common Scenario

When consumers visit the store to buy their brand, they definitely don’t ask who made that product and what resources were used. Unfortunately, some consumers are not aware that huge resources (human and natural) were wasted in the production process. The…

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AU Summit Approves Creation of African Monetary Fund. #Africa December 25, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Monetary Fund, African Studies Association, Corruption in Africa, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications.
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OPremium Times (Abuja)

Africa: AU Summit Approves Creation of African Monetary Fund

By Premium Times

@ http://allafrica.com/stories/201406302281.html

The AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Anthony Maruping, told journalists in Malabo on Monday that the Fund would work to correct balances of payment positions across Africa.

He said such positions were mainly caused by low export of commodities and high import volumes which exerted negative burden on currency stability.

The AMF would be established to basically help to tackle macro-economic matters in Africa, he added.

The commissioner said, “It is not true that there has been an economic leadership gap in Africa. We are creating an African institution because the UN Economic Commission for Africa is a global body.”

Mr. Maruping said the Fund was expected to create proper lending system in Africa to correct imbalance in payments within the continent and ensure exchange rate stability.

“It will also work toward African currency convertibility, ensuring that currencies across Africa can be exchangeable. The Fund will promote monetary cooperation on the continent and speed up economic development. To achieve these objectives, the Fund will design formulas to lower the debt burden and other debt management policies in Africa and facilitate development of the African financial markets,” he said.

The AU official said the Fund would have an authorised share capital denomination of $100 (N16,285) per share with a callable share capital of 50 per cent of the authorised share capital, which is $11.32 (N1,845).

The paid up share capital would be at least 50 per cent of the callable share capital $5.66 billion (N922 billion) denominated in $100, he added.

He said South Africa was expected to get the highest allocation of the 500,000 shares, with an 8.05 per share, translating into nearly $1billion (N163 billion), followed by Nigeria at 7.94 per cent, translating into $899 million (N16 billion) in capital contributions.

Egypt, Africa’s third largest economy, was expected to subscribe for 6.12 per cent of the shares, contributing $693 million (N112 billion), followed by Algeria, to be allocated 4.59 per cent of the shares at $520 million (N84 billion).

Each country was expected to pay for its subscription at once or in four instalments of 25 per cent of the amount and payment period would last between the initial four years and eight years.

The first payment is expected 60 days after the AMF treaty enters force.

The countries are also allowed to issue bonds in U.S. dollars which are non-interest earning.

The Fund would invest in international financial markets and expected to maintain a sound credit rating.

The AMF will be based in Yaounde, Cameroon.

(PANA/NAN)

See also The Creation of the African Monetary Fund @ http://openanthropology.org/libya/AUamf.pdf

http://openanthropology.org/libya/AUamf.pdf

POVERTY – Introduction December 25, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Poor, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Poverty, The State of Food Insecurity in Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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OPovertyPoverty

‘Poverty is not merely going hungry; it means lack of resources like land or education to make out a living; means lack of employment; means lack of access to some basic needs of life like health services, education, food etc., means lack of voice to be heard and ability to influence the formulation of policies or implementation of programs by the government.

Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status and inequitable social relationships, experienced as social exclusion, dependency, and diminished capacity to participate, or to develop meaningful connections with other people in society. This is of considerable relevance to the Indian situation. …Dominant sections of ethnicity in the society controls the political conditions and assets, depriving the marginalized from having access to these economic assets. ‘

Definition : Poverty is a situation where the individual or community lack the resources, ability to meet the basic needs of life.

Relative Poverty: Refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Penury : Extreme poverty.

Absolute Poverty: is destitution wherein one lacks basic human needs including clean water, food, clothing, shelter, health cover and education.

The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. According to them, the poverty is classified into:

Extreme Poverty : Living on less than US $1.25 per day
Moderate Poverty : Living on less than US $2 a day

Am an aspirant too

Definition : Poverty is a situation where the individual or community lack the resources, ability to meet the basic needs of life.

Relative Poverty: Refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Penury : Extreme poverty.

Absolute Poverty: is destitution wherein one lacks basic human needs including clean water, food, clothing, shelter, health cover and education.

The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. According to them, the poverty is classified into:

  • Extreme Poverty : Living on less than US $1.25 per day
  • Moderate Poverty : Living on less than US $2 a day

World Bank has stated that fighting with poverty is at the core of its work.

According to the definition of poverty by the World Bank, the poor are classified as:

  • Subjugate Poor : People with per capita consumption expenditure as…

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Human decision making and development policy: “Mind, Society, and Behavior” as explored in World Development Report 2015 December 9, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Development & Change, Economics, World Bank, World Development Report 2015.
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For the purpose of  development policy, the report explores  three principles of human decision making: thinking automatically, thinking socially, and thinking with mental models.

World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/12/02/world-development-report-2015-explores-mind-society-and-behavior

  • The WDR 2015 holds new insights on how people make decisions; it provides a framework to help development practitioners and governments apply these insights to development policy.
  • Research in the WDR suggests that poverty constitutes a cognitive tax that makes it hard for poor people to think deliberatively, especially in times of hardship or stress.
  • When used with existing policy approaches, new tools ranging from simple, low-cost changes such as better framing of messages and changing the timing of aid, can significantly improve outcomes.
 Real people are rarely as coherent, forward-looking, strategic or selfish as typically assumed in standard economic models—they sometimes do not pursue their own interests, and can be unexpectedly generous. Such dynamics should be factored more carefully into development policies, a point made in the World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior.
The newly launched report argues that development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society more readily tackle such challenges as increasing productivity, breaking the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next, and acting on climate change. Drawing from a wealth of research that suggests ways of diagnosing and solving the psychological and social constraints to development, the WDR identifies new policy tools that complement standard economic instruments. For instance, an experiment in Colombia modified a cash transfer program by automatically saving a part of the funds on behalf of beneficiaries, and then disbursing them as lump a sum at the time when decisions about school enrollment for the next year were being made. This tweak in timing resulted in increased enrollments for the following year. “Marketers and politicians have long understood the role of psychology and social preferences in driving individual choice,” said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, “This Report distills new and growing scientific evidence on this broader understanding of human behavior so that it can be used to promote development. Standard economic policies are effective only after the right cognitive propensities and social norms are in place. As such, this WDR can play a major role in enhancing the power of economic policymaking, including standard fiscal and monetary policies. My only worry is that it will be read more diligently by private marketers selling wares and politicians running for office than by people designing development interventions.” To inspire a fresh look at how development work is done, the Report outlines three principles of human decision making: thinking automatically, thinking socially, and thinking with mental models. Much of human thinking is automatic and depends on whatever comes to mind most effortlessly. People are deeply social and are influenced by social networks and norms. Finally, most people do not invent new concepts; rather they use mental models drawn from their societies and shared histories to interpret their experiences. Because the factors affecting decisions are local and contextual, it is hard to predict in advance which aspects of program design and implementation will drive the choices people will make. Interventions therefore need to take account of the insights found in the report and be designed through a ‘learning by doing’ approach. The Report applies the three principles to multiple areas, including early childhood development, productivity, household finance, health and health care, and climate change.
Open Quotes
This Report distills new and growing scientific evidence on this broader understanding of human behavior so that it can be used to promote development. Standard economic policies are effective only after the right cognitive propensities and social norms are in place. Close Quotes
Kaushik Basu Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank

When it comes to assisting poor people, a key message from WDR 2015 is that poverty is more than a deprivation in material resources. It is also a “cognitive tax.” Take the case of sugar cane farmers in India, who were asked to participate in a series of cognitive tests before and after receiving their harvest income.  Their performance was the equivalent of 10 IQ points higher after the harvest, when resources were less scarce. Policy can be designed to reduce some of the impact of poverty on the ability to make choices and plan for the future. Policy makers should try to move crucial decisions out of periods when cognitive resources are scarce. This may mean shifting school enrollment decisions to periods when poor farmers’ seasonal income is higher. There may also be ways of simplifying typically complex decisions such as applying to a higher education program. These ideas apply to any initiative in which good decision making is a challenge. Poverty in childhood, which is often accompanied by high stress and neglect from parents, can impair cognitive development, according to the report, so public programs that provide early childhood stimulation are critical. A 20-year study in Jamaica found that a program aimed at altering the way mothers interacted with their infants led to an increase in earnings by 25 percent once those children became adults, as compared to others who did not participate in the program. All major developing regions are featured in the Report, including the following examples:

  • In Malawi, a small performance incentive to encourage farmers to work with their peers increased the take-up of productivity-enhancing agricultural technologies (Ben Yishay and Mobarak 2014).  This intervention used social networks to amplify the effects of information programs.  
  • In the Philippines where encouraging saving was a challenge, one effective fix was to create products that allow individuals to commit to certain savings goals and not allow them to easily renege. When savings accounts were offered in the country without the option of withdrawal for six months, nearly 30 percent of those offered the accounts accepted them (Ashraf, Karlan, and Yin 2006). After one year, individuals who had been offered and had used the accounts increased savings by 82 percent more than a control group.
  • In Asia, a new approach, focused on establishing new norms that holds promise is Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). In CLTS, leaders work with community members to make maps of dwellings and the locations where individuals defecate in the open. The facilitator uses a repertoire of exercises to help people recognize the implications of what they have seen for the spread of infections and to develop new norms to protect against the damaging effects of open defecation. A set of these programs in Indian villages lowered open defecation by 11 percent from very high levels. (Patil and others 2014).

According to the Report, because the decisions of development professionals often can have large effects on other people’s lives, it is vital that development actors and organizations put mechanisms in place to check and correct for their own biases and blind spots. Ultimately, behavior change matters for all actors in the development process. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/12/02/world-development-report-2015-explores-mind-society-and-behavior http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Publications/WDR/WDR%202015/WDR-2015-Full-Report.pdf

Trade & development: Why many developing countries seem, contrary to what the traditional theories suggest, not benefiting from international trade November 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Theory of Development, Trade and Development, Uncategorized.
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O12

 

 

” The benefits of trade have been well documented throughout history. The economic case is quite straightforward. Opening up to trade allows countries to shift their patterns of production, exporting goods that they are relatively efficient at producing and importing goods at a lower price that they can’t produce resourcefully at home. This lets resources to be allocated more efficiently allowing a nation’s economy to grow. Fruits of trade can be seen in many countries. In the last 30 years, trade has grown around 7% per year on average (WTO, 2013). During this time period, developing nations have seen their share in world export increase from 34% to 47% (WTO, 2013) which at first glance seem incredible. However if we dig a little deeper, it is quickly apparent that China is the key reason for the majority of the growth and that a bulk of these developing countries aren’t benefiting fully from international trade. Why is this? Many developing countries depend on the export of a few primary products and in some cases a single primary commodity for the majority of their export earnings. In fact, 95 of the 141 developing countries rely of the export of commodities for at least 50% of their export income (Brown, 2008). This is where the problem starts. Prices in the primary good’s market tend to be highly volatile sometimes varying up to 50% in a single year (South Centre, 2005). Often, the fluctuation of these products are out of the hands of the developing countries as they individually have only a small portion of the world supply which is not enough to affect world prices. At the same time, some shocks (ie. Weather) are unpredictable. The unstable commodity price brings uncertainty, instability and often negative economic consequences for the developing countries. This also affects the policymaking in the country as it is hard to implement a sustainable development scheme or a fiscal expansionary policy with uncertain revenue. Positive shocks do increase income in the short run however a study by Dehn (2000) found that there are no permanent effect on the increase on income in the long run. Furthermore, there is often very little scope to growth through primary products as it is very hard to increase volumes of sale. This is due to the demand being inelastic. The over dependence on the export of primary products also causes another problem – a risk of a large trade deficit. Several studies (Olukoshi, 1989, Mundell, 1989) have shown that primary commodity prices are the main cause for the debt problems in many developing countries. In an empirical research done by Swaray (2005), he shows the main reason behind this is the deteriorating terms of trade, developing countries face. Terms of Trade is equal to the value of export over the value of import. Over time there has been a general trend of primary products falling in value. 41 of 46 leading commodities fell in real value over the last 30 years with an average decline of 47% in real prices, according to the World Bank (cited in CFC, 2005). This has occurs due to inelastic demand for commodities and lack of differentiation among producers hence making it a competitive market. The creation of synthetic substitutes has also suppressed prices. At the same time, manufacturing products (which generally developing countries tend to import) see a general rise in prices. Put these trends together, over time, developing countries have seen their terms of trade worsen. A study by CFC (2005), shows that the terms of trade have declined as much as 20% since the 1980s. This, alongside the difficulty to increase volumes of sales has meant many developing countries have a trade deficit. According Bhagwati (1958), it is possible that this decline in the terms of trade could result in diminished welfare. In other words, growth from trade can be negative rather than positive. ”

http://randomrantsandnews.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/why-many-developing-countries-seem-contrary-to-what-the-traditional-theories-suggest-not-benefiting-from-international-trade/

Just a bit of Economics

The benefits of trade have been well documented throughout history. The economic case is quite straightforward. Opening up to trade allows countries to shift their patterns of production, exporting goods that they are relatively efficient at producing and importing goods at a lower price that they can’t produce resourcefully at home. This lets resources to be allocated more efficiently allowing a nation’s economy to grow. Fruits of trade can be seen in many countries. In the last 30 years, trade has grown around 7% per year on average (WTO, 2013). During this time period, developing nations have seen their share in world export increase from 34% to 47% (WTO, 2013) which at first glance seem incredible. However if we dig a little deeper, it is quickly apparent that China is the key reason for the majority of the growth and that a bulk of these developing countries aren’t benefiting fully…

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Is Poverty the fault, crime, of the poor? August 7, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Development & Change, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Poverty, UN's New Sustainable Development Goals, Youth Unemployment.
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Odaa OromooPoverty

 

 

 

The truth is that humanity must now confront, not just poverty, but a convergence of mega crises, all of which are deeply interconnected: Government corruption; ecological destabilization; structural debt; and hyper-consumerism established in the west and rapidly expanding worldwide.

Martin Kirk & Joe Brewer

 

 

 

 

Right now, a long and complicated process is underway to replace the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015, with new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These will set the parameters for international development for the next 15 years and every government, UN agency, large corporation and NGO, not to mention billions of citizens on the planet have a stake.

Judging by what’s being produced, though, we have a serious problem. The best way to describe it is with an old joke: There’s a man driving through the countryside, trying to find a nearby town. He’s desperately lost and so when he sees a woman by the side of the road he pulls over and asks for directions. The woman scratches her head and says, “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.”

The best evidence of where the SDGs are starting from is the so-called “Zero Draft” document, first released on 3 June and currently undergoing exhaustive consultation.

First things to note are the big differences with the MDGs. Most strikingly, the SDGs suggest an end to poverty is possible in the next 15 years, whereas the MDGs aimed at halving it. The implication is that we’ve made amazing progress and are now on the home stretch. Secondly, the SDGs get serious about climate change. This is a major paradigm shift and, what’s more, they aim squarely at the heart of the problem: patterns of production and consumption. Impressive. Thirdly, reducing inequality “within and between” countries is included, with a goal of its own. This suggests another paradigm shift, and a controversial one because it opens the door, just a crack, to the idea that the extremely rich might be making an undue amount of their money off the backs of the extremely poor.

Of these three goals, it is fairly certain that two will disappear before the process concludes. There is no way the world’s rich governments and corporations will allow a meaningful challenge to production and consumption patterns, or a focus on reducing inequality. This is a given.

However, there is an even more important problem in the Zero Draft document which is that the very starting point of the issue is profoundly misconceived. How do we know? Because of the language. Language is a code that contains a lot more than its literal meaning, and an analysis of semantic frames in the Zero Draft exposes the logic upon which it is built.

Let’s take the opening paragraph:

“Poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. We are therefore committed to freeing humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency.”

Poverty can be conceptualised in many ways and in this passage it is presented as both a preventable disease (“to be eradicated”) and as a prison (“to free humanity from”). In both, the framing reveals the framers’ view, conscious or otherwise, on causation. Diseases are just part of the natural world, so if poverty is a disease, it suggest that it is something for which no-one is to blame. The logic of a prison meanwhile is that people are in it for committing a crime. The former denies the idea that human actions may be a cause of inequality and poverty; the latter invokes the idea that poverty is the fault – the crime – of the poor.

Also note the phrase: “the greatest global challenge.” This asserts a logic in which there is a hierarchy of individual issues based on relative importance, with poverty at the top. The truth, however, is that humanity must confront a convergence of mega-crises all of which are deeply interconnected. Government corruption, ecological destabilisation, structural debt, hyper-consumerism established in the West and rapidly expanding in the east and south, for example, are all closely linked. But framing poverty as “the greatest global challenge” conceals the web of interconnected systems and removes them from consideration. The result: No systemic solutions can arise from a logic that denies systemic problems.

There is a good reason for this: it protects the status quo. This logic validates the current system and ordering of power by excusing it of blame and says it can, indeed must, continue business as usual. This is the logic of the corporate capitalist system.

There’s no denying that some excellent progress has been made since 1990 – the year the MDGs measure from – but you don’t need to deny that to know there is something fundamentally wrong with a global economy in which, at a time when wealth grew by 66%, the ratio of average incomes of the richest 5% and the poorest 20% rose from 202:1 to 275:1. Or that the reality masked by the ratios is that one third of all deaths since 1990 (432 million) have been poverty-related. Using UN figures, that’s more than double the combined deaths from the Two World Wars, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Stalin’s purges, and all military and civilian deaths from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. What’s more, even though we are now seeing around 400,000 deaths every year from climate change, we are pumping 61% more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere annually than we were in 1990.

The point is that, in light of the logic the language exposes – and we have mentioned just two of many possible examples telling the same story – any glorification of the SDGs we hear over the next year must be seen as reinforcing the logic their language contains.

