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World Atlas: Countries With The Lowest Income In The World April 16, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Economics.
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Countries With  Very Low per Capita GNIs: Malwai, Burundi, Central African Republic, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Gambia, Madagascar, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia are all struggling with extreme poverty. Within them, GNI per capita rates vary from 250 to 550 international dollars. This often becomes even more concerning when considering that income disparities often leave the general population in an even poorer state the already bad numbers would suggest. Collectively, these countries need strong economic reforms to begin to fight poverty and increase the welfare of their citizens and secure stronger standings on the global economic scene.

Countries With The Lowest Income In The World

These following countries have the smallest Gross National Income (GNI) per capita worldwide.


The Gross National Income, or GNI, represents the sum of a nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plus any other net income received from overseas. Therefore, the gross national income measures both the domestic income of a country and the income it receives from abroad.The GNI per capita measures the average income earned by a person in a given country and is calculated by simply dividing the total GNI of the country by the total size of the population. Generally, GNI per capita is used to compare the state of wealth of a population and the standard of living in a country with those of other nations. GNI per capita is expressed in international dollars, and is based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), how far the money will go in buying commonly purchased goods in relation to that money’s ability to do the same elsewhere on the planet. When determining a country’s development status, GNI becomes an important economic factor. Taking into account all the considerations listed above, it becomes quite easy to understand why the countries with the smallest GNIs per capita tend to be developing countries which struggle with poor Infrastructure in terms of social welfare and economic development alike.

Malawi’s Economic Issues

According to World Bank data, the country with the smallest GNI per capita is Malawi, with 250 international dollars of income per person. Although the country enjoys a democratic and stable government, the economy continues to operate within a poor fiscal environment, characterized by the country’s high debt levels. The social environment is characterized by a proliferation of inequality and poverty, with over a half of the population being considered as poor, and one-quarter of it living in extreme poverty. The low agricultural productivity is one of the main obstacles in reducing the poverty, further worsened by increasing erratic weather patterns.

Post-Conflict Poverty in Burundi

Burundi, with a GNI of 270 international dollars, is the country with the second smallest GNI per capita. Even if the country is in the process of transitioning from a post-conflict economy to a stable, peacetime economy, poverty remains at troublingly high levels. The country is focusing on developing its basic social services, modernizing the public finance sector, and upgrading institutions and infrastructure across the board. Though it possesses a modernized industrial establishment, it above all relies on the agricultural sector, energy production, and mining for the majority of its revenues. The growing economy will increasingly offer more employment opportunities, and hopefully improvements in the standard of living will be quick to follow.

Underdeveloped Resources in the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has the third-smallest GNI per capita value (330 international dollars). While it’s true that the country has recently been devastated by a political crisis, the Central African Republic was among the countries with the highest poverty rates well before the recent tumultuous events. The country possesses abundant natural resources but, unfortunately, they are generally very underdeveloped. Subsistence agriculture represents almost one-third of the gross domestic product. Exports of diamonds and wood, while relatively significant domestically, have clearly not been enough to raise the economy to the level of a major global power.

Liberia’s Epidemic

Liberia’s economy was gravely affected by the Ebola crisis that swept Africa for much of the new millennium. Indeed, the outbreak essentially reversed many of the important gains the country has made in the fights against political and economic insecurity and poverty. The quarantines implemented due to the Ebola epidemic affected the production and exports of rubber as workers were restricted in their daily travels, and contamination from African goods became a global concern. The weak business environment constrains the growth of manufacturing industries, and most of the important sectors suffered production disruptions due to the epidemic. The economy of Liberia definitely needs effective implementation of an economic recovery plan

Other Countries With Low per Capita GNIs

Besides these countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Gambia, Madagascar, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia are all struggling with extreme poverty as well. Within them, GNI per capita rates vary from 380 to 550 international dollars. This often becomes even more concerning when considering that income disparities often leave the general population in an even poorer state the already bad numbers would suggest. Collectively, these countries need strong economic reforms to begin to fight poverty and increase the welfare of their citizens and secure stronger standings on the global economic scene.

Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita

Rank Country GNI Per Capita (USD)
1 Malawi $250
2 Burundi $270
3 Central African Republic $320
4 Liberia $370
5 Congo, Dem. Rep. $380
6 Niger $410
7 Madagascar $440
8 Guinea $470
9 Ethiopia $550
10 Guinea-Bissau $550
11 Togo $570
12 Mozambique $600
13 Mali $650
14 Uganda $670
15 Afghanistan $680
16 Burkina Faso $700
17 Rwanda $700
18 Sierra Leone $700
19 Nepal $730
20 Comoros $790
21 Haiti $820
22 Zimbabwe $840
23 Benin $890
24 Tanzania $920
25 South Sudan $970
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The inconvenient truth about foreign aid: The aid system colludes in redistributing wealth from poorer to richer. Under an aura of beneficence, aid is harnessed to self-interest. February 9, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

The inconvenient truth about foreign aid

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

Credit: Flickr/DFID. Some rights reserved.

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

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

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

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

Here’s how.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does it have to be this way?

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

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

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

How and why we are moving beyond GDP as a measure of human progress January 13, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist


How we track our economy influences everything from government spending and taxes to home lending and business investment. In our series The Way We Measure, we’re taking a close look at economic indicators to better understand what’s going on.


Ever since 1944, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been a primary measure of economic growth. It’s in the news regularly and, even though few can define what it means, there is general acceptance that when GDP is growing, things are good.

There are problems with this simplistic formulation.

GDP measures production only. It does not capture collapsing fish stocks, increasing obesity and diabetes, or new types of synthetic drugs. When people choose to work part-time to have a better work-life balance, GDP actually goes down.

This narrow focus distorts our perception of progress. It guides our representatives to focus only on certain things – what is measured – and allows them to ignore what isn’t quantified and regularly reported.

But a new set of measures is slowly being established, which aims to capture a wider range of human experiences and reset our idea of “success”. Called the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these aim to include all the main pillars of a progressive society, from physical safety through to economic opportunity and good health.

SDGs will force action by highlighting what is currently covered up by the narrow measures of how our economy and society are faring.


Click here to read at more at the conversation

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

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoo

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

Source: AFRICA- AN EXAMPLE OF WOUNDED CULTURE AND ECONOMY

The Guardian: A switch to ecological farming will benefit health and environment – report June 7, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo

A switch to ecological farming will benefit health and environment – report

The world needs to move away from industrial agriculture to avoid ecological, social and human health crises, say scientists

John Vidal, The Guardian,  2 June 2016


A new approach to farming is needed to safeguard human health and avoid rising air and water pollution, high greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, a group of 20 leading agronomists, health, nutrition and social scientists has concluded.
 
Rather than the giant feedlots used to rear animals or the uniform crop monocultures that now dominate farming worldwide, the solution is to diversify agriculture and re-orient it around ecological practices, says the report (pdf) by the International panel of experts on sustainable food systems (IPES-Food).
 
The benefits of a switch to a more ecologically oriented farming system would be seen in human and animal health, and improvements in soil and water quality, the report says.
 
The new group, which is co-chaired by Olivier De Schutter, former UN special rapporteur on food, and includes winners of the World Food prize and the heads of bio-science research groups, accepts that industrial agriculture and the global food system that has grown around it supplies large volumes of food to global markets.
 
But it argues that food supplies would not be greatly affected by a change to a more diverse farming system.
 
The group’s members, drawn from rich and poor countries with no affiliations to industry, say that industrial agriculture’s dependence on chemical fertilisers, pesticides and antibiotics to manage animals and agro-ecosystems, has led to ecological, social and human health crises.
 