To really tackle poverty, inequality and climate change, we would need to change that logic to one that is built on an acceptance of how much these problems are the result of human actions. And that the fact of living in poverty makes no inherent comment whatsoever on the person or people concerned, other than that they live in poverty. This in turn would make a wholly different type and scale of change feel like common sense. For example, it would feel obvious to work towards taxing carbon emissions at source and putting in place sanctions against those responsible for hoardingat least $26 trillion in tax havens. We would instinctively reach to introduce laws that give local authorities everywhere the right to revoke corporate charters for serious social or environmental misdeeds anywhere. And the big one: money. Ridiculous though it may sound, right now we allow private banks to control the supply of US dollars, euros and other major currencies that surge through the global economy. These banks charge everyone, including governments, interest on every note, thereby guaranteeing that a constant river of money flows into their coffers, along with immense power. But unfortunately, none of these issues will make it into the SDGs because they contradict the current, dominant logic, and what’s more, because they might actually work and redistribute power and wealth more equitably.

We compound our problems when we allow ourselves to be drawn into processes like the SDG-design are turning out to be. Every ounce of credence given to their frames helps weigh down the center of debate far from where it needs to be. Until the UN can use its powers, resources and privileges to promote policies that grow from the logic of its highest ideals, we may help it, the planet and each other best by divesting our attention from it and finding avenues for change that can.

This article was originally published by Common Dreams.

Read more @ http://commondreams.org/views/2014/08/06/hidden-shallows-global-poverty-eradication-efforts

China, African governments, Debt & Corruption May 12, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, International Trade, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, No to land grabs in Oromia, Theory of Development, Youth Unemployment.
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The message is that African leaders now have licence to oppress their people, clean their national treasuries; and generally rob, loot, rape and plunder because their new masters will not hold them to account on how well or how badly they treat their subjects.http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/The-Chinese-did-not-come-here-on-charity/-/440808/2312172/-/11rv0rwz/-/index.html

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201405081353.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

‘Debt and Corruption are an awful mix: The appetite for debt by African governments is particularly concerning given that there does not appear to be any serious action to end the gross mismanagement of public funds. Getting into debt only makes sense if you plan to use the money properly. But if substantial sums of money end up in the pockets of faceless politicians, then Africa is ransoming future earnings with no future benefits. This is self-sabotage at its best. There is no need to belabour the point. Don’t take on billions of dollars of debt if corruption is still an untamed beast…the consequences for Africa’s economy and people will be dire….. ‘Many of the Chinese contracts in Africa lay down that repayments be made in natural resources, with complex institutional contracts that make repayments unpredictable in financial terms’. [2] How can we be comfortable with our governments getting into deals into the billions of dollars and yet these are shrouded in mystery? With no information at hand, we do not really know how deep of a hole we’re digging for ourselves.’

Step away from the debt plate Africa, you need to watch what you’re eating

POSTED ON MAY 12, 2014 @http://anzetsewere.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/step-away-from-the-debt-plate-africa-you-need-to-watch-what-youre-eating/

 

Africa is bingeing on debt and risks overeating at the buffet of financial offers from China, India, Brazil and many others. Kenya just recently signed a series of financial agreements worth billions with China during Prime Minister Lee Keqiang’s visit to the country this last weekend making it clear that we live in a multipolar world. In this new world order Africa is spoilt for choice with regard to who to partner with to fund development. But we (Africa) seem to have an insatiable appetite for this new money and do not seem to be fully aware of the implications of accepting all these tasty offers of cash. We also don’t seem to be thinking about whether we can, or how we can absorb these volumes of cash. Don’t get me wrong, Africa’s excitement at promises of billions apparently with ‘no conditions’ is understandable. Having spent the past decades grovelling at the doors of donors and investors from Europe and North America, many Africans felt we were giving away our pride for monies tied to what many felt were onerous conditions. So now, we are whistling our way to the bank with our new financials ‘partners’.

But is this truly smart? The reality is that all borrowing has conditions. So allow me to digress briefly and go slightly further with this point. China enjoys talking about about how it provides money with ‘no conditions’, but closer analysis reveals that this is not strictly true. The Chinese government, like any other government, will protect its investments; investments made almost exclusively with African governments…which seems to suggest that if China has to back up (even unpopular or despotic) African governments to protect its investments, it will. Look at the incriminating allegations that China funded Mugabe’s election ‘victory’ last year. Documents from Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization suggest that the success of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, ‘reflected direct intervention by the Chinese Communist Party’. (See more here and here). Perhaps for Zimbabwe the conditions that make China feel most secure in its investments is if Mugabe is in power. So maybe there are some conditions tied to money from China. The point I’m making is that it is important Africans analyse reality and not get spellbound by the rhetoric. But that is an aside; let’s get to the real problems behind Africa’s debt binge

1. We don’t really know the scale of the debt we’re getting into

By ‘we’ I mean Africans not on the inside corridors of power, but on whose behalf these deals are being made. It is absolute madness that in the case of countries such as China, we actually don’t know how much debt we’re getting into. Over the weekend Kenya and China signed several agreements but, ‘The two leaders did not disclose the actual financial value of most of the agreements and protocols signed but their aides said the deals run into billions of Kenya shillings.’[1] Why the secrecy? How much of this money from China is grants vs debt? What are the interest rates (there are references to ‘concessional loans’ but that’s about it), what are the terms of repayment, what are the penalties for defaulting? Also bear in mind that in the past, ‘Many of the Chinese contracts in Africa lay down that repayments be made in natural resources, with complex institutional contracts that make repayments unpredictable in financial terms’. [2] How can we be comfortable with our governments getting into deals into the billions of dollars and yet these are shrouded in mystery? With no information at hand, we do not really know how deep of a hole we’re digging for ourselves.

2. Do we have the absorptive capacity to handle all this money?

We are getting into debt to fund numerous development projects that range from infrastructure to agriculture, to security and wildlife but, pray tell, do we have the absorptive capacity to soak up these billions? Because whether we can absorb the money or not, we will be paying it back. Absorptive capacity here relates to the macro and micro constraints that recipient countries face in using resources, in this case money, effectively.[3] Does Africa have the physical, intellectual and systems-related infrastructure, expertise and culture to competently implement all these projects? For example, do county governments have the technical savoir faire to implement agriculture projects worth millions? One of the issues of serious concern is that investment in educational infrastructure rarely features prominently in these deals. There are very limited (if any) provisions for building the educational capacity of African countries especially at tertiary and vocational levels. So great, we’re getting money to build railways, but how many Africans can be effectively put to task on this, especially at managerial positions? Bear in mind that already, with regards to China, Africa has fallen into a trap where, 1) China is allowed to bring in Chinese nationals to provide labour and, 2) When African labour is used, it is cheap, unskilled labour.[4] This situation is untenable. Africa should be using every single government- funded project to hire Africans and build the capacity of Africans to do the job competently in the future. Africa cannot continue to so fundamentally rely on outsiders to do the basics for us such as building roads. But sadly, African countries seem to be happy with outsourcing all the large-scale projects, sometimes back to companies from the country that gave us the loans in the first place. This leads to the next point.

3. With limited absorptive capacity, Africa will continue to outsource big contracts

Africa is not being very bright. We get loans then outsource the implementation of the projects back to companies from the donor country. In short, we’re paying China to pay itself. Why? Generally however, using outsourcing as the default strategy for large-scale project implementation is problematic in at least two ways: 1) It hides and exacerbates Africa’s skills deficit and, 2) It pumps money out of the country. The first point is obvious, if we continue to rely on others to build our roads, we will continue to lack the skillsets and capacity to competently build and maintain our roads ourselves. But since the roads are being built, we never feel the weight of our incompetence in this area and therefore have no sense urgency to rectify this problem. Secondly, companies implementing projects in Africa make a profit then expatriate the profit. So we’re getting into debt and then haemorrhaging some of that expensive money out of the continent through outsourcing. This makes no long-term sense. Ideally we should use local contractors to implement projects however, as elucidated in point 2, we do not seem to have sufficient volumes of companies capable of absorbing this workload. But rather than fix that, African governments go to the default setting labelled ‘outsource’. We’re getting into a vicious cycle as follows: We don’t have the capacity to implement large-scale projects → we outsource but fail to ensure skills transfer → exacerbates the skills deficit → we don’t have the capacity to implement large-scale projects. African governments should essentially use the development projects led by non-Africans as structured training opportunities for newly qualified professionals as well as building more seasoned professionals into the management structure of projects.

4. Debt and Corruption are an awful mix

The appetite for debt by African governments is particularly concerning given that there does not appear to be any serious action to end the gross mismanagement of public funds. Getting into debt only makes sense if you plan to use the money properly. But if substantial sums of money end up in the pockets of faceless politicians, then Africa is ransoming future earnings with no future benefits. This is self-sabotage at its best. There is no need to belabour the point. Don’t take on billions of dollars of debt if corruption is still an untamed beast…the consequences for Africa’s economy and people will be dire.

5. Overleveraged?

This issue relates to point number 1. There is limited information on the scale of the debt Africa is getting into with certain parties so at what point will we in Africa know when we’re overleveraged? It seems like the answer to that is ‘not any time soon’. The scary part is that some African governments seem to think debt will fix all our problems with Heads of States expecting hearty praise when they secure even more debt for the continent. It is true that structures such as the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) exist which seek to stop lenders from lending more money to countries that have exceeded their debt ceilings. But, ‘to work well, the DSF needs close co-ordination between all creditors. This is hard enough to do between public and private lenders from the traditional partners, but is even more difficult with the new lenders [such as China].[5],[6]Sadly, African countries do not seem to be keen on tabulating public debt figures at either national or pan African levels, and sharing them.

Read more from the original sourcce: http://anzetsewere.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/step-away-from-the-debt-plate-africa-you-need-to-watch-what-youre-eating/

 

Ethiopia’s Villagisation Scheme is a failure April 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Gambella, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromia Support Group, Oromian Voices, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Youth Unemployment.
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The orderly village of Agulodiek in Ethiopia‘s western Gambella region stands in stark contrast to Elay, a settlement 5km west of Gambella town, where collapsed straw huts strewn with cracked clay pots lie among a tangle of bushes.

 

Agulodiek is a patch of land where families gradually gathered of their own accord, while Elay is part of the Ethiopian government’s contentious “villagisation” scheme that ended last year. The plan in Gambella was to relocate almost the entire rural population of the state over three years. Evidence from districts surrounding Gambella town suggest the policy is failing.

 

Two years ago people from Agulodiek moved to Elay after officials enticed them with promises of land, livestock, clean water, a corn grinder, education and a health clinic. Instead they found dense vegetation they were unable to cultivate. After one year of selling firewood to survive, they walked back home.

 

“All the promises were empty,” says Apwodho Omot, an ethnic Anuak, sitting in shade at Agulodiek. There is a donor-funded school at the village whose dirt paths are swept clear of debris, and the government built a hand pump in 2004 that still draws water from a borehole. Apwodho’s community says they harvest corn twice a year from fertile land they have cleared. “We don’t know why the government picked Elay,” she says.

 

Gambella region’s former president Omod Obang Olum reported last year that 35,000 households had voluntarily moved from a target of 45,000. The official objective had been to cluster scattered households to make public service delivery more efficient. Critics such as Human Rights Watch said the underlying reason was to clear the way for agricultural investors, and that forced evictions overseen by soldiers involved rape and murder. The Ethiopian government refute the allegations.

 

Last month the London-based law firm Leigh Day & Co began proceedings against the UK Department for International Development (DfID) at the high court after a man from Gambella alleged he suffered abuse when the agency supported the resettlement scheme. Since 2006, DfID and other donors have funded a multibillion-dollar programme in Ethiopia that pays the salaries of key regional government workers such as teachers and nurses through the Protection of Basic Services scheme.

 

A DfID spokesman said: “We will not comment on ongoing legal action, however, the UK has never funded Ethiopia’s resettlement programmes. Our support to the Protection of Basic Services Programme is only used to provide essential services like healthcare, schooling and clean water.”

 

Karmi, 10km from Gambella town, is a newly expanded community for those resettled along one of the few tarmac roads. Two teachers scrub clothes in plastic tubs on a sticky afternoon. A herd of goats nibble shrubs as purple and orange lizards edge up tree trunks. There is little activity in the village, which has bare pylons towering over it waiting for high-voltage cables to improve Gambella’s patchy electricity supply.

 

The teachers work in an impressive school built in 2011 with funds from the UN refugee agency. It has a capacity of 245 students for grades one to five – yet the teachers have only a handful of pupils per class. “This is a new village but the people have left,” says Tigist Megersa.

 

Kolo Cham grows sorghum and corn near the Baro river, a 30-minute walk from his family home at Karmi. The area saw an influx of about 600 people at the height of villagisation, says Kolo, crouching on a tree stump, surrounded only by a group of children with a puppy. Families left when they got hungry and public services weren’t delivered. “They moved one by one so the government didn’t know the number was decreasing,” he says.

 

The Anuak at Karmi have reason to fear the authorities, particularly Ethiopia’s military. Several give accounts of beatings and arrests by soldiers as they searched for the perpetrators of a nearby March 2012attack on a bus that killed 19. The insecurity was a key factor in the exodus, according to residents.

 

As well as the Anuak, who have tended crops near riverbanks in Gambella for more than 200 years, the region is home to cattle-herding Nuer residents, who began migrating from Sudan in the late 19th century. Thousands of settlers from northern Ethiopia also arrived in the 1980s when the highlands suffered a famine. The government blamed the bus attack on Anuak rebels who consider their homeland colonised.

 

David Pred is the managing director of Inclusive Development International. The charity is representing Gambella residents, who haveaccused the World Bank of violating its own policies by funding the resettlement programme. An involuntary, abusive, poorly planned and inadequately funded scheme was bound to fail, he says. “It requires immense resources, detailed planning and a process that is truly participatory in order for resettlement to lead to positive development outcomes,” he adds.

 

Most of flood-prone Gambella, one of Ethiopia’s least developed states, is covered with scrub and grasslands. Inhospitable terrain makes it difficult for villagisation to take root in far-flung places such as Akobo, which borders South Sudan. Akobo is one of the three districts selected for resettlement, according to Kok Choul, who represents the district in the regional council.

 

In 2009, planners earmarked Akobo for four new schools, clinics, vets, flourmills and water schemes, as well as 76km of road. But the community of about 30,000 has seen no change, says 67-year-old Kok, who has 19 children from four wives. “There is no road to Gambella so there is no development,” he says. One well-placed civil servant explains that funds for services across the region were swallowed by items such as daily allowances for government workers.

 

A senior regional official says the state ran low on funds for resettlement, leading to delivery failures and cost-cutting. For example, substandard corn grinders soon broke and have not been repaired, he says. The government will continue to try to provide planned services in three districts including Akobo this year and next, according to the official.

 

However, the programme has transformed lives, with some farmers harvesting three times a year, says Ethiopia’s ambassador to the UK, Berhanu Kebede. The government is addressing the “few cases that are not fully successful”, he says. Service provision is ongoing and being monitored and improved upon if required, according to Kebede.

 

At Elay, Oman Nygwo, a wiry 40-year-old in cut-off jeans, gives a tour of deserted huts and points to a line of mango trees that mark his old home on the banks of the Baro. He is scathing about the implementation of the scheme but remains in Elay as there is less risk of flooding. There was no violence accompanying these resettlements, Oman says, but “there would be problems if the government tried to move us again”.

 

 

Read @ original source:http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/apr/22/ethiopia-villagisation-scheme-fails?CMP=twt_gu

Stop aid to Tyrants: It is time to a new development model April 14, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Finfinnee, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Land Grabs in Africa, Opportunity Cost, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Poverty, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Youth Unemployment.
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“Compare free development in Botswana with authoritarian development in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia in 2010, Human Rights Watch documented how the autocrat Meles Zenawi selectively withheld aid-financed famine relief from everyone except ruling-party members. Meanwhile democratic Botswana, although drought-prone like Ethiopia, has enjoyed decades of success in preventing famine. Government relief directed by local activists goes wherever drought strikes.”-  http://time.com/23075/william-easterly-stop-sending-aid-to-dictators/

Traditional foreign aid often props up tyrants more than it helps the poor. It’s time for a new model.

Too much of America’s foreign aid funds what I call authoritarian development. That’s when the international community–experts from the U.N. and other bodies–swoop into third-world countries and offer purely technical assistance to dictatorships like Uganda or Ethiopia on how to solve poverty.

Unfortunately, dictators’ sole motivation is to stay in power. So the development experts may get some roads built, but they are not maintained. Experts may sink boreholes for clean water, but the wells break down. Individuals do not have the political rights to protest disastrous public services, so they never improve. Meanwhile, dictators are left with cash and services to prop themselves up–while punishing their enemies.

But there is another model: free development, in which poor individuals, asserting their political and economic rights, motivate government and private actors to solve their problems or to give them the means to solve their own problems.

Compare free development in Botswana with authoritarian development in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia in 2010, Human Rights Watch documented how the autocrat Meles Zenawi selectively withheld aid-financed famine relief from everyone except ruling-party members. Meanwhile democratic Botswana, although drought-prone like Ethiopia, has enjoyed decades of success in preventing famine. Government relief directed by local activists goes wherever drought strikes.
In the postwar period, countries such as Chile, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have successfully followed the path of free development–often in spite of international aid, not because of it. While foreign policy concerns have often led America to prop up dictatorial regimes, we need a new rule: no democracy, no aid. If we truly want to help the poor, we can’t accept the dictators’ false bargain: ignore our rights abuses, and meet the material needs of those we oppress. Instead, we must advocate that the poor have the same rights as the rich everywhere, so they can aid themselves.

Easterly is the co-director of New York University’s Development Research Institute and author of The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor.