“Today’s food and farming systems led systematically to negative outcomes and vulnerabilities. Many of these problems can be linked specifically to the industrial-scale feedlots and uniform crop monocultures that dominate agricultural landscapes, and rely on chemical fertilisers and pesticides as a means of managing agro-ecosystems,” the group says.
 
In place of an intensive global food system they propose that agriculture diversifies production and optimises biodiversity to build fertile, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods.
 
 
 
De Schutter said: “Many of the problems in food systems are linked specifically to the uniformity at the heart of industrial agriculture, and its reliance on chemical fertilisers and pesticides.” He said that simply tweaking industrial agriculture will not provide long-term solutions and a fundamentally different model was needed.
 
“It is not a lack of evidence holding back the agro-ecological alternative. It is the mismatch between its huge potential to improve outcomes across food systems, and its much smaller potential to generate profits for agribusiness firms.”
 
“There is growing evidence that these [agro-ecological] systems keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods,” says the report.
 
Diversified agroecological systems can also pave the way for diverse diets and improved health.
 
The panel argues that industrial agriculture locks in farmers, subsidies, supermarkets, governments and consumers to the point where food systems are in the hands of very few companies and people.
 
“Food systems in which uniform crop commodities can be produced and traded on a massive scale are in the economic interests of crop breeders, pesticide manufacturers, grain traders and supermarkets alike,” says the report.
 
“Industrial agriculture has occupied a privileged position for decades and has failed to provide a recipe for sustainable food systems. There is enough evidence now to suggest that a shift towards diversified agro-ecological systems can dramatically improve these outcomes.”
 
The panel identifies three disastrous consequences of intensive farming. These include the fact that global food systems linked to industrial modes of farming or deforestation generate one-third of all greenhouse gasses.
 
In addition, the excessive application of fertilisers and pesticides in crop monocultures, and the waste generated by industrial animal feedlots, have resulted in severe water pollution.
 
Pesticide exposure in industrial farming systems has been linked to a possible range of human health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, cancers and developmental disorders. Additionally, the preventative use of antibiotics in industrial animal production systems has exacerbated the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, creating health risks for human populations.

Read more at sources:-


 

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/

Ethiopia’s Economy: Time for the West to Call a Spade a Spade June 11, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Ethiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015AUTHORITARIAN OVER SPEECH

From Where I Sit...

Dounle digit EthiopiaThe western media and its sponsors have gone to great lengths to present Ethiopia as a democratic nation whose economy is growing by “double digits”. The suffering Ethiopian people know better but have been muffled and prevented from expressing their aspirations and dreams by a minority mercenary regime. Over the last decade, Ethiopia has been hailed as the “fastest growing non-oil economies” in Africa, maintaining a double-digit annual economic growth rate. Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product may have grown (court is still out on that) but according to Simon Kuznets, “the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income.” The measure was never intended as much more than a useful accounting device.

Reports on Ethiopia’s GDP say:

  • “…For the past 10 years, the country has registered an average 10.9 real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate and this trend has shown us that the country…

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#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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Africa: How moving beyond GDP may help fight poverty February 2, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, Economics, Poverty, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Growth and Resource Deplation

 

‘GDP is a highly inappropriate measure to gauge progress in Africa and moving beyond GDP will open up creative opportunities to fight poverty and achieve sustainable wellbeing. GDP does not capture informal economies, the contribution of subsistence farming, non-commercial agriculture and other localized forms of production and consumption. Through the introduction of new progress indicators that focus on human wellbeing, health and education, decent work and natural welfare, African countries may be encouraged to promote a different development paradigm . A networked economy, founded on localized forms of self-production and consumption would empower the millions of people that are at the moment left out of the apparent African economic miracle.’

‘Moreover, as an aggregate figure (or as an average, in the case of GDP per capita) it hides unequal distribution of income.  Against this backdrop, it becomes clear that there are important structural reasons why one should be suspicious of the ‘Africa rising’ mantra. Most fastgrowing African economies are heavily dependent on exports of commodities. This means that when commodity prices drop at the global level, African economies languish. More dangerously, it means that the ‘growth’ we have seen in the past few years is largely the result of a statistical mirage. Most natural resources in Africa are not renewable: once they are taken out of the ground, they do not grow back. GDP does not measure the ‘loss’ of selling out the most precious resources African countries possess. What would the picture look like if such losses were deducted from GDP? The World Bank in 2013 adjusted net savings statistics, which subtracts natural resources depletion and environmental damage from national income, gives us the following: African countries have been reducing their wealth at the tune of 1.2% a year. Rather than growing, our continent’s economies have been shrinking.’

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5938How%20moving%20beyond%20GDP%20may%20help%20fight%20poverty%20in%20Africa.pdf

 

 

GSDR 2015 Brief How moving beyond GDP may help fight poverty in Africa

 

By Lorenzo Fioramonti*, University of Pretoria

 

The gross domestic product (GDP) is the world’s most powerful statistical measure. Its underlying economic principles have contributed to splitting the planet into two worlds: the ‘developed’ and the ‘developing’ countries and/or the North and the South. Paradoxically, the GDP mantra was imposed on poorer nations in spite of its creators’ conclusion that its approach should not be applied to countries largely dependent on informal economic structures, as these are not considered by income accounts, which are threatened by policies designed to increase GDP (Fioramonti 2013). The economist Simon Kuznets, one of the architects of the GDP system, is also known for having demonstrated how income inequality rises in times of fast GDP growth. His famous ‘curve’ shows how relative poverty is exacerbated, especially in under-industrialized countries, leading to a concentration of resources and income in the hands of a few. This brief makes the argument that GDP is a highly inappropriate measure to gauge progress, especially in the so-called developing world. It will therefore focus on Africa to show how moving beyond GDP may open up creative opportunities to fight poverty and achieve sustainable wellbeing. How the GDP measure is misleading Africa In May 2013, even the billionaire turned philanthropist Bill Gates, who is a fervent supporter of metric-driven approaches to development, publicly contested the validity of GDP: “I have long believed that GDP understates growth even in rich countries, where its measurement is quite sophisticated, because it is very difficult to compare the value of baskets of goods across different time periods,” but this problem is “particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa, owing to weak national statistics offices and historical biases that muddy crucial measurements” (Gates 2013). GDP does not capture informal economies, the contribution of subsistence farming, non-commercial agriculture and other localized forms of production and consumption (Jerven 2013). According to estimates published by the IMF in 2002, informal economies accounted for up to 44% of economic output in developing nations, 30% in transition economies, and 16% in the OECD countries (Schneider and Enste 2002), which fall outside the GDP net. Moreover, as an aggregate figure (or as an average, in the case of GDP per capita) it hides unequal distribution of income.  Against this backdrop, it becomes clear that there are important structural reasons why one should be suspicious of the ‘Africa rising’ mantra. Most fastgrowing African economies are heavily dependent on exports of commodities. This means that when commodity prices drop at the global level, African economies languish. More dangerously, it means that the ‘growth’ we have seen in the past few years is largely the result of a statistical mirage. Most natural resources in Africa are not renewable: once they are taken out of the ground, they do not grow back. GDP does not measure the ‘loss’ of selling out the most precious resources African countries possess. What would the picture look like if such losses were deducted from GDP? The World Bank in 2013 adjusted net savings statistics, which subtracts natural resources depletion and environmental damage from national income, gives us the following: African countries have been reducing their wealth at the tune of 1.2% a year. Rather than growing, our continent’s economies have been shrinking. Sierra Leone has experienced net losses of about 20% of its entire GDP, Angola of 40%, Chad of 50% and the DRC of over 57%. The Bank confirms that “in poorer countries, natural capital is more important than produced capital,” thus suggesting that properly managing natural resources should become a fundamental component of development strategies, “particularly since the poorest households in those countries are usually the most dependent on these resources” (World Bank 2006: p. XVI). The real costs of GDP growth in Africa are the elephant in the room of the world’s economic debates. The current GDP paradigm sacrifices nature, which must be commoditized to become productive. It also neglects important components of the real economy, such as the informal sector, because they are not part of the formal market system. Policies that are designed to support GDP growth thus replace the informal (e.g. street vendors, subsistence farming, flea markets, family businesses, household production) with the formal (e.g. shopping malls, commercial farming, large infrastructure). While some can take advantage of this concentration of wealth, many are left behind. The OECD has confirmed the intimate link between rising inequality and GDP growth across the world (OECD 2011). This is further amplified in those countries where the informal economy provides a fundamental safety net to many poor households, as is the case throughout Africa. Why going ‘beyond’ GDP may create new opportunities The GDP model of growth privileges the formal at the expense of the informal, the big at the expense of the small. While complacent politicians, economists and the media celebrate Africa’s GDP ‘miracle’, there is another part of the continent rising. Disillusioned with the limited gains of market society, many Africans are raising their collective voices, whether through service delivery protests (as is the case in South Africa) or through permanent mobilizations (as we have seen in North Africa). This could very well be the beginning of a new era, in which more and more citizens repudiate an economic model that is losing traction also in the West, to explore new forms of human progress. Going beyond GDP in Africa may open a myriad of possibilities to redefine progress in the continent. Through the introduction of new indicators that focus on human wellbeing, health and education, decent work (rather than superficial counting of ‘employment’) and natural welfare, African countries may be encouraged to promote a different development paradigm. Various elements of Africa’s local cultures, from the widely heralded (and often abused) concept of Ubuntu to traditional experiences with cooperative schemes of production and consumption as well as communitydriven governance, may provide a fertile ground for localized and decentralized forms of development, in which enhancing human capabilities will overtake nominal income as the key objective of economic progress. Moreover, the abundance of solar energy should make it possible for entire communities to become energy independent through small-scale offthe-grid solutions, thus reinforcing a transition to a citizens-driven development model, rather than an economic paradigm based on exploitation of nature and mass consumption. A networked economy, founded on localized forms of self-production and consumption, in which the distinction between producers and consumers becomes increasingly fuzzier (this is a concept encapsulated in the idea of ‘prosumers’) would challenge the GDP conceptualizations of production and asset boundary, thus resulting in lower rates of nominal growth. Yet, it3 would empower the millions of people that are at the moment left out of the apparent African economic miracle. It would for instance allow for alternative forms of governance of natural resources, in which local communities would need to identify the best ways to interact with their ecosystems in a sustainable fashion, rather than resorting to the structural exploitation we have seen throughout the continent in times of state-led or market-driven accelerated growth. It would mean respecting the commons for what they are, rather than subjecting them to marketization and commodification as dictated by the GDP mantra.

 

* Lorenzo Fioramonti is the director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (www.governanceinnovation.org). He is one of the leading voices in the ‘Beyond GDP’ debate and the author of the bestselling books Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World’s Most Powerful Number (2013) and How Numbers Rules the World: The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics (2014), both published by Zed Books. The views and opinions expressed are the authors’ and do not represent those of the Secretariat of the United Nations. Online publication or dissemination does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.

Read more at:

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5938How%20moving%20beyond%20GDP%20may%20help%20fight%20poverty%20in%20Africa.pdf

 

Africa: One Village in Tanzania Shows Locally Managed Development Makes Good Business Sense January 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Land and resource Rights, The Maasai in Tanzania.
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???????????Masai tanzania

One Village in Tanzania Shows Locally Managed Development Makes Good Business Sense

by and  Celine Salcede-La Via *

Many developing country governments have transferred large swathes of community land to agri-businesses, extractive industries, infrastructure developers and other investors as a way to grow their economies. These actions often come at the expense of local communities, who lose rights to the lands they’ve lived on for generations. The transfer of community land is especially pervasive and problematic in Africa, where 60 percent of the population is rural and dependent on land and natural resources for food and livelihoods.

But development doesn’t need to come at the expense of local communities. As one community in Tanzania is showing, alternative business models can allow citizens to retain their lands and resources while also capitalizing on economic opportunities.

An Alternative Business Model for Community Empowerment

Northern Tanzania is home to Kilamanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and some of the world’s largest populations of wildlife. It’s also the location of Ololosokwan, a village in Loliondo Division made up principally of the Maasai people. Maasai pastoralists raise livestock on communal rangelands across Tanzania’s northern drylands.

Ololosokwan is among the first villages in Tanzania to establish community-based eco-tourism. Beginning in the late 1990s, the Village Council (village governing body), representing the Village Assembly (comprised of all villagers above the age of 18), established several joint ventures with tour operators. One agreement is for the construction of a tourist lodge in a 25,000-acre concession area, for which the company is paying Ololosokwan an annual land rent of $ about 50,000, as well as a fee per tourist per night. Another venture allows selected luxury tour operators to establish campsites on village land in exchange for payments. In 2007, Ololosokwan earned approximately US$ 96,000 per year from the tourism operations.1 The joint ventures have also generated employment for villagers and helped establish a crafts market for local artists.

Ololosokwan’s Village Council has allocated much of its revenue toward education, especially building classrooms, employing teachers and sponsoring children to attend secondary school and university. The Village Council has also used some of its revenue to build a village dispensary, develop several water projects and reinvest in conservation to ensure wildlife populations thrive on Ololosokwan land.

Recipe for Success

Tanzania has relatively progressive land laws compared to other African nations. The 1999 Land Act and Village Land Act both recognize customary ownership of lands and allow local communities to lease their land and enter into collaborative business ventures. This legislation is complemented by the Local Government Act of 1982, which empowers the Village Council and Village Assembly to manage community lands and natural resources.

In addition to supportive legislation, local and international NGOs have aided communities by conducting capacity-building trainings with villagers. For example, the Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha assisted a number of villages in Loliondo Division—including Ololosokwan—to obtain title deeds for their lands in the 1990s. The Pastoral Women Council (PWC) helped empower village women to participate in community decision-making. And the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) and Sand County Foundation trained villagers on land and resource rights, and on negotiating contracts with investors, specifically tour operators. These groups also worked with villagers on how they could spend their revenues wisely.

The trainings paved the way for Ololosokwan to enact village by-laws, which establish a land-use plan for the community and mandate that the Village Council enact and enforce conservation measures like controlling illegal hunting, and report to the Village Assembly the community’s wildlife-related earnings and expenditures.

Land Rights Challenges Remain

Despite successes, Ololosokwan—along with other communities in Africa—continues to face threats to their land rights. In 2013, for example, Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources announced a plan to demarcate 1,500 km2 of village lands in Loliondo, including Ololosokwan land, as a reserve under government control. Reports suggested that the government intended to grant a concession to a Dubai-based luxury safari company for big game hunting in the region.

While the Prime Minister suspended the plan after outcry from affected community members, recent reports indicate that the government has revived its plan to create the reserve, which would evict the Maasai from their ancestral lands.

This threat notwithstanding, the case of Ololosokwan demonstrates the importance of communities managing and benefiting from their own natural resources. It shows that, given appropriate legal support and the right tools, communities can take charge of their own development and lift themselves out of chronic poverty.