Read  further at original source@
http://time.com/23075/william-easterly-stop-sending-aid-to-dictators/

 

As protestors from Kiev to Khartoum to Caracas take to the streets against autocracy, a new book from economist William Easterly reminds us that Western aid is too often on the wrong side of the battle for freedom and democracy.  In The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the PoorEasterly slams thedevelopment community for supporting autocrats, not democrats, in the name of helping the world’s poorest. Ignoring human rights abuses and giving aid to oppressive regimes, he maintains, harms those in need and in many ways “un-develops” countries.

The Tyranny of Experts takes on the notion that autocracies deliver stronger economic growth than freer societies.  Easterly argues that when economic growth occurs under autocratic regimes, it is more often achieved at the local level in spite of the regime’s efforts.  In some instances, growth under autocracies can be attributed to relative increases in freedoms.  He points to China as an example of this, attributing the country’s phenomenal growth to its adoption of greater personal and economic freedoms, especially compared to the crippling Maoist policies of the past.

Easterly also rejects the myth that dictators are dependable and that a certain level of oppression should be overlooked for the sake of economic growth and overall prosperity. Most recently, the violence and chaos following the 2011 Arab uprisings has made some nostalgic for the stable, if undemocratic, governments that kept civil unrest in check, allowing for a measure of economic development to take hold. Easterly stresses that instability and tumult in the wake of ousting a dictator is not the fault of an emerging democracy, but instead an understandable result of years of autocratic rule. The answer is not to continue to support autocrats in the name of stability, but rather to start the inevitably messy process of democratization sooner.

Easterly is of course not the first to call attention to the importance of prioritizing rights and freedoms in the development agenda. Scholars from Amartya Sen to more recently, Thomas Carothers and Diane de Gramont, have also advocated for a rights-based approach to development. In Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons From Democratic Transitions, my coauthors and I similarly found that economic growth and political freedom go hand-in-hand.

Still, the hard questions remain: how to help those without economic and political freedoms?  And when should donors walk away from desperately poor people because their government is undemocratic? Easterly argues that the donor community should draw the line with far more scrutiny than it does today – not just at the obvious cases, such as North Korea, but with other undemocratic countries, such as Ethiopia, where human rights abuses are rampant. He debunks the notion that aid can be “apolitical,” arguing that it is inherently political: giving resources to a government allows it to control and allocate (or withhold) resources as it sees fit. The aid community should focus on ways to help oppressed populations without helping their oppressors. For example, scholarship programs, trade, and other people-to-people exchanges can give opportunities to people in need. At the very least, Easterly argues, development actors should not praise oppressive regimes or congratulate them on economic growth they did not create.

Rather than being seduced by “benevolent dictators,” Easterly urges donors to focus their energy on “freedom loving” governments that need help. The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a step in the right direction but, as Easterly pointed out during the CFR meeting, MCC’s approach is undermined by other U.S. aid agencies, such as USAID, that continue to assist countries even when they don’t meet certain good governance and human rights standards.

Easterly also emphasizes the need for aid organizations to be more transparent about where their money is going. Robert Zoellick made strides in this direction during his tenure as World Bank president. But more recent developments suggest that the Bank still has a way to go in becoming more open and accountable.  (Easterly noted that an initial invitation to speak about The Tyranny of Experts at the World Bank was later rescinded for “scheduling reasons.”) http://blogs.cfr.org/development-channel/2014/03/14/helping-the-oppressed-not-the-oppressors/#cid=soc-facebook-at-blogs-helping_the_oppressed_not_the_-031414

No democracy, no aid

 

 

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201403190105-0023568

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lPd8IGERDuE

 

March 26, 2014 (The Seattle Times) — SOMEHOW — probably my own fault — I have wound up on Bill Gates’ list of the world’s most misguided economists. Gates singled me out by name in his annual 2014 letter to his foundation as an “aid critic” spreading harmful myths about ineffective aid programs.

I actually admire Gates for his generosity and advocacy for the fight againstglobal poverty through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. We just disagree about how to end poverty throughout the world.

Gates believes poverty will end by identifying technical solutions. My research shows that the first step is not identifying technical solutions, but ensuring poor people’s rights.

Gates concentrates his foundation’s efforts on finding the right fixes to the problems of the world’s poor, such as bed nets to prevent malarial mosquito bites or drought-tolerant varieties of corn to prevent famine. Along with official aid donors, such as USAID and the World Bank, the foundation works together with local, generally autocratic, governments on these technical solutions.

Last year, Gates cited Ethiopia in a Wall Street Journal guest column as an example, a country where he described the donors and government as setting “clear goals, choosing an approach, measuring results, and then using those measurements to continually refine our approach.”

This approach, Gates said, “helps us to deliver tools and services to everybody who will benefit.” Gates then gives credit for progress to the rulers. When the tragically high death rates of Ethiopian children fell from 2005 to 2010, Gates said this was “in large part thanks to” such a measurement-driven program by Ethiopia’s autocrat Meles Zenawi, who had ruled since 1991. Gates later said Meles’ death in August 2012 was “a great loss for Ethiopia.”

Do autocratic rulers like Meles really deserve the credit?

Gates’ technocratic approach to poverty, combining expert advice and cooperative local rulers, is a view that has appealed for decades to foundations and aid agencies. But if technical solutions to poverty are so straightforward, why had these rulers not already used them?

The technical solutions have been missing for so long in Ethiopia and other poor countries because autocrats are more motivated to stay in power than to fix the problems of poverty. Autocracy itself perpetuates poverty.

Meles violently suppressed demonstrations after rigged elections in 2005. He even manipulated donor-financed famine relief in 2010 to go only to his own ruling party’s supporters. The donors failed to investigate this abuse after its exposure by Human Rights Watch, continuing a long technocratic tradition of silence on poor people’s rights.

Rulers only reliably become benevolent when citizens can force them to be so — when citizens exert their democratic rights.

Our own history in the U.S. shows how we can protest bad government actions and reward good actions with our rights to protest and to vote. We won’t even let New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie get away with a traffic jam on a bridge.

Such democratic rights make technical fixes happen, and produce a far better long-run record onreducing poverty, disease and hunger than autocracies. We saw this first in the now-rich countries, which are often unfairly excluded from the evidence base.

Some developing countries such as Botswana had high economic growth through big increases in democratic rights after independence. Botswana’s democrats prevented famines during droughts, unlike the regular famines during droughts under Ethiopia’s autocrats.

Worldwide, the impressive number of developing countries that have shifted to democracy includes successes such as Brazil, Chile, Ghana, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as former Soviet Bloc countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia.

If the democratic view of development is correct, the lessons for Gates are clear: Don’t give undeserved credit and praise to autocrats. Don’t campaign for more official aid to autocrats. Redirect aid to democrats. If the democratic view is wrong, I do deserve to be on Gates’ list of the world’s most misguided economists.

http://ayyaantuu.com/africa/guest-the-flaw-in-bill-gates-approach-to-ending-global-poverty/

Related findings:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/09/357842/britain-funds-criminals-in-ethiopia/?fb_action_ids=621424617949652&fb_action_types=og.likes

 

The UK government is providing financial aid to human rights abusers in Ethiopia through funding training paramilitaries, who perpetrate summary killings, rape and torture in the impoverished African country, local media reported.

Through its foreign aid budget, the UK government provides financial support to an Ethiopian government security force known as the “special police” as part of its “peace and development programme”, which would cost up to £15 million in five years, The Guardian reported. 

The Department for International Development warned in a leaked document of the “reputational risks” of working with organizations that are “frequently cited in human rights violationallegations”, according to the report. 

The Ethiopian government’s counter-insurgency campaign in Ogaden, a troubled region largely populated by ethnic Somalis is being enforced by the 14,000-strong special police. 

This is while police forces are repeatedly accused by Human Rights Watch of serious human rights abuses. 

Claire Beston, the Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher, said it was highly concerning that Britain was planning to work with the paramilitary force.

 

In Ethiopia 40.2% of population are undernourished and the country is one of the world’s 10 hungriest countries April 2, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Poverty, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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  • There are over 870 million people in the world who are hungry right now. I’m not talking about could use a snack before lunch hungry, not even didn’t have time for breakfast hungry, but truly, continually, hungry. Of these 870 million people, it’s been estimated by the World Food Programme that 98% live in developing countries, countries that perversely produce most of the world’s food stocks. So why is this the case?
  • In Ethiopia an alarming 40.2% of population are undernourished.The 2011 Horn of Africa drought left 4.5 million people in Ethiopia in need of emergency food assistance.  Pastoralist areas in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia were most severely affected by the drought.  At the same time, cereal markets experienced a supply shock, and food prices rose substantially, resulting in high food insecurity among poor people.  By the beginning of 2012, the overall food security situation had stabilized thanks to the start of the Meher harvest after the June-to-September rains  resulting in improved market supply — and to sustained humanitarian assistance. While the number of new arrivals in refugee camps has decreased significantly since the height of the Horn of Africa crisis, Ethiopia still continues to receive refugees from Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan. The Humanitarian Requirements Document issued by the government and humanitarian partners in September 2012 estimates that 3.76 million people require relief food assistance from August to December 2012. The total net emergency food and non-food requirement amounts to US$189,433,303. Ethiopia remains one of the world’s least developed countries, ranked 174 out of 187 in the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index.

Read more @ http://www.globalcitizen.org/Content/Content.aspx?id=d7f0ac9b-e3a3-4233-8103-0348bb35e127

Africa Rising: So What? March 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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This study critically discuses  the “Africa rising” story and the sub-narratives it carries, including the rise of the African woman, the rise of the African middle class and the power of innovation. The articles included inform that, in too many cases, it is not the wider population but small segments and interested parties, such as the local political elite and foreign investors, who are benefiting from economic growth and resource wealth. Social cohesion, political freedom and environmental protection carry little importance in the comforting world of impressive growth statistics. The glamorous images of Africa’s prominent women and rising middle class produced and re-produced in the media prevent the less attractive and more complex stories about ordinary people’s daily struggles from being heard.

GDP tells us nothing about health of an economy, let alone its sustainability and the overall impact on GDP is simply a measure of market consumption, which has been improperly adopted to assess economic performance. Rebuilding Libya after the civil war has been a blessing for its GDP. But does that mean that Libya is on an enviable growth path? When there is only one brick left in a country devastated by war or other disasters, then just making another brick means doubling the economy (100 percent growth). Another problem is the reliability of GDP statistics in Africa.  Economic growth figures for most  African countries are incomplete, thus undermining any generalisation about overall economic performance in the continent. Besides statistical problems, there are important structural reasons why one should be suspicious of  the ‘Africa rising’ mantra. Most fast- growing Africa economies are heavily dependent on exports of commodities.

Read the full articles @:

http://ke.boell.org/sites/default/files/perspectives_feb_2014_web1.pdf

 

 

“About 30% of sub-Saharan Africa’s annual GDP has been moved to secretive tax havens.”

http://www.fairobserver.com/article/africa-illicit-outflow-84931

 

 

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2014 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

Africa’s youth and the self-seeking repressive elites March 15, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Finfinnee, Food Production, Human Rights, International Economics, International Trade, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Opportunity Cost, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Poverty, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Oijoolleeoromo

Africa’s youth will protest to remove self-seeking and repressive elites

 

“Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone. ….Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk. The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites. But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’. What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’? Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure. There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.”  – Marika Griehsel, journalist, film-maker and lecturer

“Thousands of people are demonstrating on the streets to protest against low salaries, the highcost of living and an insufficient state safety net. A reaction to austerity measures in Greece? Or a follow-up to the Arab Spring? No, these are protests for greater equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Burkina Faso. The widening gap between rich and poor is as troubling in Africa as in the rest of the world. In fact, many Africans believe that inequalities are becoming more marked: A tiny minority is getting richer while the lines of poor people grow out the door. The contrast is all the more striking in Africa since the poverty level has been at a consistently high level for decades, despite the continent’s significant average GDP growth. Some take a plane to get treated for hay fever, while others are pushing up daisies because they can’t afford basic malaria treatment.”

– Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

 

 

It is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

The largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest.

Soon, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

This piece was written in Namibia, where I was leading a tour around one of Africa’s more stable nations. There are several signs confirming the World Bank’s reclassification of Namibia as a middle-income country, which in turn means that many aid donors, including Sweden, have ended their bilateral cooperation.

I see newly constructed, subsidised single-family homes accessible for low-income families. I drive on good roads and meet many tourists, although this is off-season. I hear about a growing mining sector, new discoveries of natural gas and oil deposits. I read about irregularities committed by people in power, in a reasonably free press whose editors are not thrown into jail. There is free primary level schooling and almost free health care.

Most people I talk to are optimistic. A better future for a majority of Namibians is being envisaged. This is in all probability the result of the country having a small population ‒ just above 2 million ‒ and a functioning infrastructure despite its large area.

In Namibia, economic growth can hopefully be matched by implementing policies for long-term, sustainable social and economic development that will benefit more than the élite.

But Namibia is an exception. Because it is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, predicts continued high growth rates across Africa with an average of over 6 per cent in 2014. That is of course good news for the continent. Perhaps the best, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, since the 1960s, when many of the former colonies became independent. This growth is mainly driven by the raw material needs of China, India and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities. But, in contrast with China, where the migrants from the rural areas get employment in the manufacturing industry, the urban migrants in Africa end up in the growing slums of the big cities.

In a few places, notably in Ethiopia, manufacturing is beginning to take off. But the wages in the Chinese-owned factories are even lower than in China, while the corporations pay minimal taxes to the Ethiopian state.

Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’.

What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’?

Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure.

There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.
Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

http://naiforum.org/2014/03/africas-youth-will-protest/

The World Bank paints an optimistic picture of African potential, but warns against persistently high inequalities:

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains strong with growth forecasted to be 4.9% in 2013. Almost a third of countries in the region are growing at 6% and more, and African countries are now routinely among the fastest-growing countries in the world […] [however the report] notes that poverty and inequality remain “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today.

Revenue inequality in African towns via French documentation - Public domainhttp://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

Tweets Ranking Africa: Who tweets most? Who is not? March 12, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Accra, Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Development, Facebook and Africa, Human Rights, Nairobi, Nelson Mandela, Oromo, South Africa, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????iol scitech dec 11 twitterEmbedded image permalink
Africa’s largest and second-largest economies, South Africa and Egypt, are Africa’s two most active Twitter countries. Accra, Cairo, Johannesburg and Nairobi  are the tweets capitals of Africa. With 344,215 geo-located tweets, Johannesburg is the most active city in Africa. 

According to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) latest report on  information and communications technology in Ethiopia, the country  is among the least developed and most expensive in the world. The report placed Ethiopia 151st in ICT development, out of 157 countries, and 152nd out 169 countries in the price of fixed broadband connection. After a decade, in 2012, the internet penetration rate in Ethiopia was a mere 1.1 percent, or 960,331 users and out of this 902,440 are Facebook users. Neighboring Kenya, however, reached a 41 percent penetration rate, with 16.2 million users.   As part of its active engagement in curtailing free media, the Ethiopian state  is known  in making citizen’s  use of  micro social networkings  illegal  and blocks internet connections and sites to public.

Embedded image permalink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iP48NgCs9U4

In a follow up to its 2012 study, the London- and Nairobi-based public relations and strategic communications agency Portland analysed geo-located tweets originating from Africa during the final three months of 2013. The second How Africa Tweets study dives deeper into Twitter use on the continent, looking at which cities are the most active, what languages are being used the most and what issues are driving the conversation online.

How Africa Tweets found that, during the final three months of 2013:

Johannesburg is the most active city in Africa, with 344,215 geo-located tweets, followed by Ekurhuleni (264,172) and Cairo (227,509). Durban (163,019) and Alexandria (159,534) make up the remainder of the top five most active cities
Nairobi is the most active city in East Africa and the sixth most active on the continent, with 123,078 geo-located tweets
Accra is the most active city in West Africa and the eight most active on the continent, with 78,575 geo-located tweets
English, French and Arabic are the most common languages on Twitter in Africa, accounting for 75.5% of the total tweets analysed. Zulu, Swahili, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Portuguese are the next most commonly tweeted languages in Africa
Tuesdays and Fridays are the most active tweeting days. Twitter activity rises steadily through the afternoon and evening, with peak volumes around 9pm
The day of Nelson Mandela’s death – 5 December – saw the highest volume of geo-located tweets in Africa
Brands in Africa are becoming increasingly prevalent on Twitter.
Portland tracked major hashtag activity from top brands such as Samsung (#SamsungLove), Adidas (#Adidas) and Magnum ice cream (#MagnumAuction)

Football is the most-discussed topic on Twitter in Africa. Football was discussed more than any other topic, including the death of Nelson Mandela. The most mentioned football team was Johannesburg’s Orlando Pirates (#BlackisBack, #PrayForOrlandoPirates, #OperationFillOrlandoStadium)
Politically-related hashtags were less common than those around other issues, with only four particularly active political hashtags tracked during the time period. This included #KenyaAt50 – celebration of Kenya’s independence – and the competing #SickAt50
Allan Kamau, Head of Portland Nairobi, says: “The African Twittersphere is changing rapidly and transforming the way that Africa communicates with itself and the rest of the world. Our latest research reveals a significantly more sophisticated landscape than we saw just two years ago. This is opening up new opportunities and challenges for companies, campaigning organisations and governments across Africa.”