The case of Ololosokwan also supports the global movement calling for bottom-up business models that work for communities and investors alike, such as the Our Land, Our Business campaign made up of more than 260 farmers, NGOs and civil society groups from around the world. It is time to take note and replicate successes like Ololosokwan’s across Africa.

*This post is co-authored by Emmanuel Sulle, a researcher and PhD student at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies in South Africa. His research areas include inclusive business models, land tenure and rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more at:  http://www.wri.org/blog/2015/01/one-village-tanzania-shows-locally-managed-development-makes-good-business-sense?utm_campaign=socialmedia&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=wri-page

CONTESTED TERRAINS January 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, 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, Guji, Koore, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo.
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???????????

 

CONTESTED TERRAINS:
CONFLICTS BETWEEN STATE AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES OVER THE MANAGEMENT AND
UTILIZATION OF NECH SAR NATIONAL PARK, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
Asebe Regassa Debelo
Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, Bayreuth, Germany

Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (Volume 13, No.5, 2011)
ISSN: 1520-5509. Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, Pennsylvania

 

 

ABSTRACT
In Ethiopia, development models have been borrowed from different countries since the mid 19th century. Despite their difference in discourses over political and economic ideologies, successive regimes in the country shared similarities in their relationship with the society. The Ethiopian state has been perceived as predatory state for its exploitative nature and because of its reliance on the poor in extracting revenue. In 1991, Ethiopia experienced a new political order that ostensibly promised the society with rights of self-government, decentralization of power and local development through
empowerment of local institutions. Nevertheless, the top-down and centrist approach in the planning and management of development schemes have been the features of the current regime. Taking the case of Nech Sar national park as a case study, this paper argues that the official narratives of development and conservation contradict local conceptions and ultimately fail to ensure both conservation and development missions it intends to achieve. Rather, state intervention threatens the livelihood of local communities and sustainability of biodiversity in the park.
Keywords: Development, Conservation, Local communities, Conceptions of nature
INTRODUCTION
In Ethiopian history, the territories in the southern part of the country have been represented as a natural space ‘unspoiled’ by human activities where as the people are portrayed as ‘close to nature’. In a close investigation of the north-south dichotomies in Ethiopia, an analogy can be drawn with Europeans’ perception of Africa during the colonial conquest. In other words, the north has been represented as ‘historical’ while the south is viewed as ‘natural’ or ‘wilderness’. David Turton (2009) argues that the Ethiopian state used the ‘wilderness’ notion in peripheral south as a mechanism of state building, control of the people and territories, and for building legitimacy through so called development and conservation schemes. Following the incorporation of the south into the Ethiopian empire in the late
19th century through military conquest, the state-society relationship has been paternalistic in which the state is perceived as predatory because of its policies of suppression and exploitation.