Mark Flanagan, Head of Digital for Portland, says: “As well as adding diversity of perspective on political and social issues, Africa’s Twitter users are also contributing linguistic diversity. Twitter is now established on the continent as a source of information and a platform for conversation.”http://allafrica.com/stories/201403120080.html

http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/technology/internet/which-african-city-sends-most-tweets-1.1659947#.UyDKotJdXeJ

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312230211.html?viewall=1

 

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2014 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

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/

US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia February 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Ethiopia:2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

By US  Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

27 February 2014

  • The most significant human rights problems included: restrictions on freedom of expression and association, including through arrests; detention; politically motivated trials; harassment; and intimidation of opposition members and journalists, as well as continued restrictions on print media. 
  • Other human rights problems included arbitrary killings; allegations of torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; reports of harsh and, at times, life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; allegations of abuses in the implementation of the government’s “villagization” program; restrictions on academic freedom; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and movement; alleged interference in religious affairs; limits on citizens’ ability to change their government; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; clashes between ethnic minorities; discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on worker rights; forced labor; and child labor, including forced child labor.
  • Impunity was a problem. The government, with some reported exceptions, usually did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption.
  • Members of the security forces reportedly committed killings. On August 8, security forces in Addis Ababa detained more than one thousand Muslims participating in Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Authorities released most of the detainees shortly thereafter, but there were credible allegations some of the detainees died while in detention. There  continued to be reports of abuses, including killings, by the Somali Region Special Police.
  • A few domestic human rights groups operated, but with significant government restrictions. The government was generally distrustful and wary of domestic human rights groups and international observers. State-controlled media were critical of international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch.
  • The CSO law prohibits charities, societies, and associations (NGOs or CSOs) that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources from engaging in activities that advance human and democratic rights or promote equality of nations, nationalities, peoples, genders, and religions; the rights of children and persons with disabilities; conflict resolution or reconciliation; or the efficiency of justice and law enforcement services. The implementation of the law continued to result in the severe curtailment of NGO activities related to human rights. In July 2012 the UN high commissioner for human rights expressed concern that civil society space “has rapidly shrunk” since the CSO law’s enactment.
  • The country has more than 80 ethnic groups, of which the Oromo, at approximately 35 percent of the population, is the largest. The federal system drew boundaries roughly along major ethnic group lines. Most political parties remained primarily ethnically based.
  • Clashes between ethnic groups during the year resulted in injury and death. In January ethnic clashes broke out at Addis Ababa University reportedly due to anti-Oromo graffiti. The clashes resulted in injury to as many as 20 persons. 
  • The government, controlled by the ruling EPRDF, restricted media freedom and arrested opposition members. Constituent parties of the EPRDF conferred advantages upon their members; the parties directly owned many businesses and were broadly perceived to award jobs and business contracts to loyal supporters. Several opposition political parties reported difficulty in renting homes or buildings in which to open offices, citing visits by EPRDF members to the landlords to persuade or threaten them not to rent property to these parties. There were reports authorities had terminated the employment of teachers and other government workers if they belonged to opposition political parties.
  • According to sources, the ruling party via the Ministry of Education continued to give preference to students loyal to the party in assignments to postgraduate programs. Some university staff members commented that priority for employment after graduation in all fields was given to students who joined the party. Authorities limited teachers’ ability to deviate from official lesson plans. Numerous anecdotal reports suggested non-EPRDF members were more likely to be transferred to undesirable posts and bypassed for promotions. There were unspecified reports of teachers not affiliated with the EPRDF being summarily dismissed for failure to attend unscheduled meetings. There continued to be a lack of transparency in academic staffing decisions, with numerous complaints from individuals in the academic community alleging bias based on party membership, ethnicity, or religion. According to multiple credible sources, teachers and high school students in grade 10 and above were required to attend training on the concepts of revolutionary democracy and EPRDF party ideology. 
  • The state-owned Ethio Telecom was the only internet service provider in the country. The government restricted access to the internet and blocked several websites, including blogs; opposition websites; and websites of Ginbot 7, the OLF, and the ONLF. The government also temporarily blocked news sites such as al-Jazeera. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo! were temporarily inaccessible at times. Several news blogs and websites run by opposition diaspora groups were not accessible. These included Addis Neger, Nazret, Ethiopian Review, CyberEthiopia, Quatero Amharic Magazine, Tensae Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Media Forum. Authorities took steps to block access to Virtual Private Network providers that let users circumvent government screening of internet browsing and e-mail. According to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 1.5 percent of individuals used the internet in 2012. In March, Citizen Lab, a Canadian research center at the University of Toronto, identified 25 countries, including Ethiopia, that host servers linked to FinFisher surveillance software. According to the report, “FinFisher has gained notoriety because it has been used in targeted attacks against human rights campaigners and opposition activists in countries with questionable human rights records.”
  • Estimates by human rights groups and diplomatic missions regarding the number of political prisoners varied. The government did not permit access by international human rights organizations.
  • All of the Ethiopian journalists, opposition members, and activists previously convicted and jailed under the antiterrorism proclamation remained in prison.
  • On January 8, the Federal Court of Cassation denied journalist Reyot Alemu’s appeal of her conviction on the charge of participating in the promotion or communication of a terrorist act. She was serving a five-year prison sentence.
  • On May 2, the Federal Supreme Court upheld the sentences of journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and vice chairman of the opposition front Medrek Andualem Arage for terrorism and treason. In September 2012 the government announced it asked the Federal High Court to freeze the assets of Eskinder and Andualem while investigating whether their assets were used in conjunction with the commission of the crimes for which they were convicted. The court had not issued a decision by year’s end. 
  • The Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 convictions under the criminal code of Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa, two well-known political opposition figures from the Oromo ethnic group, for conspiracy to overthrow the government and conspiracy to incite unrest. The Supreme Court subsequently determined the Federal High Court did not consider mitigating circumstances and reduced Bekele’s sentence from eight years to three years and seven months. The Supreme Court also reduced Olbana’s sentenced from 13 to 11 years. Courts convicted 69 members of Oromo political opposition parties, charged separately in 2011 under the criminal code with “attacking the political or territorial integrity of the state.”

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220113.htm#

– See more at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dlid=220113&year=2013#wrapper

Ethiopia is a federal republic. The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of four ethnically based parties, controls the government. In September 2012, following the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, parliament elected Hailemariam Desalegn as prime minister. In national parliamentary elections in 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded that technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted that an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place prior to the election. Authorities generally maintained control over the security forces, although Somali Region Special Police and local militias sometimes acted independently. Security forces committed human rights abuses.

The most significant human rights problems included: restrictions on freedom of expression and association, including through arrests; detention; politically motivated trials; harassment; and intimidation of opposition members and journalists, as well as continued restrictions on print media. On August 8, during Eid al-Fitr celebrations, security forces temporarily detained more than one thousand persons in Addis Ababa. The government continued restrictions on activities of civil society and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation (the CSO law).

Other human rights problems included arbitrary killings; allegations of torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; reports of harsh and, at times, life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; allegations of abuses in the implementation of the government’s “villagization” program; restrictions on academic freedom; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and movement; alleged interference in religious affairs; limits on citizens’ ability to change their government; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; clashes between ethnic minorities; discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on worker rights; forced labor; and child labor, including forced child labor.

Impunity was a problem. The government, with some reported exceptions, usually did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption.

Factions of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an ethnically based, violent, and fragmented separatist group operating in the Somali Region, were responsible for abuses.

SECTION 1. RESPECT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE PERSON, INCLUDING FREEDOM FROM:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
Members of the security forces reportedly committed killings.

On August 8, security forces in Addis Ababa detained more than one thousand Muslims participating in Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Authorities released most of the detainees shortly thereafter, but there were credible allegations some of the detainees died while in detention.

There continued to be reports of abuses, including killings, by the Somali Region Special Police.

Scattered fighting continued between government forces – primarily regional government-backed militias – and elements of the ONLF. Clashes between ethnic groups resulted in injury and death.

b. Disappearance
There were several reported cases of disappearances of civilians after clashes between security forces and rebel groups.

Security forces detained at least 12 residents of Alamata town in the northern Tigray Region in January following protests against government plans to demolish illegal housing units. The whereabouts of the detainees remained unknown at year’s end.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The constitution and law prohibit such practices; however, there were reports security officials tortured and otherwise abused detainees.

Authorities reportedly tortured Solomon Kebede, a columnist with Muslim Affairs magazine (see section 2.a.).

Sources widely believed police investigators often used physical abuse to extract confessions in Maekelawi, the central police investigation headquarters in Addis Ababa. Human Rights Watch reported abuses, including torture, occurred at Maekelawi. In an October report the NGO described beatings, stress positions, the hanging of detainees by their wrists from the ceiling, prolonged handcuffing, the pouring of water over detainees, verbal threats, and solitary confinement at the facility. Authorities continued to restrict access by diplomats and NGOs to Maekelawi.

In 2010 the UN Committee Against Torture reported it was “deeply concerned” about “numerous, ongoing, and consistent allegations” concerning “the routine use of torture” by police, prison officers, and other members of the security forces – including the military – against political dissidents and opposition party members, students, alleged terrorists, and alleged supporters of violent separatist groups like the ONLF and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The committee reported that such acts frequently occurred with the participation of, at the instigation of, or with the consent of commanding officers in police stations, detention centers, federal prisons, military bases, and unofficial or secret places of detention. Some reports of such abuses continued during the year.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Prison and pretrial detention center conditions remained harsh and, in some cases, life threatening. There were numerous reports that authorities beat prisoners. Medical attention following beatings reportedly was insufficient in some cases.

Physical Conditions: As of September 2012 there were 70,000-80,000 persons in prison, of whom approximately 2,500 were women and nearly 600 were children incarcerated with their mothers. Authorities sometimes incarcerated juveniles with adults and sometimes incarcerated small children with their mothers. Male and female prisoners generally were separated.

Severe overcrowding was common, especially in prison sleeping quarters. The government provided approximately eight birr ($0.42) per prisoner per day for food, water, and health care. Many prisoners supplemented this amount with daily food deliveries from family members or by purchasing food from local vendors, although there were unspecified reports officials prevented some prisoners from receiving supplemental food from their families. Medical care was unreliable in federal prisons and almost nonexistent in regional prisons. Prisoners had limited access to potable water, as did many in the country. Also water shortages caused unhygienic conditions, and most prisons lacked appropriate sanitary facilities. Many prisoners had serious health problems in detention but received little treatment. Information released by the Ministry of Health in 2012 reportedly stated that nearly 62 percent of inmates in various jails across the country suffered from mental health problems as a result of solitary confinement, overcrowding, and lack of adequate health care facilities and services.

The country had six federal and 120 regional prisons. The Ethiopian NGO Justice For All-Prison Fellowship Ethiopia (JFA-PFE) ran model prisons in Adama and Mekele, with significantly better conditions than those found in other prisons. There also were many unofficial detention centers throughout the country, including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleko, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senkele. Most were located at military camps.

Pretrial detention often occurred in police station detention facilities, where the conditions varied widely. Reports regarding pretrial detention in police stations indicated poor hygiene and police abuse of detainees.

Administration: It was difficult to determine if recordkeeping was adequate due to the lack of transparency regarding incarceration. Authorities did not employ alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. Prisons did not have ombudspersons to respond to complaints. Legal aid clinics existed in some prisons for the benefit of prisoners. Authorities allowed the submission by detainees of complaints to judicial authorities without censorship. Courts sometimes declined to hear such complaints. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Federal Police Commission sometimes investigated allegations of abuse, although there were reports that detainees’ discussions with them were not done in private, which could limit their ability to speak freely.

Authorities generally permitted prisoners to have visitors, although some police stations did not allow pretrial detainees access to visitors (including family members and legal counsel). In some cases authorities restricted family visits to prisoners to a few per year. Family members of prisoners charged with terrorist activity alleged instances of blocked access to the prisoners. There were also reports authorities denied those charged with terrorist activity visits with their lawyers, or with representatives of the political parties to which they belonged. In June prison authorities temporarily granted full visitation privileges to imprisoned journalist/blogger Eskinder Nega; previously, Eskinder was been permitted visits by a select group of individuals. Prison officials limited the number of individuals permitted to visit journalist Reyot Alemu.

Prisoners generally were permitted religious observance, but this varied by prison, and even by section within a prison, at the discretion of prison management. There were some allegations that while in custody authorities denied detainees adequate locations in which to pray. Prisoners were permitted to voice complaints about prison conditions or treatment to the presiding judge during their trials.

Independent Monitoring: During the year the International Committee of the Red Cross visited regional prisons throughout the country.

Regional authorities allowed government and NGO representatives to meet regularly with prisoners without third parties present. The government-established EHRC, which is funded by parliament and subject to parliamentary review, monitored federal and regional detention centers and interviewed prison officials and prisoners in response to allegations of widespread human rights abuses. The JFA-PFE was granted access to various prison and detention facilities.

Improvements: The government and prison authorities generally cooperated with efforts of the JFA-PFE to improve prison conditions. Reports indicated prison conditions, including the treatment of prisoners, improved upon the completion of a local legal aid clinic, although specific data was not available.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
Although the constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, the government often ignored these provisions. There were multiple reports of arbitrary arrest and detention by police and security forces throughout the country.

Civilians, international NGOs, and other aid organizations operating in the Somali Region reported government security forces, local militias, and the ONLF committed abuses such as arbitrary arrest.

ROLE OF THE POLICE AND SECURITY APPARATUS
The Federal Police reports to the Ministry of Federal Affairs, which is subject to parliamentary oversight. The oversight was loose. Each of the country’s nine regions has a state or special police force that reports to the regional civilian authorities. Local militias operated across the country in loose coordination with regional and federal police and the military, with the degree of coordination varying by region. In many cases these militias functioned as extensions of local EPRDF political bosses.

Security forces were effective, but impunity remained a serious problem. The mechanisms used to investigate abuses by the federal police were not known. There continued to be reports of abuse, including killings, by the Somali Region Special Police. The government rarely publicly disclosed the results of investigations into abuses by local security forces, such as arbitrary detention and beatings of civilians.

The government continued its efforts to provide human rights training for police and army recruits. The EHRC trained more than 100 police officers and prison officials during the year and in 2012 on basic human rights concepts and prisoner treatment. The government continued to accept assistance from the JFA-PFE and the EHRC to improve and professionalize its human rights training and curriculum by including more material on the constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions.

ARREST PROCEDURES AND TREATMENT OF DETAINEES
Although the constitution and law require that detainees be brought to court and charged within 48 hours of arrest, authorities did not always respect this requirement. With court approval, persons suspected of serious offenses may be detained for 14 days without being charged and for additional 14-day periods if an investigation continues. Under the antiterrorism proclamation, police may request to hold persons without charge for 28-day periods, up to a maximum of four months, while an investigation is conducted. The law prohibits detention in any facility other than an official detention center; however, local militias and other formal and informal law enforcement entities used dozens of unofficial local detention centers.

A functioning bail system was in place. Bail was not available for persons charged with murder, treason, and corruption. In most cases authorities set bail between 500 and 10,000 birr ($26 and $530), which most citizens could not afford. The government provided public defenders for detainees unable to afford private legal counsel, but only when their cases went to court. While detainees were in pretrial detention, authorities sometimes allowed them little or no contact with legal counsel, did not provide full information on their health status, and did not provide for family visits.

Arbitrary Arrest: Authorities regularly detained persons without warrants.

On May 24, in the western state of Benishangul-Gumuz, local police detained Muluken Tesfaw, a journalist for the Ethio-Mihdar newspaper, who was investigating allegations that local officials unlawfully evicted ethnic Amhara residents from their homes. The journalist reportedly was not carrying his press credentials. On May 31, authorities released Muluken without charge.

Pretrial Detention: Some detainees reported being held for several years without being charged and without trial. Information on the percentage of detainee population in pretrial detention and the average length of time held was not available. Trial delays were most often caused by lengthy legal procedures, the large numbers of detainees, judicial inefficiency, and staffing shortages.

Amnesty: On September 11, in keeping with a long-standing tradition of issuing pardons at the Ethiopian new year, the federal government pardoned 498 prisoners. Regional governments also pardoned persons during the year. For example, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) regional government pardoned 1,984 prisoners, the Oromia regional government pardoned 2,604 prisoners, and the Amhara regional government pardoned 2,084 prisoners.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
The law provides for an independent judiciary. Although the civil courts operated with a large degree of independence, the criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to political influence. The constitution recognizes both religious and traditional or customary courts.

TRIAL PROCEDURES
By law accused persons have the right to a fair public trial by a court of law within a “reasonable time,” a presumption of innocence, the right to be represented by legal counsel of their choice, and the right to appeal. The law provides defendants the right against self-incrimination. The law gives defendants the right to present witnesses and evidence in their defense, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and access government-held evidence. The government did not always allow defendants the right of access to evidence it held. The court system does not use jury trials. Judicial inefficiency and lack of qualified staff often resulted in serious delays in trial proceedings and made the application of the law unpredictable. The government continued to train lower court judges and prosecutors and made effective judicial administration the primary focus of this training. Defendants were often unaware of the specific charges against them until the commencement of the trial; this also caused defense attorneys to be unprepared to provide an adequate defense.

The Public Defender’s Office provided legal counsel to indigent defendants, although its scope and quality of service remained limited due to the shortage of attorneys. Numerous free legal aid clinics around the country, based primarily at universities, provided advice to clients. In certain areas of the country the law allows volunteers, such as law students and professors, to represent clients in court on a pro bono basis.

On January 22, citing national security concerns, the Federal High Court closed the trial of 28 Muslims identified with July 2012 protests and one Muslim accused of accepting funds illegally from a foreign embassy. On December 12, the Federal High Court dismissed charges against 10 of the defendants and reduced charges against 18 others. Although the Federal High Court also closed the trial of 28 additional Muslims the government alleged to have links to al-Qaida and al-Shabaab, the court reopened the trial to the public on October 29. Both trials continued at year’s end.

Many citizens residing in rural areas generally had little access to formal judicial systems and relied on traditional mechanisms of resolving conflict. By law all parties to a dispute must agree to use a traditional or religious court before such a court may hear a case, and either party may appeal to a regular court at any time. Sharia (Islamic law) courts may hear religious and family cases involving Muslims. Sharia courts received some funding from the government and adjudicated the majority of cases in the Somali and Afar regions, which are predominantly Muslim. In addition other traditional systems of justice, such as councils of elders, continued to function. Some women stated they lacked access to free and fair hearings in the traditional justice system because they were excluded by custom from participation in councils of elders and because there was strong gender discrimination in rural areas.