A new political landscape was introduced in 1991 following the institutionalization of ethnic federalism and its policy instruments of decentralization, self-government and local autonomy (Clapham 2002). Ostensibly, the new political order was thought to redress past injustices and inequalities. In principle, ethnic federalism grants ethnic based self-government to different ethnic groups and presumably ensures decentralization of power as vehicle of local development. According to Mohammed Salih and John Markakis (1998), the Ethiopian experiment of ethnic federalism envisions development
harnessing ethnicity as a vehicle. They contend that; Decentralization in Ethiopia is not seen merely as device for the satisfaction of ethnic political demands, but also as the path leading to democratization through devolution of decision making in a manner that enables more people to influence the political process. Furthermore, since decentralization and democratization are regarded as requisite to development, the empowerment of ethnicity is intended to harness ethnicity to the purposes of
development (Mohammed and Markakis, 1998, p. 8, emphasis added).
Although institutionalization of ethnic federalism is supposed to ensure self-government of the constituent nations and nationalities in Ethiopia, different critiques have been outlined by scholars, particularly regarding its practical implementation. For instance, as Dereje (2006) contends in his study of the Gambela case, despite a promising start (formal and symbolic empowerment) ‘the political blessing’ has turned out to be a curse for the majority of ordinary men and women who experienced the federal experiment as escalation of conflict. The message implicated in the argument indicates persistence of disparities between the national discourse of the experiment and its actual realities at local levels.
Likewise, based on his fieldwork analysis among the Siltie in South Ethiopia, Zerihun (2004) contends the presence of hierarchical structures in state-peasant relationship in development programs despite the rhetoric of participatory development advanced by the government. He further argues that the concept, “development”, itself is perceived and being practiced by elites and ethnic entrepreneurs as a technocratic process to be administered and planned by the state rather than negotiated with, and contested by, the peasants (Zerihun, 2004). In line with this concern, Mohammed and
Markakis critically point out that it is crucially important to note that the success of this unfinished altruistic project depends on “whether the formal i.e. constitutional provisions of decentralization and democratization are realized in practice” (1998, p.8).
More specifically, the Ethiopian experiment of ethnic federalism and its policy instruments of decentralization and selfgovernment failed to move beyond rhetoric. Centralized and top-down administrative systems are still in place while local communities’ participation in decision making processes is far from practical. In this article, the national discourse of ethnic federalism that ostensibly promotes decentralized governance and local development through empowerment of
local administrative units will be analyzed by taking the management of Nech Sar National Park as a case study. By so doing, it probes whether the envisioned and highly applauded ethnic federalism has been translated into practice.
THE NECH SAR NATIONAL PARK: A CONTESTED TERRAIN
Unlike in other African states where national parks and game reserves were established following the commencement of colonial conquest in the late 19th century, Ethiopia entered into international environmental politics (with reference to Protected Areas) in 1960s (Abiyot, 2009). The country began collaborating with international institutions such as UNESCO in early 1960s as a step towards adopting western conservation practices. The first partnership was established when a team of Ethiopian delegation participated in a conference organized by UNESCO in 1962 in Paris that deliberated
on “Economic Development and Conservation of Natural Resources: Flora and Fauna”. The Ethiopian team requested UNESCO Director-General to provide the country with necessary support for the survey of potential areas to be reserved as national parks. To this end, UNESCO sent a team that surveyed and recommended three areas: Semein Mountain, Awash and Omo Valleys in 1965. Later on, a British Biologist added Nech-Sar to be established as national park in 1967 that came into effect in 1974 as game reserve (Abiyot, 2009; Tewasen, 2003). It was this partnership that later enabled Ethiopia to adopt the ‘conventional’ or classical conservation approach as implemented elsewhere in colonial Africa. 51
Source: http://www.southtourism.gov.et/Home/Nature/NationalParks/NNPBigMap.html
The major initiative for the establishment of the park was “for preservation of the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest and for its scenic beauty” (Dessalegn, 2004) but later because of its richness in biodiversity, other objectives were included. The park is endowed with over 800 species of higher plants, 91 species of Mammals, 351 species of birds, and others such as insects. The park features a great diversity of animal population with the dominant ones including Burchell’s Zebra, Grant’s gazelle, the endemic Swayne’s hartebeest, Nile crocodile in Lake Chamo, Lesser Kudu, lion, wild dog and other animals (APF Annual Report, 2007). Moreover, the landscape that constitutes underground water forests and the ‘Forty
Springs’ add to its scenic beauty. As a result, the park was established with the aim of preserving immense natural resources and generating economic benefits from tourism for the country (Dessalegn, 2004; APF Annual Report, 2007).
Before the establishment of the park, the territory was used by the Guji Oromo agro-pastoral community as a wet season grazing land whereas the fertile eastern escarpment has been extensively utilized by both the Koore and Guji communities for agriculture (Tadesse, 2004; Getachew, 2007). Before the state intervention through conservation program, the Guji lived with the wildlife in mutually complementary manner. However, adopting the western approach that presumes wildlife and people as incompatible mixes, the park management has taken fierce measures against local communities throughout the three regimes. The local Guji and Koore communities were evicted from the park in two phases. The first was in 1982 under the military regime while the second was in 2004/5 under the EPRDF (Ethiopian
Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front) that is on power since 1991. Following the eviction of the local people from the park, wildlife, particularly the herbivorous, were reported to have migrated with the people. Perhaps, this experience is against the ‘conventional’ conservationist thought that presumes local people as threats to wildlife in and around protected areas. This scenario raises a fundamental question on what implicit relationships exist between the people and the animals. Thus, this paper attempts to investigate different conceptions of nature and the implications that such disparities invoke on conservation practices in and around Nech Sar national park. It also probes into human-wildlife 52
relations in and around the park. As points of departure, this paper raises questions which include: How do the Guji conceptualize/perceive their environment? What are the basis of relationship between human and non-human ‘worlds’ in Guji’s cosmological scheme? What approaches has been followed by the park administration in Nech Sar national park?
What conservation implication does the different conception of nature entail? With a total size of 514 km2 (official figure during its establishment), the park adjoins Arba Minch town in the west,
Amaro Mountains in the East, Lakes Abaya and Chamo in the north and south respectively. In fact, parts of the two lakes are included into the park territory in 1990s. It should be noted that following change in administrative systems at national levels, the park was also reported to have undergone changes in size. Local communities and some academic sources indicate that the official figure is far less than the actual park size (Tadesse, 2004). It is rather estimated to be over 1000km2 . In terms of interaction with human population, in the west Arba Minch town dwellers and in the east Guji and Koore communities heavily rely on resources in the park for different livelihood purposes. While urban dwellers
exploit forest resources for charcoal, firewood, timber, and construction materials, the Koore extensively use the eastern border of the park (sometimes inside the park territory) for agriculture. Similarly, the Guji agro-pastoral communities graze their cattle in and around the park while cultivating crops such as maize, coffee, banana, sweet potato and avocado in a contested lowland area that adjoins the park and the Koore people. It has been claimed that the whole territory now designated as national park was Guji’s dry season grazing land since 16th century (Getachew, 2007).
From its establishment till the downfall of the military regime, the park management was typically state-centered, topdown, exclusionary and coercive against local people. In a similar approach to the classical protectionist conservation approach, it used ‘fences and fines’ and considered local people as hostile to nature, particularly to the wildlife. Oral narratives of the communities (particularly Guji’s and Koore’s) indicate that the park management strictly controlled any access to the park by establishing police stations and taking coercive measures against the people who are found utilizing resources in and around the park territories. For instance, at present if a person is caught hunting or grazing his cattle in
the park, he would be jailed for six months and would pay fifty Ethiopian Birr (about three dollars) per head of cattle. In short, customary rights were criminalized whereas indigenous knowledge of resource management was denigrated. To make the matter worse, the military regime forcefully evicted over 2000 Koore and Guji communities in 1982 (Dessalegn, 2004). During the eviction, houses, crops, and properties were burnt to ashes. Many cattle died in shortage of water and pasture en-route to new settlement areas. Since the state did not prepare any resettlement areas for the displaced people, they were prompted to compete over resources with other neighboring communities such as the Konso
and Burji. This led to protracted inter-ethnic conflict that further destabilized the region and impoverished the people.
Following the regime change in 1991 and the subsequent legal and political vacuum created for a while, both communities returned to their previous settlement areas. But the people’s attitude towards the park and their relationship with the wildlife was changed to hostility. Informants from both communities recall memories of how people reacted against wildlife and resources of the park. Some further pointed out that “people began to associate the animals with the state because it was for those animals that the state evicted the people” (informant, Shanxara Halake, May 2011). As a result, both groups began massive killing of animals for food and commerce. Moreover, the Guji started grazing their cattle far inside the centre of the park while hundreds of Koore community moved down to the Sermale basin for
agricultural activities. On the western side where it adjoins Arba Minch town, massive destruction of forests for timber, charcoal, firewood, and construction materials were reported to have been taken place (APF Annual Report, 2007). Informants from Arba Minch town bitterly recall that the period was a time when people destroyed resources as if it were enemy’s property. Although some sorts of administrative decentralization have been put in place in post 1991 period (the park was administered by SNNPR – Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region – from 1991 to 2004 and then was given to African Parks Foundation), the conservation philosophy was not changed across the three regimes. The fundamental protectionist approach of the pre-1970s that advocates complete isolation of protected areas from human interaction and perceives local people as foes to the ‘wilderness’ continued to date. As a result, since late 1990s, resettlement programs were proposed as the only strategies to ‘sustainably’ manage the park and its resources. In a preparation to transfer the management of the park to The Netherlands-based Multinational Company (African Parks Foundation – APF), the resettlement process of the Guji and Koore communities became an inevitable option. While over thousand Koore
households were resettled to Abulo and Alfacho villages (some 50km to the south bordering Konso and Burji ethnic groups) in 2004/5, the Guji community initially refused to move. Finally, the SNNPR government deployed a police force gainst the Guji and pushed them away from the Nech-Sar plains at gunpoint. Reports from oral informants and other sources indicate that 463 Guji houses were burnt during the eviction while about 5000 people were evicted (Dowie, 2009).
The justification on the side of the park and government, particularly SNNPR, for the resettlement program is that local communities have continuously been encroaching into the park territory for pasture, water, agriculture and poaching. Therefore, it is claimed that increased competition between livestock and wildlife would threaten the survival of the latter and by implication affects the economic gain to be earned through tourism. It is also argued that further agricultural expansion into the park territory threatens homes of wildlife while hunting actually risks the life of the animals.
In contrast to what community-based conservation advocates propose, the actions of Ethiopian government and the APF in the early years of the new Millennium clearly fit into the classical conservation discourses that used to promote strict isolationist approach. According to Zube and Busch (1990), for sustainable environmental management, involvement of local peoples becomes uncompromised. The authors emphasize that sustainable community based conservation strategies
in protected areas include four possibilities: 1) a condition where local people are involved in managing the park and/or reside in the park, 2) park management delivers services for people residing outside the park, 3) maintenance of traditional uses inside the park (from outside) 4) local people’s involvement in tourism related activities (Zube and Busch, 1990, p. 117-126). As it has been noted above, this view itself does not address the dichotomous perceptions on human-non-human relations. It rather tries to seek a rights-based solution to local communities. As it was clearly stipulated in the agreement between the government and APF, the Ethiopian government took the mandate and responsibility to resettle the local people so that the company would proceed in fencing the park to deter any human and
livestock entrance into the territories designated for the park (APF Annual Report, 2007). In this regard, the resettlement program would detach the local people from their customary land because the sites selected for the resettlement were located at a minimum of 50km to the south of the park. It had also economic consequences as it dislocates the communities from the fertile lowland area called Tsalke, which is drained by Sermale River. The fertile Sermale basin provides year round opportunity for agriculture through irrigation. Currently, the people produce mango, avocado, coffee, banana, enset, maize, and root crops. For the Guji and few Koore communities who still live adjacent to the park,
the Sermale valley provides a means of survival that cannot be compromised.