POLITICAL PRISONERS AND DETAINEES
Estimates by human rights groups and diplomatic missions regarding the number of political prisoners varied. The government did not permit access by international human rights organizations.

All of the Ethiopian journalists, opposition members, and activists previously convicted and jailed under the antiterrorism proclamation remained in prison.

On January 8, the Federal Court of Cassation denied journalist Reyot Alemu’s appeal of her conviction on the charge of participating in the promotion or communication of a terrorist act. She was serving a five-year prison sentence.

On May 2, the Federal Supreme Court upheld the sentences of journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and vice chairman of the opposition front Medrek Andualem Arage for terrorism and treason. In September 2012 the government announced it asked the Federal High Court to freeze the assets of Eskinder and Andualem while investigating whether their assets were used in conjunction with the commission of the crimes for which they were convicted. The court had not issued a decision by year’s end.

The Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 convictions under the criminal code of Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa, two well-known political opposition figures from the Oromo ethnic group, for conspiracy to overthrow the government and conspiracy to incite unrest. The Supreme Court subsequently determined the Federal High Court did not consider mitigating circumstances and reduced Bekele’s sentence from eight years to three years and seven months. The Supreme Court also reduced Olbana’s sentenced from 13 to 11 years. Courts convicted 69 members of Oromo political opposition parties, charged separately in 2011 under the criminal code with “attacking the political or territorial integrity of the state.”

CIVIL JUDICIAL PROCEDURES AND REMEDIES
The law provides citizens the right to appeal human rights violations in civil court. No such cases were filed during the year.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
The law requires authorities to obtain judicial warrants to search private property; police often ignored the law, and there were no records of courts excluding evidence found without warrants.

There were periodic reports throughout the year police carried out nighttime raids of Muslims’ homes in Addis Ababa to collect evidence against persons they alleged to be terrorists. The government claimed the police had warrants.

Opposition political party leaders reported suspicions of telephone tapping and other electronic eavesdropping, and alleged government agents attempted to lure them into illegal acts by calling and pretending to be representatives of groups – designated by the country’s parliament as terrorist organizations – interested in making financial donations.

The government reportedly used a widespread system of paid informants to report on the activities of particular individuals. During the year opposition members reported ruling party operatives and militia members made intimidating and unwelcome visits to their homes and offices.

Security forces continued to detain family members of persons sought for questioning by the government. There were reports unemployed youths who were not affiliated with the ruling coalition sometimes had trouble receiving the “support letters” from their kebeles (neighborhoods or wards) necessary to get jobs.

The national government and regional governments continued to put in place “villagization” plans in the Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, SNNPR, and Somali regions. These plans involved the relocation by regional governments of scattered rural populations from arid or semiarid lands vulnerable to recurring droughts into designated clusters. The stated purposes of villagization were to improve the provision of government services (i.e., health care, education, and clean water), protect vulnerable communities from natural disasters and attacks, and change environmentally destructive patterns of shifting cultivation. Some observers stated the purpose was to enable the large-scale leasing of land for commercial agriculture. The government described the villagization program as strictly voluntary.

International donors reported that assessments from more than 16 visits to villagization sites since 2011 did not corroborate allegations of systematic human rights violations in this program. They did find problems such as delays in establishing promised infrastructure from rushed program implementation. Communities and individual families appeared to have agreed to move based on assurances from authorities of food aid, services, and land, although in some instances communities moved before adequate basic services and shelter were in place in the new locations. International human rights organizations, however, continued to express concern regarding the villagization process. A report by the Oakland Institute in February stated that the military forcibly relocated communities and committed human rights violations in the Omo Valley. A report by the Oakland Institute in July asserted that, during a January 2012 assessment in the Lower Omo Valley, donor representatives heard testimony from community members regarding human rights violations.

SECTION 2. RESPECT FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES, INCLUDING:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press; however, authorities arrested, detained, and prosecuted journalists and other persons whom they perceived as critical of the government.

Freedom of Speech: Authorities arrested and harassed persons for criticizing the government. The government attempted to impede criticism through various forms of intimidation, including detention of journalists and opposition activists and monitoring and interference in the activities of political opposition groups. Some persons feared authorities would retaliate against them for discussing security force abuses.

Press Freedoms: The government continued to take actions to close independent newspapers. Regulators revoked the operating licenses of Addis Times magazine and Li-Elina newspaper in February and March, respectively, after independent editor Temesgen Dessalegn acquired them. The remaining 14 newspapers had a combined weekly circulation in Addis Ababa of more than 140,000. Most newspapers were printed on a weekly or biweekly basis, with the exception of the state-owned Amharic and English dailies.

The government controlled the only television station that broadcast nationally, which, along with radio, was the primary source of news for much of the population. Four private FM radio stations broadcast in the capital city, one private radio station broadcast in the northern Tigray Region, and at least 16 community radio stations broadcast in the regions. State-run Ethiopian Radio had the largest reach in the country, followed by Fana Radio, which was affiliated with the ruling party.

Government-controlled media closely reflected the views of the government and the ruling EPRDF. The government periodically jammed foreign broadcasts. The law prohibits political and religious organizations and foreigners from owning broadcast stations.

Violence and Harassment: The government continued to arrest, harass, and prosecute journalists. This included the prosecution of three persons associated with the defunct Muslim Affairs magazine under the antiterrorism proclamation.

On January 17, authorities arrested Solomon Kebede, columnist and managing editor of Muslim Affairs. They charged him along with 27 other Muslims in April under the antiterrorism proclamation.

The case against Temesgen Dessalegn, editor in chief of the defunct Feteh newspaper, continued. Charges against him included inciting and agitating the country’s youth to engage in violence, defamation of the government, and destabilizing the public by spreading false reports. Mastewal Berhanu, former publisher and managing director of Feteh, reportedly left the country due to government harassment.

Censorship or Content Restrictions: Government harassment caused journalists to avoid reporting on sensitive topics. Many private newspapers reported informal editorial control by the government through article placement requests and calls from government officials concerning articles perceived as critical of the government. Private sector and government journalists routinely practiced self-censorship.

Libel Laws/National Security: The government used the antiterrorism proclamation to suppress criticism. Journalists feared covering five groups designated by parliament in 2011 as terrorist organizations (Ginbot 7, the ONLF, the OLF, al-Qaida, and al-Shabaab), citing ambiguity on whether reporting on these groups might be punishable under the law. Several journalists, both local and foreign correspondents, reported an increase in self-censorship.

The government used libel laws during the year to suppress criticism.

On May 15, police in Addis Ababa questioned Ferew Abebe, editor in chief of the Sendek newspaper, about 2012 articles that alleged the widow of former prime minister Meles Zenawi refused to vacate the prime minister’s official residence after the death of her husband. Police requested that Ferew reveal his sources to them and would not disclose who initiated the libel claim against Ferew. Ferew posted bail and was released; authorities did not file formal charges by year’s end.

INTERNET FREEDOM
The state-owned Ethio Telecom was the only internet service provider in the country. The government restricted access to the internet and blocked several websites, including blogs; opposition websites; and websites of Ginbot 7, the OLF, and the ONLF. The government also temporarily blocked news sites such as al-Jazeera. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo! were temporarily inaccessible at times. Several news blogs and websites run by opposition diaspora groups were not accessible. These included Addis Neger, Nazret, Ethiopian Review, CyberEthiopia, Quatero Amharic Magazine, Tensae Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Media Forum. Authorities took steps to block access to Virtual Private Network providers that let users circumvent government screening of internet browsing and e-mail. According to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 1.5 percent of individuals used the internet in 2012.

In March, Citizen Lab, a Canadian research center at the University of Toronto, identified 25 countries, including Ethiopia, that host servers linked to FinFisher surveillance software. According to the report, “FinFisher has gained notoriety because it has been used in targeted attacks against human rights campaigners and opposition activists in countries with questionable human rights records.” A “FinSpy” campaign in the country allegedly “used pictures of Ginbot 7, an Ethiopian opposition group, as bait to infect users.”

In March police arrested university student Manyazewal Eshetu, for posting allegations of government corruption on Facebook. Authorities later released Manyazewal without charge.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND CULTURAL EVENTS
The government restricted academic freedom, including through decisions on student enrollment, teachers’ appointments, and the curriculum. Authorities frequently restricted speech, expression, and assembly on university and high school campuses.

According to sources, the ruling party via the Ministry of Education continued to give preference to students loyal to the party in assignments to postgraduate programs. Some university staff members commented that priority for employment after graduation in all fields was given to students who joined the party.

Authorities limited teachers’ ability to deviate from official lesson plans. Numerous anecdotal reports suggested non-EPRDF members were more likely to be transferred to undesirable posts and bypassed for promotions. There were unspecified reports of teachers not affiliated with the EPRDF being summarily dismissed for failure to attend unscheduled meetings. There continued to be a lack of transparency in academic staffing decisions, with numerous complaints from individuals in the academic community alleging bias based on party membership, ethnicity, or religion.

According to multiple credible sources, teachers and high school students in grade 10 and above were required to attend training on the concepts of revolutionary democracy and EPRDF party ideology.

A Ministry of Education directive prohibits private universities from offering degree programs in law and teacher education. The directive also requires public universities to align their curriculum offerings with the ministry’s policy of a 70-to-30 ratio between science and social science academic programs. As a result the number of students studying social sciences and the humanities at public institutions continued to decrease, and private universities focused heavily on the social sciences.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly; however, the government did not respect this right. Organizers of large public meetings or demonstrations must notify the government 48 hours in advance and obtain a permit. Authorities may not refuse to grant a permit but may require that the event be held at a different time or place for reasons of public safety or freedom of movement. If authorities determine an event should be held at another time or place, the law requires that organizers be notified in writing within 12 hours of the time of submission of their request.

The government denied some requests by the Semayawi (Blue) Party and Medrek, the largest opposition coalition, to hold protests in Addis Ababa, although the government officially permitted a June 2 Semayawi Party demonstration. The march was widely reported as the first mass outpouring of discontent permitted by the government since protests in 2005. The government subsequently allowed additional protests to take place in Addis Ababa and several other cities, although organizers in most cases alleged government interference, and authorities required several of the protests to move to different dates or locations from those the organizers requested. Protest organizers alleged the government’s claims of needing to move the protests based on public safety concerns were not credible.

Local government officials, almost all of whom were affiliated with the EPRDF, controlled access to municipal halls, and there were many complaints from opposition parties that local officials denied or otherwise obstructed the scheduling of opposition parties’ use of halls for lawful political rallies. There were numerous credible reports that owners of hotels and other large facilities cited unspecified internal rules forbidding political parties from utilizing their space for gatherings.

Regional governments, including the Addis Ababa regional administration, were reluctant to grant permits or provide security for large meetings.

The government arrested persons in relation to opposition demonstrations. This included a March 17 protest and a planned August 31 protest by the Semayawi Party. Authorities also arrested Unity for Democracy and Justice Party members before and after a July 17 protest.

On August 31, security forces raided the headquarters of the Semayawi Party to prevent a demonstration planned for the following day. Authorities reportedly temporarily detained 60 to 90 persons and beat some of them. The demonstration would have coincided with a mass public rally promoting interfaith tolerance organized by the government.

Beginning in late 2011 and continuing throughout the year, some members of the Muslim community held peaceful protests following Friday prayers at several of Addis Ababa’s largest mosques, the Aweliya Islamic Center in Addis Ababa, and at other locations throughout the country. Most demonstrations occurred without incident, although police met some with arrests and alleged use of unnecessary force. For example, on August 8, security forces in Addis Ababa detained more than one thousand Muslims participating in Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Although the law provides for freedom of association and the right to engage in unrestricted peaceful political activity, the government limited this right.

A report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association stated, “The enforcement of these [the CSO law] provisions has a devastating impact on individuals’ ability to form and operate associations effectively.”

The CSO law bans anonymous donations to NGOs. All potential donors were therefore aware their names would be public knowledge. The same was true concerning all donations made to political parties.

International NGOs seeking to operate in the country had to submit an application via Ethiopian embassies abroad, which was then submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Charities and Societies Agency.

c. Freedom of Religion
See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/rpt/.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
Although the law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, the government restricted some of these rights.

The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, returning refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern; however, at times authorities, armed groups and the situation of insecurity limited the ability of humanitarian organizations to operate.

According to the UN, humanitarian organizations reported 36 incidents that impeded humanitarian work in the first six months of the year compared with 34 during the same period in 2012; 32 of these cases were in the Somali Region. The incidents included violence and hostility against humanitarian personnel, theft of assets, interference with the implementation of humanitarian programs, and restrictions on importation of personnel and goods into the country for humanitarian work. This data referred broadly to humanitarian work and were not limited to activities focusing on IDPs or refugees.

Although the Somali regional government granted several organizations access to Nogob (formerly Fik) to start humanitarian operations, access to areas in the Somali Region remained challenging due to continuing clashes between government forces and the ONLF, as well as reports of al-Shabaab elements operating in and around Somali refugee camps in Dolo Ado. Cases were noted in which NGOs were denied access to areas of operation despite agreements with regional officials. In numerous cases NGOs deferred travel to program activity sites due to insecurity. On June 13, suspected ONLF gunmen fired on a mobile health and nutrition team supported by the UN Children’s Fund in Korahe zone and seriously injured one person.

In-country Movement: The government continued to relax but did not completely remove restrictions on the movement of persons into and within the Somali Region, continuing to argue the ONLF posed a security threat (see section 2.d., Internally Displaced Persons). Security concerns forced a temporary halt of deliveries of food and medicine in the limited areas affected by fighting.

The government continued a policy that allowed refugees to live outside of a camp. According to the Administration for Returnees and Refugee Affairs (ARRA), which managed the out-of-camp program, 3,412 refugees lived outside of the camps in 2012, compared with 1,294 in 2011. Prior to this policy the government gave such permission primarily to attend higher education institutions, undergo medical treatment, or avoid security threats at the camps.

Foreign Travel: On October 23, the government enacted a temporary ban on citizens travelling to the Middle East for employment. The ban did not affect citizens travelling for investment or business reasons. The government stated it issued the ban to prevent harassment, intimidation, and trauma suffered by those working abroad as domestic employees.

Exile: Several citizens sought political asylum in other countries or remained abroad in self-imposed exile.

INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated the total number of IDPs in the country as of June to be 363,141, an increase of 71,487 from the period January through March. The increase was mostly due to conflict and flooding in the Somali and Gambella regions. Drought also caused displacements during the year.

In January conflict between ethnic Oromos and Somalis over border demarcation and land ownership displaced approximately 55,000 persons from Gursum, Meyu, Kimbi, and Chinaksen districts in Oromia Region. Insecurity resulted in the delay of humanitarian assistance. The impacted population remained displaced at year’s end.

Heavy rainfall in the Somali Region from late March to early April resulted in severe flooding in Faafan, Jerer, Korahe, Nogob, and Shebele zones, destroying homes and displacing thousands. Joint assessments by the United Nations, NGOs, and the government reported the floods affected 500 households in Kebredihar and 5,756 in the Mustahil, Ferfer, and Kelafo districts of Shebelle zone. Flooding from April to June displaced an additional 36,792 individuals in Ferfer, Kelafo, and Mustahil, and 6,657 individuals in the Kebrediar and Dobowein districts of Korahe zone.

During the year drought caused the displacement of more than 22,000 persons in Afar.

According to the IOM, an estimated 80 percent of all IDPs were considered “protracted” IDPs, for whom durable solutions (return to home areas, local integration, and resettlement in other parts of the country) were not possible at the time. This was due to lack of resolution of the conflict, lack of political decision or resources to support local integration, or undesirability of resettlement to other areas of the country.

The government, through the Disaster Risk Management Food Security Sector (DRMFSS) and regional and district administrations, encouraged humanitarian responses to internal displacement and facilitated assessments to determine humanitarian needs. Humanitarian organizations usually provided assistance received by IDPs. For example, both the DRMFSS and the local government helped to coordinate the humanitarian response following conflict between ethnic Somali and Oromo residents of East Hararghe zone, Oromia Region.

PROTECTION OF REFUGEES
Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees.

According to the UNHCR, the country hosted 423,851 refugees as of September. The majority of refugees were from Somalia (242,588), with others coming from Sudan (31,951), South Sudan (67,958), Eritrea (77,083), and other countries particularly Kenya (4,271).

The UNHCR, the ARRA, and humanitarian agencies continued to care for Sudanese arrivals fleeing from conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile State. The government also extended support to South Sudanese asylum seekers from South Sudan’s Jonglei State; 5,776 of these asylum seekers crossed into the country by July, raising the total of South Sudanese asylum seekers to more than 67,000.

Eritrean asylum seekers continued to arrive in the country. This included a large number of unaccompanied minors. Many Eritreans who arrived in the country regularly departed for secondary migration through Egypt and Sudan to go to Israel, Europe, and other final destinations.

Employment: The government did not grant refugees work permits.

Access to Basic Services: The UNHCR and ARRA, with support from NGOs, provided refugees in camps with basic services such as health, education, water, sanitation, and hygiene. For those outside of camps, there were no reports of discrimination in access to public services.

Durable Solutions: The government granted refugee status to asylum seekers from Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. The government welcomed refugees to settle permanently in the country but did not offer a path to citizenship or facilitate integration. It permitted Eritrean refugees to live outside refugee camps provided they sustained themselves financially. The government provided some support for Eritreans who were pursuing higher education. During the first half of the year, approximately 2,600 refugees departed the country for resettlement.

SECTION 3. RESPECT FOR POLITICAL RIGHTS: THE RIGHT OF CITIZENS TO CHANGE THEIR GOVERNMENT
The constitution and law provide citizens the right to change their government peacefully. The ruling party’s electoral advantages limited this right.

Elections and Political Participation
Recent Elections: In August 2012, following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the ruling EPRDF elected Hailemariam Desalegn to take Meles’s place as chairman of the party and subsequently nominated him for the post of prime minister. In September 2012 parliament elected Hailemariam as prime minister.

In the 2010 national parliamentary elections, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Government restrictions severely limited independent observation of the vote. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted the lack of an environment conducive to free and fair elections prior to election day. Several laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the 2005 national elections created a clear advantage for the EPRDF throughout the electoral process. There was ample evidence that unfair government tactics, including intimidation of opposition candidates and supporters, influenced the extent of the EPRDF victory. In addition, voter education was limited to information about technical voting procedures and was done only by the National Electoral Board just days before voting began.

The African Union, whose observers arrived one week before the vote, deemed the elections to be free and fair. The EU, some of whose observers arrived a few months before the vote, concluded the elections fell short of international standards for transparency and failed to provide a level playing field for opposition parties. The EU observed a “climate of apprehension and insecurity,” noting that the volume and consistency of complaints of harassment and intimidation by opposition parties was “a matter of concern” and had to be taken into consideration “in the overall assessment of the electoral process.”

The EPRDF’s continued dominance was demonstrated in nationwide elections to local and city council positions held in April. EPRDF-affiliated parties won all but five of 3.6 million seats; 33 opposition parties boycotted the elections.

Political Parties: Political parties were predominantly ethnically based. The government, controlled by the ruling EPRDF, restricted media freedom and arrested opposition members. Constituent parties of the EPRDF conferred advantages upon their members; the parties directly owned many businesses and were broadly perceived to award jobs and business contracts to loyal supporters. Several opposition political parties reported difficulty in renting homes or buildings in which to open offices, citing visits by EPRDF members to the landlords to persuade or threaten them not to rent property to these parties.

There were reports authorities had terminated the employment of teachers and other government workers if they belonged to opposition political parties. According to Oromo opposition groups, the Oromia regional government continued to threaten to dismiss opposition party members, particularly teachers, from their jobs. Government officials alleged that many members of legitimate Oromo opposition political parties were secretly OLF members and more broadly that members of many opposition parties had ties to Ginbot 7. At the university level members of Medrek and its constituent parties were able to teach.

Registered political parties must receive permission from regional governments to open and occupy local offices.

Participation of Women and Minorities: No laws or cultural or traditional practices prevented women or minorities from voting or participating in political life on the same basis as men or nonminority citizens, although women were significantly underrepresented in both elected and appointed positions. The Tigray Regional Council held the highest proportion of women nationwide, at 48.5 percent.

The government’s policy of ethnic federalism led to the creation of individual constituencies to provide for representation of all major ethnic groups in the House of People’s Representatives. There were more than 80 ethnic groups, and small groups lacked representation in the legislature. There were 24 nationality groups in six regional states (Tigray, Amhara, Beneshangul-Gumuz, the SNNPR, Gambella, and Harar) that did not have a sufficient population to qualify for constituency seats based on the 2007 census; however, in the 2010 elections, individuals from these nationality groups competed for 24 special seats in the House of People’s Representatives. Additionally these 24 nationality groups have one seat each in the House of Federation.

Women held three federal government ministerial positions and 152 of 547 seats in the national parliament.

SECTION 4. CORRUPTION AND LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT
The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials. Despite the government’s prosecution of numerous officials for corruption, some officials continued to engage in corrupt practices. Corruption, especially the solicitation of bribes, remained a problem among low-level bureaucrats. Police and judicial corruption also continued to be problems. Some government officials appeared to manipulate the privatization process, and state- and party-owned businesses received preferential access to land leases and credit.

Corruption: The Ministry of Justice has primary responsibility for combating corruption, largely through the Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (FEACC).

During the year the FEACC initiated criminal proceedings against the director general of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority, his deputy, and as many as 60 other government officials and private business leaders for alleged corrupt practices. Most trials continued at year’s end, although some cases were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Whistleblower Protection: The law provides protection to public and private employees for making internal disclosures or lawful public disclosures of evidence of illegality, such as the solicitation of bribes or other corrupt acts, gross waste or fraud, gross mismanagement, abuse of power, or substantial and specific dangers to public health and safety. The law also specifically bars appointed or elected officials and public servants from making direct or indirect reprisals against whistleblowers.

Financial Disclosure: The law requires all government officials and employees officially register their wealth and personal property. The president and prime minister registered their assets. By the end of 2012, a total of 32,297 federal government officials registered their assets, according to the FEACC. The FEACC held financial disclosure records. According to the law, any person seeking access to these records may do so by making a request in writing, although access to information on family assets may be restricted unless the FEACC deems the disclosure necessary. The law includes financial and criminal sanctions for noncompliance.

Public Access to Information: The law provides for public access to government information, but access was largely restricted. The law includes a sufficiently narrow list of exceptions outlining the grounds for nondisclosure. Responses generally must be made within 30 days of a written request, and fees may not exceed the actual cost of responding to the request. The law includes mechanisms for punishing officials for noncompliance, as well as appeal mechanisms for review of disclosure denials. Information on the number of disclosures or denials during the year was not available.

The government publishes its laws and regulations in the national gazette prior to their taking effect. The Government Communications Affairs Office managed contacts between the government, the press, and the public; the private press reported the government rarely responded to its queries.

SECTION 5. GOVERNMENTAL ATTITUDE REGARDING INTERNATIONAL AND NONGOVERNMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
A few domestic human rights groups operated, but with significant government restrictions. The government was generally distrustful and wary of domestic human rights groups and international observers. State-controlled media were critical of international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch.

The CSO law prohibits charities, societies, and associations (NGOs or CSOs) that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources from engaging in activities that advance human and democratic rights or promote equality of nations, nationalities, peoples, genders, and religions; the rights of children and persons with disabilities; conflict resolution or reconciliation; or the efficiency of justice and law enforcement services. The implementation of the law continued to result in the severe curtailment of NGO activities related to human rights. In July 2012 the UN high commissioner for human rights expressed concern that civil society space “has rapidly shrunk” since the CSO law’s enactment.

Some human rights defender organizations continued to register either as local charities, meaning they could not raise more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign donors but could act in the specified areas, or as resident charities, which allowed foreign donations above 10 percent but prohibited activities in those areas.

One of several sets of the law’s implementing regulations, commonly known as the 70/30 rule, caps administrative spending at 30 percent of an organization’s operating budget. The regulations define training of teachers, agricultural and health extension workers, and other government officials as an “administrative” cost, contending the training does not directly affect beneficiaries, thus limiting the number of training programs that can be provided by development assistance partners who prefer to employ train-the-trainer models to reach more persons. The government addressed application of this regulation on a case-by-case basis. A Civil Society Sector Working Group cochaired by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and a representative of the donor community convened periodically to monitor and discuss challenges that arose as the law was implemented.

The government denied most NGOs access to federal prisons, police stations, and political prisoners. The government permitted the JFA-PFE, one of four organizations granted an exemption enabling them to raise unlimited funds from foreign sources and to engage in human rights advocacy, to visit prisoners. The JFA-PFE played a positive role in improving prisoners’ chances for clemency.

Authorities limited the access of human rights organizations, the media, humanitarian agencies, and diplomatic missions to conflict-affected areas, although it eased such restrictions. Humanitarian access in the Somali Region improved in particular. The government lacked a clear policy on NGO access to sensitive areas, leading regional government officials and military officials frequently to refer requests for access to the federal government. Officials required journalists to register before entering conflict regions. There were isolated reports of regional police or local militias blocking NGOs’ access to particular locations on particular days, citing security concerns. Some agencies limited project activities for security reasons.

Some persons feared authorities would retaliate against them if they met with NGOs and foreign government officials who were investigating allegations of abuse.

UN and Other International Bodies: Requests to visit the country from the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment remained outstanding.

Government Human Rights Bodies: The EHRC investigated human rights complaints and produced annual and thematic reports. The commission operated 112 legal aid centers in collaboration with 17 universities and two civil society organizations, the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association and the Ethiopian Christian Lawyers Fellowship. The commission also completed the preparatory measures to sign collaborative agreements with two additional universities. The EHRC reported its Addis Ababa headquarters resolved 90 percent of the 952 complaints submitted to it during 2012.

The Office of the Ombudsman has authority to receive and investigate complaints with respect to administrative mismanagement by executive branch offices. From September 2011 to September 2012, the office received 2,094 complaints. Of these, the ombudsman opened investigations into 784, and the office reported it resolved the remaining cases through alternative means. The majority of complaints dealt with social security, labor, housing, and property disputes. The Office of the Ombudsman did not compile nationwide statistics.

SECTION 6. DISCRIMINATION, SOCIETAL ABUSES, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
The constitution provides all persons equal protection without discrimination based on race, nation, nationality or other social origin, color, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, birth, or status, but the government did not fully promote and protect these rights. The constitution does not address discrimination based on disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Women
Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape and provides for penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case; the law does not expressly address spousal rape. The government did not fully enforce the law, partially due to widespread underreporting. Recent statistics on the number of abusers prosecuted, convicted, or punished were not available. Anecdotal evidence suggested reporting of rapes had increased since the 2004 revision of the criminal code but the justice system was unable to keep up with the number of cases.

Domestic violence, including spousal abuse, was a pervasive social problem.

Although women had recourse to the police and the courts, societal norms and limited infrastructure prevented many women from seeking legal redress, particularly in rural areas. The government prosecuted offenders on a limited scale. Domestic violence is illegal, but government enforcement of laws against rape and domestic violence was inconsistent. Depending on the severity of damage inflicted, legal penalties range from small fines to imprisonment for up to 10 to 15 years.

Domestic violence and rape cases often were delayed significantly and given low priority. In the context of gender-based violence, significant gender gaps in the justice system remained, due to poor documentation and inadequate investigation. “Child friendly” benches hear cases involving violence against children and women. Police officers were required to receive domestic violence training from domestic NGOs and the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs. There was a commissioner for women and children’s affairs in the EHRC.

Women and girls experienced gender-based violence, but it was underreported due to cultural acceptance, shame, fear, or a victim’s ignorance of legal protections.

Harmful Traditional Practices: The most prevalent harmful traditional practices were FGM/C, uvula cutting, tonsil scraping and milk tooth extraction, early marriage, and marriage by abduction.

Marriage by abduction is illegal, although it continued in some regions despite the government’s attempts to combat the practice. A 2009 Population Council study of seven regions found that 2.6 percent of married female youth reported their marriage occurred through abduction. The study found the rate to be 12.9 percent in the SNNPR, 4.4 percent in Oromia, 3 percent in Afar, and less than 1percent in Beneshangul Gumuz. The study did not include the Gambella or Somali regions. Forced sexual relationships accompanied most marriages by abduction, and women often experienced physical abuse during the abduction. Abductions led to conflicts among families, communities, and ethnic groups. In cases of marriage by abduction, the perpetrator did not face punishment if the victim agreed to marry the perpetrator.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): FGM/C is illegal, but the government did not actively enforce this prohibition or punish those who practiced it.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment was widespread. The penal code prescribes penalties of 18 to 24 months’ imprisonment, but authorities generally did not enforce harassment laws.

Reproductive Rights: Individuals and couples have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of children and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. The 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) indicated a modern contraceptive prevalence of 27 percent nationwide among married women, a twofold increase from the survey done six years earlier. The survey found 25.3 percent of married girls and women ages 15 to 49 had unmet family planning needs. The 2011 DHS indicated the maternal mortality rate was 676 deaths per 100,000 live births as compared with 673 per 100,000 reported in the 2005 DHS. The immediate causes of maternal mortality included excessive bleeding, infection, hypertensive complications, and obstructed labor, with the underlying cause being the prevalence of home births and lack of access to emergency obstetric care. Only 9 percent of women reported delivering in a health facility or with a skilled birth attendant.

Discrimination: Discrimination against women was a problem and was most acute in rural areas, where an estimated 85 percent of the population lived. The law contains discriminatory regulations, such as the recognition of the husband as the legal head of the family and the sole guardian of children more than five years old. Courts generally did not consider domestic violence by itself a justification for granting a divorce. Irrespective of the number of years the marriage existed, the number of children raised, and joint property, the law entitled women to only three months’ financial support if a relationship ended. There was limited legal recognition of common-law marriage. A common-law husband had no obligation to provide financial assistance to his family, and as a result, women and children sometimes faced abandonment. Traditional courts continued to apply customary law in economic and social relationships.

According to the constitution all land belongs to the government. Both men and women have land-use rights, which they may pass on as an inheritance. Land law varies among regions. All federal and regional land laws empower women to access government land. Inheritance laws also enable widowed women to inherit joint property they acquired during marriage.

In urban areas women had fewer employment opportunities than men, and the jobs available did not provide equal pay for equal work. Women’s access to gainful employment, credit, and the opportunity to own or manage a business was further limited by their generally lower level of education and training and by traditional attitudes.

The Ministry of Education reported female participation in undergraduate and postgraduate programs increased to 144,286 during the 2011-12 academic year, compared with 123,706 in 2010-11, continuing the trend of increasing female participation in higher education.

Children
Birth registration: Citizenship is derived from one’s parents. The law requires all children to be registered at birth. Children born in hospitals were registered while most children born outside of hospitals were not. The overwhelming majority of children, particularly in rural areas, were born at home.

Education: As a policy, primary education was universal and tuition-free; however, there were not enough schools to accommodate the country’s youth, particularly in rural areas. The cost of school supplies was prohibitive for many families, and there was no legislation to enforce compulsory primary education. The number of students enrolled in schools expanded faster than trained teachers could be deployed.

Child Abuse: Child abuse was widespread. A 2009 study conducted by the African Child Policy Forum revealed prosecuting offenders for sexual violence against children was difficult due to inconsistent interpretation of laws among legal bodies and the offender’s right to bail, which often resulted in the offender fleeing or coercing the victim or the victim’s family to drop the charges. “Child friendly” benches heard cases involving violence against children and women. During the year the Federal Court of First Instance announced that tribunals hearing cases relating to families and children would keep extended hours to accommodate children’s school schedules. There was a commissioner for women and children’s affairs in the EHRC.

Forced or Early Marriage: The law sets the legal marriage age for girls and boys at 18; however, authorities did not enforce this law uniformly, and rural families sometimes were unaware of this provision. In several regions it was customary for older men to marry young girls, although this traditional practice continued to face greater scrutiny and criticism.

According to the 2011 DHS, the median age of first marriage among women surveyed between the ages of 20 and 49 was 17.1 years. The age of first marriage appeared to be rising. In 2005 the median age of marriage for women surveyed between 20 and 24 was 16.5 years, and while 39 percent of women between 45 and 49 reported being married by age 15, only 8 percent of young women between 15 and 19 years of age reported being or having been married.

In the Amhara and Tigray regions, girls were married routinely as early as age seven. Child marriage was most prevalent in the Amhara Region, where the median first marriage age was 15.1 years, according to the 2011 DHS, compared with 14.7 years in 2005. Regional governments in Amhara and, to a lesser extent, Tigray offered programs to educate young women on problems associated with early marriage.

Harmful Traditional Practices: Societal abuse of young girls continued to be a problem. Harmful practices included FGM/C, early marriage, marriage by abduction, and food and work prohibitions.

The majority of girls in the country have undergone some form of FGM/C, although the results of the 2009 Population Council survey suggested its prevalence had declined. Sixty-six percent of female respondents ages 21 to 24 reported they were subjected to FGM/C compared with 56 percent of those ages 15 to 17. Of the seven regions surveyed, the study found the rates to be highest in Afar (90.3 percent), Oromia (77.4 percent), and the SNNPR (74.6 percent).

FGM/C was much less common in urban areas, where only 15 percent of the population lived. Girls typically experienced clitoridectomies seven days after birth (consisting of an excision of the clitoris, often with partial labial excision) and infibulation (the most extreme and dangerous form of FGM/C) at the onset of puberty. The penal code criminalizes practitioners of clitoridectomy, with imprisonment of at least three months or a fine of at least 500 birr ($26). Infibulation of the genitals is punishable with imprisonment of five to 10 years. No criminal charges have ever been brought for FGM/C. The government discouraged the practice of FGM/C through education in public schools, the Health Extension Program, and broader mass media campaigns.

Sexual Exploitation of Children: The minimum age for consensual sex is 18 years, but authorities did not enforce this law. The law provides for three to 15 years in prison for sexual intercourse with a minor. The law provides for one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 birr ($530) for trafficking in indecent material displaying sexual intercourse by minors. The law prohibits profiting from the prostitution of minors and inducing minors to engage in prostitution; however, commercial sexual exploitation of children continued, particularly in urban areas. Girls as young as age 11 reportedly were recruited to work in brothels. Customers often sought these girls because they believed them to be free of sexually transmitted diseases. Young girls were trafficked from rural to urban areas. They also were exploited as prostitutes in hotels, bars, resort towns, and rural truck stops. Reports indicated family members forced some young girls into prostitution.

Infanticide or Infanticide of Children with Disabilities: Ritual and superstition-based infanticide continued in remote tribal areas, particularly South Omo. Local governments worked to educate communities against the practice.

Displaced Children: According to a 2010 report by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, approximately 150,000 children lived on the streets, of whom 60,000 were in the capital. The ministry’s report stated families’ inability to support children due to parental illness or insufficient household income exacerbated the problem. These children begged, sometimes as part of a gang, or worked in the informal sector.

A 2010 Population Council Young Adult Survey found that 82.3 percent of boys who lived or worked on the streets had been to or had enrolled in school, 26.4 percent had lost one parent, and 47.2 percent had lost both parents. Among these boys, 72 percent worked for pay at some point in their lives. Government and privately run orphanages were unable to handle the number of street children.