The agro-pastoralist Guji community has had long history of interaction with the wildlife. Therefore, an insight into their cosmologies, perceptions on development and conservation approaches gives us a clear understanding of the implication of difference between national and local discourses on development and conservation. Since the Guji are one of the major local actors who influence the dynamics in the park, this paper focuses on different levels of confrontation between the Guji and the state over the park.
GUJI COSMOLOGIES
The Guji people belong to the larger Oromo nation and inhabit southern part of Ethiopia. Currently, they live in Oromia regional state in Borana and Guji zones with few members of the community included in NSSP (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples) regional state in Sidama and Gedeo zones. The Guji community perceives the advent of park administration as an intervention into their historical harmonious relationship with the wildlife. The historical conservation practices among the Guji were entwined with their cosmological schemes and embedded in their culture, beliefs and norms. The Guji are among a few of Oromo nation who have strong cultural connection with their environments (Van De Loo, 1991). For the Guji, culture, peace and supernatural power, Waaqa (God) are strongly
entwined. Baxter (1991, p. 9) explains that “Guji, like other Oromo society, are keenly aware that the maintenance of their culture depends on the maintenance of Nagea: Peace, that is amongst them considered as a community and between them and God. But this peace is not a free gift; its maintenance requires continuous, earnest application, and is never sure or certain”. According to Baxter, the duty of maintaining peace rests on the shoulder of elders and requires them to provide continuous rituals, prayers, sacrifices, blessings and obeying the rules of Waaqa (Baxter 1991). The Guji elders
provide rituals and prayers to Waaqa on behalf of all people, cattle and their environment at large. The Guji believe that failure to maintain harmony with Waaqa may inflict by withholding the rain on which all animals and humans absolutely depend. The author remarks that “For fertility to continue and for all people and things to grow and mature, the Earth, the cattle and the women must all be moist” (Baxter, 1991, p. 10). Among the Guji community, cattle herding and possession of large herd of cattle are associated with cultural pride, economic values (wealth), sense of Guji identity and provides social privilege in marriage arrangement and inter-societal relationships. Tadesse (2006, p. 209) describes that though the Guji practise mixed economy of animal husbandry and crop cultivation, “their real wealth consists of cattle, sheep, goats and horses. Emotions and pride are centred on stock.
People who do not own cattle are not considered to be proper Guji”. In Guji culture, beyond the economic values, cattle are used for rituals, transition rites, gift, bride price, compensation during reconciliations, and as a symbol of social prestige. Therefore, the Guji count not in terms heads of cattle but of moona (kraal) that ranges from seventy to hundreds.
(However, the stock – source of wealth and reflection of Guji identity – is currently under serious depletion because restriction to pasture land and change in climatic conditions in the horn of Africa.) Their strong attachment to the stock provides the Guji with knowledge about their environment. As Van De Loo (1991) indicates, the Guji possess deep knowledge of the anatomy, disease and remedies that they acquired through religious practices and experiences. Despite owning large number of livestock, the Guji have traditionally no meat feeding culture. In most cases, their food constitutes barley, maize, and milk products. Meat is eaten only on special occasions such as festivals, reception of a special guest, weddings and so on. Traditionally, it was culturally prohibited among the Guji to eat the meat of wild
animals. While the reason for low meat consumption culture in reference to livestock is related to the value they give to cattle; the Guji claim that traditionally they do not eat meat of wild animals for many reasons. This prohibition was associated to religious belief, social implications and health factors.
The first one is closely related to their cosmological scheme in that they have an oath to safeguard the animals under the protection of the supernatural power, Waaqa/God. For the Guji, their relationship with wildlife is part and parcel of their connection to the supernatural power, Waaqa. Guji’s worldview puts the biophysical, the human and the supernatural in one integral component of the environment. They argue that the relationship between the three is based on reciprocity.
They state that;