Institutionalized Children: There were an estimated 5.4 million orphans in the country, according to a 2010 report by the Central Statistics Authority. The vast majority lived with extended family members. Government orphanages were overcrowded, and conditions were often unsanitary. Due to severe resource constraints, hospitals and orphanages often overlooked or neglected abandoned infants. Institutionalized children did not receive adequate health care.

International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Anti-Semitism
The Jewish community numbered approximately 2,000 persons. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/.

Persons with Disabilities
The constitution does not mandate equal rights for persons with disabilities. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in employment and mandates access to buildings. It is illegal for deaf persons to drive.

The law prohibits employment discrimination based on disability. It also makes employers responsible for providing appropriate working or training conditions and materials to persons with disabilities. The law specifically recognizes the additional burden on women with disabilities. The government took limited measures to enforce the law, for example, by assigning interpreters for hearing-impaired civil service employees.

The law mandates building accessibility and accessible toilet facilities for persons with physical disabilities, although specific regulations that define the accessibility standards were not adopted. Buildings and toilet facilities were usually not accessible. Landlords are required to give persons with disabilities preference for ground-floor apartments, and this was respected.

Women with disabilities were more disadvantaged than men with disabilities in education and employment. An Addis Ababa University study from 2008 showed that female students with disabilities were subjected to a heavier burden of domestic work than their male peers. The 2010 Population Council Young Adult Survey found young persons with disabilities were less likely to have ever attended school than young persons without disabilities. The survey indicated girls with disabilities were less likely than boys with disabilities to be in school; 23 percent of girls with disabilities were in school, compared to 48 percent of girls without disabilities and 55 percent of boys without disabilities. Overall, 47.8 percent of young persons with disabilities surveyed reported not going to school due to their disability. Girls with disabilities also were much more likely to suffer physical and sexual abuse than girls without disabilities. Of sexually experienced girls with disabilities, 33 percent reported having experienced forced sex. According to the same survey, some 6 percent of boys with disabilities had been beaten in the three months prior to the survey, compared with 2 percent of boys without disabilities.

There were several schools for hearing and visually impaired persons and several training centers for children and young persons with intellectual disabilities. There was a network of prosthetic and orthopedic centers in five of the nine regional states.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs worked on disability-related problems. The CSO law continued to affect negatively several domestic associations, such as the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind, the Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf, and the Ethiopian National Association of the Physically Handicapped, like other civil society organizations.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities
The country has more than 80 ethnic groups, of which the Oromo, at approximately 35 percent of the population, is the largest. The federal system drew boundaries roughly along major ethnic group lines. Most political parties remained primarily ethnically based.

Clashes between ethnic groups during the year resulted in injury and death. In January ethnic clashes broke out at Addis Ababa University reportedly due to anti-Oromo graffiti. The clashes resulted in injury to as many as 20 persons. In February clashes between members of the Afar, Somali, and Oromo ethnic groups in the eastern town of Awash Arba reportedly resulted in the deaths of more than 20 persons.

Authorities in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz forcibly evicted as many as 8,000 ethnic Amhara residents from their homes; some of those evicted alleged police beat and harassed them because of their ethnicity. The regional president publically stated the evictions were a mistake and called on the evictees to return. Government officials also stated that victims would be compensated for lost property and any injuries sustained. Authorities dismissed several local officials from their government positions because of their alleged involvement in the evictions, and charged some of these officials with criminal offenses.

Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by imprisonment under the law. There is no law prohibiting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. There were some reports of violence against LGBT individuals; reporting was limited due to fear of retribution, discrimination, or stigmatization. There are no hate crime laws or other criminal justice mechanisms to aid in the investigation of abuses against LGBT persons. Persons did not identify themselves as LGBT persons due to severe societal stigma and the illegality of consensual same-sex sexual activity. Activists in the LGBT community stated they were followed and at times feared for their safety. There were periodic detentions of some in the LGBT community, combined with interrogation and alleged physical abuse.

The AIDS Resource Center in Addis Ababa reported the majority of self-identified gay and lesbian callers, most of whom were male, requested assistance in changing their behavior to avoid discrimination. Many gay men reported anxiety, confusion, identity crises, depression, self-ostracism, religious conflict, and suicide attempts.

Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
Societal stigma and discrimination against persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS continued in the areas of education, employment, and community integration. Persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS reported difficulty accessing services. Despite the abundance of anecdotal information, there were no statistics on the scale of the problem.

SECTION 7. WORKER RIGHTS
a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining
The constitution and the law provide workers, except for certain categories of workers primarily in the public sector, with the right to form and join unions, conduct legal strikes, and bargain collectively, although other laws severely restrict or excessively regulate these rights. The law specifically prohibits managerial employees, teachers, health care workers, and civil servants (including judges, prosecutors, and security service workers) from organizing unions. Other workers specifically excluded by law from unionizing include domestic workers and seasonal and part-time agricultural workers.

A minimum of 10 workers is required to form a union. While the law provides all unions with the right to register, the government may refuse to register trade unions that do not meet its registration requirements. The law stipulates a trade union organization may not act in an overtly political manner. The law allows administrative authorities to appeal to the courts to cancel union registration for engaging in prohibited activities, such as political action. While the law prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers and provides for reinstatement for workers fired for union activity, it does not prevent an employer from creating or supporting a workers’ organization for the purpose of controlling it.

Other laws and regulations that explicitly or potentially infringe upon workers’ rights to associate freely and to organize include: the CSO law; Council of Ministers Regulation No. 168/2009 on Charities and Societies to reinforce the CSO law; Proclamation No. 652/2009 on Antiterrorism. During the year the International Labor Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations noted the CSO law gives the government power to interfere in the right of workers to organize, including through the registration, internal administration, and dissolution of organizations, and that the Antiterrorism Proclamation could become a means of punishing the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and the right to organize.

While the law recognizes the right of collective bargaining, this right was severely restricted. Negotiations aimed at amending or replacing a collective agreement must be completed within three months of its expiration, or the provisions on wages and other benefits cease to apply. Civil servants, including public school teachers, have the right to establish and join professional associations, but are not allowed to negotiate for better wages or working conditions. Furthermore, the arbitration procedures in the public sector are more restrictive than those in the private sector.

Although the constitution and law provide workers with the right to strike to protect their interests, the law contains detailed provisions prescribing excessively complex and time-consuming formalities that make legal strike actions difficult to carry out. The law requires aggrieved workers to attempt reconciliation with employers before striking and includes a lengthy dispute settlement process. These provisions applied equally to an employer’s right to lock workers out. Two-thirds of the workers involved must support a strike for it to occur. If a case has not already been referred to a court or labor relations board, workers retain the right to strike without resorting to either of these options, provided they give at least 10 days’ notice to the other party and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and make efforts at reconciliation.

The law also prohibits strikes by workers who provide essential services, including air transport and urban bus service workers, electric power suppliers, gas station personnel, hospital and pharmacy personnel, firefighters, telecommunications personnel, and urban sanitary workers. The list of essential services exceeds the ILO definition of essential services. The law prohibits retribution against strikers, but also provides for excessive civil or penal sanctions against unions and workers involved in unauthorized strike actions. Unions may be dissolved for carrying out strikes in “essential services.”

The informal labor sector, including domestic workers, is not unionized and is not protected by labor laws. Lack of adequate staffing prevented the government from effectively enforcing applicable laws during the year. Court procedures were subject to lengthy delays and appeals.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining were not respected. Although the government permits unions, the government established and controlled the major trade unions. As it had for more than four years, the government continued to use its authority to refuse to register the National Teachers’ Association (NTA) on the grounds that a national teacher association already existed, and that the NTA’s registration application was not submitted in accordance with the CSO law. According to the Education International report to the ILO in 2011, government security agents subjected members of the NTA to surveillance and harassment, with the goal of intimidating teachers to abandon the NTA and forcing them to give up their long-standing demand for the formation of an independent union. In November 2012 the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association expressed its concern with regard to serious violations of the NTA’s trade union rights, including continuous interference in its internal organization that prevented it from functioning normally, as well as interference by way of threats, dismissals, arrest, detention, and mistreatment of NTA members. The committee urged the government to register the NTA without delay; to ensure the CSO law was not applicable to workers’ and employers’ organizations; and to undertake civil service reform to fully protect the right of civil servants to establish and join organizations of their own choosing.

While the government allowed citizens to exercise the right of collective bargaining freely, representatives negotiated wages only at the plant level. It was common for employers to refuse to bargain. Unions in the formal industrial sector made some efforts to enforce labor regulations.

Despite the law prohibiting antiunion discrimination, unions reported employers fired union activists. There were reports most Chinese employers generally did not allow workers to form unions and often transferred or fired union leaders, and intimidated and pressured members to leave unions. Lawsuits alleging unlawful dismissal often take years to resolve because of case backlogs in the courts. Employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination were required to reinstate workers fired for union activities and generally did so. While the law prohibits retribution against strikers, most workers were not convinced the government would enforce this protection. Labor officials reported that, due to high unemployment and long delays in the hearing of labor cases, some workers were afraid to participate in strikes or other labor actions. Antiunion activities occurred but were rarely reported.

b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The law prohibits most forms of forced or compulsory labor, including by children, but it also permits courts to order forced labor as a punitive measure. The government did not effectively enforce the forced labor prohibition, and forced labor occurred. Both adults and children were forced to engage in street vending, begging, traditional weaving, or agricultural work. Children also worked in forced domestic labor. Situations of debt bondage also occurred in traditional weaving, pottery, cattle herding, and other agricultural activities, mostly in rural areas.

Also see the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/.

c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment
By law the minimum age for wage or salary employment is 14 years. The minimum age provisions, however, only apply to contractual labor and do not apply to self-employed children or children who perform unpaid work. Special provisions cover children between the ages of 14 and 18, including the prohibition of hazardous or night work. The law defines hazardous work as work in factories or involving machinery with moving parts or any work that could jeopardize a child’s health. Prohibited work sectors include passenger transport, electric generation plants, underground work, street cleaning, and many other sectors. The law expressly excludes children under age 16 attending vocational schools from legal protection with regard to the prohibition on young workers performing hazardous work. The law does not permit children between the ages of 14 and 18 to work more than seven hours per day, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., on public holidays or rest days, or on overtime.

The government did not effectively enforce these laws. The lack of labor inspectors and controls prevented the government from enforcing the law. The resources for inspections and the implementation of penalties were extremely limited. Despite the introduction of labor inspector training at Gondar University in 2011, insufficient numbers of labor inspectors and inspections resulted in lax enforcement of occupational safety and health measures and in increased numbers of children working in prohibited work sectors, particularly construction. The National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor was signed at the end of 2012.

While primary education is free, it is not compulsory, and net school enrollment was low, particularly in rural areas. To underscore the importance of attending school, joint NGO and government-led community-based awareness raising activities targeted communities where children were heavily engaged in agricultural work. During the year the government invested in modernizing agricultural practices and constructing schools to combat the problem of child labor in agricultural sectors.

Child labor remained a serious problem. In both rural and urban areas, children often began working at young ages. Child labor was particularly pervasive in subsistence agricultural production, traditional weaving, fishing, and domestic work. A growing number of children worked in construction. Children in rural areas, especially boys, engaged in activities such as cattle herding, petty trading, plowing, harvesting, and weeding, while other children, mostly girls, collected firewood and fetched water. Children worked in the production of gold. In small-scale gold mining, they dug their own mining pits and carried heavy loads of water. Children in urban areas, including orphans, worked in domestic service, often working long hours, which prevented many from attending school regularly. They also worked in manufacturing, shining shoes, making clothes, as porters, directing customers to taxis, parking, public transport, petty trading, and occasionally herding animals. Some children worked long hours in dangerous environments for little or no wages and without occupational safety protection. Child laborers often faced physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of their employers.

Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/tda.htm.

d. Acceptable Conditions of Work
There is no national minimum wage. Some government institutions and public enterprises set their own minimum wages. Public sector employees, the largest group of wage earners, earned a monthly minimum wage of approximately 420 birr ($22). The official estimate for the poverty income level was approximately 315 birr ($16) per month.

Only a small percentage of the population, concentrated in urban areas, was involved in wage-labor employment. Wages in the informal sector generally were below subsistence levels.

The law provides for a 48-hour maximum legal workweek with a 24-hour rest period, premium pay for overtime, and prohibition of excessive compulsory overtime. The country has 13 paid public holidays per year. The law entitles employees in public enterprise and government financial institutions to overtime pay; civil servants receive compensatory time for overtime work. The government, industries, and unions negotiated occupational safety and health standards. Workers specifically excluded by law from unionizing, including domestic workers and seasonal and part-time agricultural workers, generally did not benefit from health and safety regulations in the workplace.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs’ inspection department was responsible for enforcement of workplace standards. The country had 380 labor inspectors, but due to lack of resources, the labor inspectors did not enforce standards effectively. The ministry’s severely limited administrative capacity; lack of an effective mechanism for receiving, investigating, and tracking allegations of violations; and lack of detailed, sector-specific health and safety guidelines hampered effective enforcement of these standards. In addition penalties were not sufficient to deter violations.

Compensation, benefits, and working conditions of seasonal agricultural workers were far below those of unionized permanent agricultural employees. The government did little to enforce the law. Most employees in the formal sector worked a 39-hour workweek. Many foreign, migrant, and informal sector workers worked more than 48 hours per week.

Workers have the right to remove themselves from dangerous situations without jeopardizing their employment. Despite this law most workers feared losing their jobs if they were to do so. Hazardous working conditions existed in the agricultural sector, which was the primary base of the country’s economy. There were also reports of hazardous and exploitative working conditions in the construction and fledgling industrial sectors.

Read further @http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220113.htm#

(OPride) — The United States in a scathing report on Thursday accused Ethiopia of curtailing freedom of expression and association, using politically motivated trials, harassment and intimidation of activists and journalists.

Ethiopia holds estimated 70,000-80,000 persons, including some 2,500 women and nearly 600 children incarcerated with their mothers, in severely overcrowded six federal and 120 regional prisons, the U.S. said in its voluminous 2013 Human Rights Reportreleased by Secretary of State John Kerry. “There also were many unofficial detention centers throughout the country, including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleko, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senkele,” the report said.

While it said pretrial detention in local police stations were marred with poor hygiene and police abuse, the report also highlighted impunity for security forces who often commit politically-motivated killings against dissidents and opposition party members as “a serious problem.” The Ethiopian government rarely, if ever, took actions “to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption,” the report added.

The report named some of the well-known political prisoners and journalists including Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, Reeyot Alemu and Woubeshet Taye.“Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 convictions under the criminal code of Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa, two well-known political opposition figures from the Oromo ethnic group, for conspiracy to overthrow the government and conspiracy to incite unrest,” the report noted.

“The Supreme Court subsequently determined the Federal High Court did not consider mitigating circumstances and reduced Bekele’s sentence from eight years to three years and seven months. The Supreme Court also reduced Olbana’s sentenced from 13 to 11 years. Courts convicted 69 members of Oromo political opposition parties, charged separately in 2011 under the criminal code with “attacking the political or territorial integrity of the state.”

Gerba, who has fully served out his reduced time, was widely expected to be released last month. However, according to family sources, prison officials gave conflicting reasons for his continued imprisonment, including that his time at the Maekelawi prison doesn’t count or his file was misplaced. Meanwhile, both Gerba and Lelisa are reportedly ill with restricted and limited medical care.

Terminally ill

Lelisa is a longtime Oromo rights activist with Oromo Peoples Congress (OPC), who rose through the ranks of the organization from a sole member to top leadership. He competed in the last three elections representing the Caliya district in West Shewa. He was elected to the Oromia regional parliament in 2005. He was subsequently arrested on concocted charges of plotting to overthrow government by working with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), recruiting youth for armed rebellion and for inciting the frequent youth revolt in Ambo and West Shewa.

Lelisa, who has so far served three years of the 11 years sentence, reports being mistreated while in prison. He has repeatedly been beaten by unidentified men at Kaliti prison with orders from security services. He has sustained serious wounds from the beatings by government agents who pose as prisoners, according to OPride sources. Lelisa, who is terminally ill and said to be on a long-term medication for undisclosed condition, had repeatedly appealed to the higher court about his mistreatment but received no response to date.

Singling out the Oromo

While the State Department’s report is short on details, there are several evidences that show the Ethiopian government continues to single out Oromo dissidents. Last year, the OLF released a partial list (independently verified by a reputable OPride source) of 528 individuals sentenced to death and life imprisonment on purely political grounds.

The list includes names of individuals, their gender, and ethnic backgrounds. Underscoring the disproportionate repression of the Oromo, of the 528 individuals who were sentenced to death or life imprisonment by the Ethiopian courts, 459 are Oromo nationals followed by 52 Amhara nationals. “This list clearly indicates that the minority regime in Ethiopia is using its kangaroo courts for destroying Oromo and Amhara nationals who are viewed as potential threat to the regimes hold on to power,” one informant, who asked not to be named, told OPride.

As documented by various international human rights organizations, today, it is a serious crime, under the Tigrean dominated Ethiopian government to support any independent Oromo organization. Thousands of Oromos have been imprisoned, tortured and killed extra-judicially for no apparent reason other than expressing Oromo national feeling and for their support of Oromo organizations such as the OLF.

The selective and systematic targeting of Oromo in Ethiopia by the current began in 1992 when the OLF which jointly ruled Ethiopia from 1991-1992  with the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF) was banned and its members and supporters jailed for years and hundreds executed without due process of law. Although Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia, is autonomous in name, the Oromo do not have any meaningful voice in the affairs of their own state, which is totally controlled by the TPLF.