Waaqa created us with cattle so that we look after them, care for them and use them for our needs. But these animals [wild animals] do not have shepherd except God Himself. Waaqa gave us the responsibility to care for the animals on his behalf and he cares for our cattle, people and generally nagaa Gujii [peace of the Guji land]. Therefore, if one kills the one that God looks after, he will inflict through famine, drought, disease and instability that destroys livestock and people. But, when we care for the animals, Waaqa reciprocates us with fertility, abundance, rain, and peace. Therefore, from our forefathers until today, we lived with these animals in peace and harmony. They are also peaceful to us (Group discussion, Ergansa, April 2011).
Through a reciprocal relationship, they expect Waaqa to bless them with fertility, peace, abundance, and health which they would get only by doing something good to the environment, especially caring for animals. In Guji worldview, all living and non-living things in their environment were created by a supernatural power, Waaqa. They believe that Waaqa created them with their cattle and gave them water and pasture to nurture their animals. It is their inherent conviction that they were born pastoralists, to look after cattle. At same time, they are conscious about the presence of other ‘cattle’ whose shepherd is Waaqa himself. These are what other people call wildlife. The Guji do not categorize “wild” and
“domesticated” in a strict sense of the words. The dichotomy prevails only when it comes to place of residence and ownership.
The Guji maintain a balance of food chain by safeguarding the prey wildlife, particularly herbivorous animals who seek refuge close to their homesteads in fear of big predators. A Guji elder said that “we care for the animals by providing grass and water, for example if we come across an animal in process of delivery or attacked by a predator. We do this because we want to save the life of the animals. Its owner loves them as we love our cattle” (interview with Danbala Badacha, May 2011). This also goes to what Tim Ingold (2000) explains as trust and reciprocity in human-non-human relations. According to the people, the preys developed trust upon the people and approach them seeking protection.
Another restriction is related to culture. Among the Qaalluu clan (a clan from where Qaalluu religious leaders are hereditarily elected), there are restrictions on many food items. Qaalluu institution is a religious institution that regulates the relationship of people with Waaqa. The leaders are seen as intermediaries between the two. The restriction includes poultry items, cabbage, meat from all wild animals, and some cereals such as millet, teff and sorghum. Many of the Guji around Nech Sar national park are from Alabdu clan – the clan known among the Guji as Qaalluu clan. Therefore, in traditional context, they were prohibited from eating the flesh of wild animals. Social taboos contribute to biodiversity conservation by imposing different levels of restrictions on members of a social group. Colding and Folke (2001) identified six types of social taboos exercised by indigenous peoples in different parts of the world. These include segment, temporal, method, life history, specific-species and habitat taboos (see Colding and Folke, 2001 for details on each category). In the context of Qaalluu regulation, a specific-species taboo applies to Guji’s restriction on consumption of specific animals. However, in traditional context, Guji’s prohibition of the killing of all wildlife, except those used for
cultural pride, can be related to general social taboo regardless of species specificity. Colding and Folke argue that such restrictions are mainly associated with beliefs in that “in some traditional societies taboos are enforced through beliefs that spirits will sanction violators by invoking illness upon people” (2001, p. 589). Likewise, the Guji believe that violation of the ancestral oath with Waaqa would invoke disasters on their livestock, people and the environment by causing drought that would lead to famine, the spread diseases and the disruption of peace. Moreover, avoidance of specific food items, including wild animals is meant to maintain their legitimacy as religious leaders.
Restriction to bush meat is also related to social implications it perpetuates. A person who kills wild animals for food is categorized among the poor because killing wildlife for food is perceived as derived from poverty. Poverty implies low social prestige, which in turn is reflected in marriage arrangement and other interpersonal relations. An elder from the Ergansa village recalled the tradition that “if a person is once labeled as killing animals for food, people would not give him their daughters for marriage. They would label the person saying he is from those who eat bush meat but now everyone abandoned the safuu (norms)”. Moreover, the Guji link the prohibition of bush meat with health conditions.
They claim that eating bush meat spoils one’s mouth and destroys teeth. It is also explained that it causes diseases (Getachew, 2007).
But it should be noted that there are exceptions in Guji’s prohibitions of the killing of wild animals. The first is when they need the meat for medicinal purposes. Even in the past, the people used to selectively kill some animals for medicine but once they kill a single animal, its meat can be kept for long period of time. The second exception is killing big game animals out of motives related to cultural honor. The Guji kill also big game animals for midda (honor). The killing of animals such as lion, buffalo, elephants and rhino give the killer a prestige of midda (Tadesse, 1994). The Guji claim that they were given midda culture by Waaqa. It is a culture through which they reveal their pride, greatness, bravery and thus the Guji believe that all these are given to them from Waaqa. However, today, it is only lion that exists
in and around the park.
As indicated above, institutions of resource governance and ethics pertaining to the utilization and access to resources among the Guji have been entwined with their cosmological schemes. Their attachment to their environment as part of their connection to Waaqa, religious institutions such as the Qaalluu institution, the socio-political system called the Gadaa system and other social norms and values are important local frameworks that guide the nature of resource management among the group. It is also worth mentioning that the livelihood engagement of the people, that is, pastoral activity prompts the people to systematically utilize the resources (pasture and water) in order to cope up to local climate
variability. Among the Guji, access to resource is decided by clan elders in which all members of the clan are eligible to common pasture and water grounds. However, granting water sources and pasture to members of other clan or ethnic group(s) is considered as future investment during times of scarcity or in cases of drought. There are also other social networks such as marriage and trade that necessitate sharing resources. The Guji say that letting livestock to die by blocking access to water and pasture is considered as transgressing Guji’s oath with Waaqa. Such act is believed to bring infliction by the Waaqa who would hold back rain or causes diseases. For the Guji, conservation and development are understood from cultural point of view. For instance, while caring for the environment is part of their cosmological schemes of local knowledge and belief, what they consider appropriate development scheme is something that is compatible to local values, customs and livelihood traditions. Although they
have expectations to get schools for their children, road connecting to the nearest markets, health centre, mill machine and access to pure water, any ‘development’ program that disrupts their traditional livelihood system – pastoralism – is not acceptable to the ordinary men and women. As stated earlier in this paper, livestock signifies beyond mere economic purpose among the Guji. Thus, state’s development conception that gives emphasis to settled agriculture and ecotourism project in the area is seen by the Guji as a challenge to their livelihood and a restriction on their customary rights of
resource utilization.
THE NATIONAL DISCOURSE: THE STATE’S CONCEPTION OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION
Following the birth of the modern Ethiopian state in the late 19th century through military conquest of the then autonomous states in the south, the state was noted for ethnic-based political dominations, economic exploitation and socio-cultural marginalization upon the subjected people (Vaughan, 2003). During those periods, peasants were restricted from their customary land rights while pastoral communities were highly marginalized from access to any social services (Hagmann and Mulugeta, 2008). Thus, because of its exploitative nature, the Ethiopian state remained predatory over the
people, particularly in the south. As Donald Donham (1986, p. 24) remarks on exploitation of the subjected peoples of the south, “By the early twentieth century, extractions from northern peasants lightened, just as those from southern peoples were made more heavy”. Donham bemoans that the Ethiopian state comprised a dual system in which the political economy of the north was sustained by massive transfer of wealth from the southern regions and that the peoples of the south were, notwithstanding their region’s contribution to the national economy, denied access to political power,
economic resources, and cultural autonomy.
Despite their contribution to the national economy, the peoples in the subjugated regions of the south were not given equal opportunities in the national economic, political and social affairs of the country not least their representation as ‘backward’ and ‘close to nature’ as portrayed in the legend of ‘Great Tradition’ (Donham, 1986; Levin 2000; Turton 2009). Such history of domination continued for over half a century until mid 20th century. In the 1960s, the pervasiveness of Amhara domination provoked a reaction from the subject peoples. Grievances that they were being economically-exploited, administratively-oppressed, socially-marginalized and culturally-stigmatized by the few Amhara
elites operating within ethnic-based oppressive system fomented a sense of ethnic self-awareness among the subjugated peoples. People who shared the historical experiences of oppression began to witness their dichotomized existence of privilege and deprivation based on ethnic distinctiveness. They harnessed on a repertoire of traditional values and deployed them as a fortification against the Amhara/Ethiopian ethnic hegemony (Bassi 1996; Seyoum 2001). Gradually, ethnic consciousness – a sense of awareness of being oppressed, exploited and marginalized on ethnic basis by elites of a 58
particular ethnic group – grew up into sense of ethnic nationalism, mainly among the educated segments of the oppressed ethnic groups who later contributed to the rise in ethnic self-representations and sense of identity among their respective groups.
Among possible factors that transformed ethnic grievances into consciousness and later into ethnic nationalism, the role of education was significant. In the post 1941 period, the expansion of modern education, specifically the opening of a university and colleges, brought a particular group of students close to the centre of political activity. Born in rural conditions, this group of students had direct experiences of the depredations of the ethnic-based oppressive system. The opportunity of higher education enabled them to conceptualize Amhara hegemony within Ethiopia in a broader
international dimension of colonial oppression. This cohort played a pivotal role in articulating ethnic grievances as ethnic consciousness and transforming the latter into ethnic nationalism, thereby in generating support for ethnonationalist liberation movements who included issues of ethnicity in their political agenda.
In effect, ethnic nationalism was articulated by the Ethiopian Student Movement (ESM) in the 1960s. This opened a new chapter for ethnic politics in the country where talking about ethnic diversity was condemned as a threat to national unity.
The ESM was first organized by Hailesillasie I University (now Addis Ababa University) students as a protest against the exploitative class relations under the imperial regime, which had impoverished the rural life. After mid 1960s, the movement added ‘the nationality question’ into the list of political agenda (Balsvik, 1985).