The later represents no more than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia, while the Oromo, who constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia and the third largest national group in the whole of Africa. The Oromo are denied the basic democratic rights to organize freely and legally and express their political opinions. There is no single independent newspaper or media outlet catering to the Oromo populace in their native tongue.

The TPLF fears the Oromo numerical strength deliberately characterizes all independent Oromo organizations, which it does not control as the “terror wing” of the OLF.  The goal for such characterization is to persecute peaceful supporters of the OLF behind the façade of fighting against a “ terrorist organization.” Under the anti-terror law of the current Ethiopian regime, anyone who is suspected of peacefully supporting the OLF, could be sentenced to life imprisonment or executed. The above mentioned 459 Oromo nationals who were sentenced to death or life imprisonment are all  suspected OLF supporters.

Destroying the lives of 528 innocent human beings on political ground is a crime against humanity, which must be condemned by all civilized nations. The tearless cry of the U.S. AnnuaL Human Rights report notwithstanding, at this moment no calling is more urgent and more noble and no responsibility greater for those who believe in human rights than raising their voice for pressuring the government of Ethiopia to free the 528 innocent individuals who were sentenced to death and life imprisonment  on purely political grounds.

In the last year alone, two Oromo activists have died in prison under mysterious circumnances. Last year, OPride reported about the death in prison of former UNHCR recognized refugee, engineer Tesfahun Chemeda. Last month, a former parliamentary candidate from Chalenqo in Western Hararghe, Ahmed Nejash died in prison. According to an OPC source, Nejash successfully run and challenegd Sufian Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Development, during the 2010 elections. He was subsequently arrested in 2011 alleged of being an OLF activist. Although his death recieved scant media coverage even within the Oromo community, a close relative of the late Jarra Abba Gadaa, Nejash is one of the veterans of Oromo people’s struggle. “He was sentenced to seven years, which was also upheld by the higher court,” the OPC told OPride source said. “He was in Zuway with Bekele and Olbana and he was healthy the last time I saw him in 2013.”

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3735-us-slams-ethiopia-s-human-rights-abuse

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21 Things They Never Tell You About Poverty & Poor Countries February 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Poverty, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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  • Poverty-as-rule-not -exception is difficult to bend our minds around because we tend to base our views about the world on direct experience. If people around us seem mostly well-fed and content, then why shouldn’t everybody else be? We still don’t know as much as we should about poverty and we try to ignore poor people. Most people’s experience of the global poor is the waiter at their table or the pool attendant, the ones lucky enough to have jobs. Only by direct experience and immersion in local circumstances is it possible to have a vague inkling of what it might be like to be genuinely destitute. There’s no obligation on holidaymakers to go wandering around in slums, but anybody who claims knowledge about deprivation should experience or observe it first-hand for themselves, ideally for a long time.
  • Which undermines my first four points. As Morten Jerven says in his book Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled By African Development Statistics And What To Do About It, “the most basic metric of development, GDP, should not be treated as an objective number but rather as a number that is a product of a process in which a range of arbitrary and controversial assumptions are made.” Jerven finds that the discrepancy between different GDP estimates is up to a half in some cases. This supports my experience from working in the least developed countries, where statistics offices are usually underfunded and don’t have the resources to collect data often or well enough.
  • There’s a kind of false scientism: foreign academic economists spend ages refining complicated econometric models despite the raw material being rubbish. In the absence of good numbers, the only immediate alternative is to live in a country, to use good theory and to rely where necessary on case studies and even anecdote.
  • A report from Oxfam last month pointed out that 85 people, about as many as would fit on a double-decker bus, own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.
  • The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson shows that equality is good for everyone. Redistribution reduces poverty and makes life better for the rich in the form of less crime, better education and a more cohesive society. Global inequality is getting worse, not better. If we don’t radically reduce inequality the poor will eat us, so aid isn’t an option, and it’s not about the rich world “saving” the poor. It’s essential for everyone.
  • Although things are improving, a huge chunk of the world’s population remain poor. Over a fifth of humans, 1.29 billion, are considered extremely poor . In effect the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Europe, the United States and the Middle East scrape by on 75 British pence a day adjusted for the cost of living in each country. About a third of the world lives on less than $2 a day. The poorest half of the world – 3.5 billion people – own only 0.71% of the world’s wealth between them.
  • A billion people live in chronic hunger. Nearly a third of all children are chronically malnourished, which unless addressed before the age of two often leaves them stunted and mentally impaired. A sixth of the world’s adults can’t read or write and many more have only rudimentary literacy. Sub-Saharan Africa has only two doctors for every 10,000 people, which is partly why on average its inhabitants live to an average age of 56.
  • Rather than a term like “developing” to describe these people and countries, the travel writer Dervla Murphy’s phrase “majority world” is more accurate.
  • “The four basic needs: food, housing, clothes and medicine must be cheap and easy for everybody. That’s civilisation”, says Jon Jandai, a farmer from northeast Thailand. I’d add primary, secondary and tertiary education, too.
  • Lower income countries have leapfrogged some technologies. For example many will never install fixed telephone lines because mobile coverage is so good. Vast numbers of people will never touch a PC, doing all their computing on a smartphone or tablet.
  • The governments of poor countries should be more adventurous, leapfrogging ideologies too. Some proponents of economic growth argue that environmental sustainability and a focus on happiness will handicap poverty reduction. But it could enable some countries to prioritise the important things in life. Endless growth is impossible and undesirable.
  • Beyond a certain point rich inefficiency is the real problem. Why do developing countries ape the development paths and economic structures of the West? We are wage slaves who perform bullshit jobs so that we can service our mortgages. The advance of the car ruined everyone’s quality of life so that a minority can sit in air-conditioned metal boxes in jams. Clever though-leadership in the majority world could lead the way for the rich. Bhutan’s idea of Gross National Happiness is an example.
  • There’s plenty of food to go round. World agriculture produces 17% more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago despite a 70% population increase, due to rising yields, higher farming intensity and more use of land. The real problems are the system of distribution and energy use. If the rich world didn’t hog all the food and produce it inefficiently there’d be enough for everyone.
  • The amount officially spent on each poor person globally is US$20 a year, according to the World Bank. The amount has doubled in the last decade following a dip in the late 1990s. But several opinion polls show that rich country inhabitants think they’re much more generous than they really are. Americans think that their government spends 28% of the budget on aid when it’s really about 1%. Brits are almost as bad. The result of this widespread overestimation of generosity is that many people in rich countries want to cut aid.

http://emergenteconomics.com/2014/02/24/21-things-they-never-tell-you-about-poor-countries/

http://emergenteconomics.com/

Emergent Economics

Prompted by Bill Gates’s annual letter and the response from the Overseas Development Institute I thought I’d list some of the things that in my experience seem to be less understood about poor countries. (I wanted to list 23 things like Ha-Joon Chang on capitalism but I couldn’t think of another two). I use the word poor on purpose because although the word risks sounding patronising or dismissive, euphemisms like developing and less-developed can be worse. Thoughts are welcome.

1. Poverty is the rule, not the exception.For most people life just isn’t as good as it is for you and I, the comfortable people from a country rich enough to allow us the literacy, time and Internet access to read blogs written by well-meaning left liberals. Poverty-as-rule-not -exception is difficult to bend our minds around because we tend to base our views about the world on direct experience. If…

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Ethiopia’s Land & Water Grabs Devastate Communities: New Satellite Imagery Shows Extensive Clearance of Land Used By Indigenous People to Make Way for State-Run Sugar Plantations February 25, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Hadiya, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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‘Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to 200,000 agro-pastoralists, is under development for sugar plantations and processing. The early stages of the development have resulted in the loss of land and livelihoods for thousands of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable citizens. The future of 500,000 agro-pastoralists in Ethiopia and Kenya is at risk.’ – Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/node/123131

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oAxVrUV9tbs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-pottinger/ethiopia-pushes-river-bas_b_4811584.html

(Nairobi) – New satellite imagery shows extensive clearance of land used by indigenous groups to make way for state-run sugar plantations in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers said today. Virtually all of the traditional lands of the 7,000-member Bodi indigenous group have been cleared in the last 15 months, without adequate consultation or compensation. Human Rights Watch has also documented the forced resettlement of some indigenous people in the area.

The land clearing is part of a broader Ethiopian government development scheme in the Omo Valley, a United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, including dam construction, sugar plantations, and commercial agriculture. The project will consume the vast majority of the water in the Omo River basin, potentially devastating the livelihoods of the 500,000 indigenous people in Ethiopia and neighboring Kenya who directly or indirectly rely on the Omo’s waters for their livelihoods.

“Ethiopia can develop its land and resources but it shouldn’t run roughshod over the rights of its indigenous communities,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The people who rely on the land for their livelihoods have the right to compensation and the right to reject plans that will completely transform their lives.”

A prerequisite to the government’s development plans for the Lower Omo Valley is the relocation of 150,000 indigenous people who live in the vicinity of the sugar plantations into permanent sedentary villages under the government’s deeply unpopular “villagization” program. Under this program, people are to be moved into sedentary villages and provided with schools, clinics, and other infrastructure. As has been seen in other parts of Ethiopia, these movements are not all voluntary.
Satellite images analyzed by Human Rights Watch show devastating changes to the Lower Omo Valley between November 2010 and January 2013, with large areas originally used for grazing cleared of all vegetation and new roads and irrigation canals crisscrossing the valley. Lands critical for the livelihoods of the agro-pastoralist Bodi and Mursi peoples have been cleared for the sugar plantations. These changes are happening without their consent or compensation, local people told Human Rights Watch. Governments have a duty to consult and cooperate with indigenous people to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources.

The imagery also shows the impact of a rudimentary dam built in July 2012 that diverted the waters of the Omo River into the sugar plantations. Water rapidly built up behind the shoddily built mud structure before breaking it twice. The reservoir created behind the dam forced approximately 200 Bodi families to flee to high ground, leaving behind their crops and their homes.

In a 2012 report Human Rights Watchwarned of the risk to livelihoods and potential for increased conflict and food insecurity if the government continued to clear the land. The report also documented how government security forces used violence and intimidation to make communities in the Lower Omo Valley relocate from their traditional lands, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods.

The development in the Lower Omo Valley depends on the construction upstream of a much larger hydropower dam – the Gibe III, which will regulate river flows to support year-round commercial agriculture.

A new film produced by International Rivers, “A Cascade of Development on the Omo River,” reveals how and why the Gibe III will cause hydrological havoc on both sides of the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Most significantly, the changes in river flow caused by the dam and associated irrigated plantations could cause a huge drop in the water levels of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake and another UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lake Turkana receives 90 percent of its water from the Omo River and is projected to drop by about two meters during the initial filling of the dam, which is estimated to begin around May 2014. If current plans to create new plantations continue to move forward, the lake could drop as much as 16 to 22 meters. The average depth of the lake is just 31 meters.

The river flow past the Gibe III will be almost completely blocked beginning in 2014. According to government documents, it will take up to three years to fill the reservoir, during which the Omo River’s annual flow could drop by as much as 70 percent. After this initial shock, regular dam operations will further devastate ecosystems and local livelihoods. Changes to the river’s flooding regime will harm agricultural yields, prevent the replenishment of important grazing areas, and reduce fish populations, all critical resources for livelihoods of certain indigenous groups.

The government of Ethiopia should halt development of the sugar plantations and the water offtakes until affected indigenous communities have been properly consulted and give their free, prior, and informed consent to the developments, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers said. The impact of all planned developments in the Omo/Turkana basin on indigenous people’s livelihoods should be assessed through a transparent, independent impact assessment process.

“If Ethiopia continues to bulldoze ahead with these developments, it will devastate the livelihoods of half a million people who depend on the Omo River,” said Lori Pottinger, head of International Rivers’ Ethiopia program. “It doesn’t have to be this way – Ethiopia has options for managing this river more sustainably, and pursuing developments that won’t harm the people who call this watershed home.”

Background
Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley is one of the most isolated and underdeveloped areas in East Africa. At least eight different groups call the Omo River Valley home and the livelihood of each of these groups is intimately tied to the Omo River and the surrounding lands. Many of the indigenous people that inhabit the valley are agro-pastoralist, growing crops along the Omo River and grazing cattle.

In 2010, Ethiopia announced plans for the construction of Africa’s tallest dam, the 1,870 megawatt Gibe III dam on the Omo River. Controversy has dogged the Gibe III dam ever since. Of all the major funders who considered the dam, only China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) provided financing (the World Bank, African Development Bank, and European Investment Bank all declined to fund it, though the World Bank and African Development Bank have financed related power lines).

The Ethiopian government announced even more ambitious plans for the region in 2011, including the development of at least 245,000 hectares of irrigated state-run sugar plantations. Downstream, the water-intensive sugar plantations, will depend on irrigation canals. Although there have been some independent assessments of the Gibe dam project and its impact on river flow and Lake Turkana, to date the Ethiopian government has not published any environmental or social impact assessments for the sugar plantations and other commercial agricultural developments in the Omo valley.

According to the regional government plan for villagization in Lower Omo, the World Bank-supported Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP) is funding some of the infrastructure in the new villages. Despite concerns over human rights abuses associated with the villagization program that were communicated to Bank management, in December 2013 the World Bank Board approved funding of the third phase of the PCDP III. PCDP III ostensibly provides much-needed services to pastoral communities throughout Ethiopia, but according to government documents PCDP also pays for infrastructure being used in the sedentary villages that pastoralists are being moved to.

The United States Congress in January included language in the 2014 Appropriations Act that puts conditions on US development assistance in the Lower Omo Valley requiring that there should be consultation with local communities; that the assistance “supports initiatives of local communities to improve their livelihoods”; and that no activities should be supported that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions.

However other donors have not publicly raised concerns about Ethiopia’s Lower Omo development plans. Justine Greening, the British Secretary of State for International Development, in 2012 stated that her Department for International Development (DFID) was not able to “substantiate the human rights concerns” in the Lower Omo Valley despite DFID officials hearing these concerns directly from impacted communities in January 2012.

Ethiopia: Land, Water Grabs Devastate Communities | Human Rights Watch

http://www.hrw.org

http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/02/18/ethiopia-land-water-grabs-devastate-communities

The ‘Africa Rising’ Narrative: A Single Optimist Narrative Masks Growing Inequality in the Continent February 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, International Economics, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Poverty, South Sudan, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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“Compare that with the mean wealth of a South African at $11,310, Libyan ($11,040) and Namibian ($10,500). While the average Ethiopian has his asset base standing at a mere $260 despite years of economic growth and foreign investment – wealth has not filtered through to the people. With this kind of glaring inequality between and within countries, the “Africa Rising” narrative risks masking the realities of millions of Africans struggling to get by in continent said to be on the move.” http://www.africareview.com//Blogs/Africa-is-rising-but-not-everywhere/-/979192/2219854/-/12at0a8/-/index.html?relative=true

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“Africa Rising” is now a very popular story – a near-universal belief that the continent is the next investment frontier after more than a decade of sustained high growth rates and increased foreign direct investment.

We even now have memes for this new narrative.

But some people have their doubts about this whole “Afro-optimism” talk – they say Africa isn’t really rising.

They argue that Africa’s low levels of manufacturing and industrialisation discredit the continent’s “growth miracle”. Its share of world trade is remains very small compared to Asia.

Well, Africa cannot be reduced to a single narrative. We have been victims of this before – for hundreds of years the continent has always been seen in a kind of Hobbesian way – where life is poor, nasty, brutish and short.

Now, there is a minority global elite working round the clock trying to turn this long-held view of a continent.

While I do not begrudge them for their PR efforts – we cannot mask the glaring inequality in Africa by developing a new optimist narrative about the continent.

There are many stories about Africa. Not just one.

Genocide

While the sun shines bright in Namibia, not the same can be said of Malawi where the government is bankrupt or the Central African Republic (CAR) where sectarian violence is increasingly becoming genocidal.

Pretty much everyone else in the world seems accustomed to the living hell that is Somalia.

But we have also come to a consensus that Botswana and Ghana are the model countries in Africa.

South Africa is a member of the BRICS. While the petro-dollars are changing the fortunes of Angola – it has grown its wealth per capita by 527 per cent since the end of the civil war in 2002.

Not much can be said of South Sudan. Oil has not done anything despite pronouncements by the liberation leaders that independence holds much promise for the young nation’s prosperity.

The country imploded barely three years into into its independence.

This is the problem of a single narrative – it is indifferent to the growing and glaring inequality in Africa and its various political contexts.

Many Africans still have no access to the basic necessities of life. Millions go to bed without food and die from preventable diseases.

Others live in war-ravaged countries in constant fear for their lives. You can bet the last thing on their mind is not a blanket “rising” narrative about Africa and the promise it holds. That is not their Africa, its someone else’s.

Yes. “Africa Rising” may be real. But only to a small minority.

Wealth distribution

A report by New World Wealth highlights the variations in wealth distribution across the continent’s 19 wealthiest countries.

Africa’s total wealth stood at $2.7 trillion last year down from $3 trillion in 2007 after taking a hit from the global financial crisis.

These 19 countries control 76 per cent while the remaining 35 scrape over $648 billion. And most of this wealth is concentrated in northern and southern Africa.

The western, central and eastern regions have some of the poorest individuals on the continent with the highest per capita wealth from this group – with the exception of Angola – coming from Nigeria at $1,350.

Compare that with the mean wealth of a South African at $11,310, Libyan ($11,040) and Namibian ($10,500).

While the average Ethiopian has his asset base standing at a mere $260 despite years of economic growth and foreign investment – wealth has not filtered through to the people.

With this kind of glaring inequality between and within countries, the “Africa Rising” narrative risks masking the realities of millions of Africans struggling to get by in continent said to be on the move.

The sun may be shining bright in Africa – but only in favoured parts of it.

Read further @:

http://www.africareview.com//Blogs/Africa-is-rising-but-not-everywhere/-/979192/2219854/-/12at0a8/-/index.html?relative=true