For the activists of the ESM, Marxist-Leninist philosophy was initially their inspiration for setting their political agenda. The solution they prescribed as a cure of the problem of national oppression – right to self-determination of nations and nationalities including secession – was brought to public attention in 1969 by an article written by Wallelign Mekonnen, one of the leaders of the student movement who was killed in 1972 during an attempted hijack of (Balsvik, 1985; Merera, 2003).The article sparked a political bombshell to the regime by explicitly addressing ethnicity and exposing the Amhara dominance and oppression to the public. A portion of his article reads as follows:
Is it [Ethiopian national identity] not simply Amhara and to a certain extent Amhara-Tigre supremacy? Ask anybody what Ethiopian culture is? Ask anybody what Ethiopian language is? Ask anybody what Ethiopian religion is? Ask anybody what is the national dress? It is either Amhara or Amhara-Tigray!! To be a ‘genuine Ethiopian’ one has to speak Amharic, to listen to Amharic music, to accept the Amhara-Tigre religion, Orthodox Christianity, and to wear the Amhara-Tigre shama in international conferences. In some cases to be an ‘Ethiopian’, you will even have to change your name. In short, to be an Ethiopian, you will have to wear an Amhara mask (Quoted in Balsvik 1985, 277).
Wallelign’s article broke the ice of silence on the issue of ethnicity among Ethiopian students. His was a strong condemnation of the century long illusion of the success of the imperial regime’s ‘nation-building’ project. Thus, the political, historical, economic and social realities of the country expressed in the form of ethnic-based oppression became the basis for the rise of ethno-nationalist movements devoted to a struggle for liberation from the century long ‘colonial experience’ or ‘national oppression’ (Merera, 2003). In short, ethnicity became an aspect of the call for political change of the major liberation fronts such as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and OLF (Oromo Liberation Front) and many others since the 1960s.  In the process, the last feudal regime was toppled in the 1974 revolution that brought a military junta to the political scene. Although some signs of recognition to issues of diversity were seen during the early years of the military regime, it could not move beyond rhetoric (Clapham, 2009). Clapham argues that the early promises of the military regime (i.e. the derg) that attracted popular support became a nightmare to most of the Ethiopian masses as the centralist policy
undermined local autonomies of those who contested the structure of the state itself (ibid). By the end of 1980s TPLF managed to organize other ethnic-based movements and formed Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front/EPRDF. In part because of its failure to address the nationalities questions, the military junta was ousted by the combined forces of different liberation movements. With EPRDF’s seizure of state power in 1991, ethnicity has been formally institutionalized as the foundation of ethnic federalism as a new political arrangement (Clapham, 2002; Turton 2006).
As a brainchild of the student movement, TPLF/EPRDF emphasized on rights of nations, nationalities and peoples to ‘self-determination’ (Clapham, 2009). In contrast to its predecessor, the military regime, which attempted to resolve the country’s most difficult issue – ethnic question vis-à-vis unity – through class struggle, the TPLF/EPRDF sought resolution to the issue through ‘voluntary’ federalism based on ethnic based autonomous units in a pursuit for forging national unity (Clapham, 2009). In this manner, the federal arrangement was conceived in the Transitional Charter of 1991 but was enacted by the 1994 constitution that came into effect a year later. The Ethiopian Constitution of 1995 can be described as comprehensive for embracing essential democratic values and declaring Ethiopia to be a party to all major international treaties on human rights and public law (Abbink, 2009). Article
39 of the Constitution, with its reference to rights of nations, nationalities and peoples, reveals the centrality of ethnicity as the organizing principle of the new political system:
Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession…Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history…Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions of government in the territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in state and Federal governments (Art. 39:3 of FDRE Constitution, 1995). Besides the envisioned promises of the political order in granting opportunities of self-government to nations and nationalities, it was also highly applauded by many scholars as a vehicle to harness local development through economic decentralization and empowerment of local institutions (Mohamed and Markakis, 1998; Kidane, 1997). However, as Asefa Fiseha (2006) contends, the Ethiopian ‘experiment’ of ethnic federalism suffers from rifts between rhetoric and practice lacking genuine devolution of power and precarious regional and local administrative units with strong
intervention from federal state. Although over twenty years have elapsed since the implementation of the political model, its success is still contested among scholars (Dereje, 2010). Apart from the view of detractors who skeptically see the experiment from a political dimension, the practice of ethnic federalism is still far behind the rhetorical promises (ibid). Although it opened some degree of political spaces and granted freedom of expression free before 2005, the new political order is at weakest point as far as genuine decentralization and local empowerment are concerned (Clapham,
2009; Dereje, 2010). Therefore, the success of the political order should be assessed on the basis of whether the discourse is translated into practice. The contestations and claims between different actors over Nech Sar national park illustrate how local conceptions of development and conservation confront with the national discourses.
CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN LOCAL AND NATIONAL DISCOURSES OF DEVELOPMENT AND
CONSERVATION IN NECH SAR NATIONAL PARK
An analysis of the existing conditions in and around Nech Sar national park can be posited within the contexts of local claims of entitlement (claims of customary rights, recognition of local knowledge, local livelihood conditions and questions of benefit sharing and participation), inter-regional conflicts of interests, issues related to self-government (the constitutional provisions versus the practice on the ground) and differences in conceptions of development and resource governance. In this section, I analyze how these conflicting views are contested, negotiated and acted upon. By so doing,
the implications of such contestations on development and conservation in and around the park will be elaborated by drawing on whether the national discourses are translated into practice.
The Guji challenge the state intervention into what they consider as their customary right drawing on historical claims and cosmological schemes. Historically, they argue that their ancestors were prior settlers in the area since the 16th century (Getachew, 2007). According to this claim, all the territories located to the east of Arbaminch town (including the town itself) were traditional Guji lands. Place names such as Siqala, Secha, Bishaan Hare, Haro Rophi, Bonke and many others were all Afan Oromo names – the language the Guji speak as all other Oromo groups. It was following the establishment of the town of Arbaminch and the national park in 1974 respectively that the Guji were pushed out to the
eastern part of the park. Besides reliance on history of settlement, the Guji seem to have systematically used the law (the constitution) to defend their rights to the land. According to Article 43 (2) of the FDRE (1995), Nationals have the right to participate in national development and, in particular, to be consulted with respect to policies and projects affecting their community”. However, in 2004/05 when the government agreed to transfer the management of the park to APF and took the responsibility of resettling the Guji and Koore communities who reside in and around the ‘park territories’, the
local communities were reported that they have been removed from their land at gun point without consent (Dawie, 2009). This contradicts with the official narratives of participatory development and decentralized government that advocate empowerment of local institutions in decision-making processes.
From cosmological dimension, the Guji challenge the ‘modernist’ approach espoused by the state contending that while the state institutions present conservation from isolationist perspective, the local people have inherent wisdom and belief that holistically treat human and non-human nature because of their connection to the supernatural power. A view of a Guji elder substantiates this argument in that:
If we or our ancestors didn’t care for the animals, wouldn’t it be that they would have been perished long time ago? Who cared for them before the coming of the state? Who cared for them 50 years ago? It was our grandparents, our parents and ourselves. But, these people [the park authorities] came yesterday [recently] and began telling us what to do and what not to do. We rather know how to live with the animals. We care for the animals as we do for our livestock not because of their order but because of orders we received from our Waaqaa through our ancestors. We care for them so that our cattle would multiply (interview with Gaga, April 2011). The Guji challenge state’s paternalistic approaches in which it imposes what to do and what not to do. In development spheres as well, successive Ethiopian regimes had similar views on pastoralist communities. For instance, pastoralist areas were noted as threats to the national security as a result of their trans-border movements and infiltration of small arms. As a result, they faced heavy forces of suppression in the hands of the central state. On the contrary, the country
heavily depends on pastoral communities for its export items like hides. Since 1991, the federal arrangement produced more of sedentary lifestyle based on more permanent and less flexible boundaries (Hagmann and Mulugeta, 2008). Such differential treatment of livelihood engagements that represents some activities as more preferred than others prompts one to ask whether the constitutional provisions are really translated into practice. As evidenced in 2004/05, after the Guji refused to move to the proposed resettlement site, the police force of the SNNP regional state forcefully displaced
them burning their huts and confiscating their properties. Ironically, Ethiopia’s federal constitution determines that “Ethiopian pastoralists have the right to free land for grazing and cultivation as well as the right not to be displaced from their own lands” (FDRE 1995, Art. 40).
In the process of transferring the management of the park to APF in 2004/05, the SNNP regional state government convened several meetings with representatives from Gamo Gofa zone, Amaro district, park authorities and regional bureau of agriculture. However, except in one meeting, no representatives from Oromia regional state were availed. To make the rhetoric of participation more questionable, there was no genuine involvement of local communities in the planning of resettlement program not least in the management of the park. Informants from both Guji and Koore communities argue that they were informed about the resettlement through local government authorities as inevitable government policy of development. One Guji informant remarks that; We don’t know if this government is really a government of the people or government of animals. Animals were better treated than our children, our livestock and ourselves in the past. We thought this government [EPRDF] would improve our conditions but still no change. They came and told us to go to Abulo Alfacho or elsewhere in Oromia. But we have nowhere to go. This is out ancestral land (interview with Danbala Badacha, May 2011).
Besides their discontent on exclusion in terms of participation in decision making, members of local communities expressed their dissatisfaction on the failed promise related to benefit sharing. Although involvement in ecotourism is not the primary motive of the people, particularly the elders and women, they still question that there is no benefit trickled down from this sector. In the Guji village in Ergansa – a village bordering the park on eastern side, children were observed attending primary school in huts made of wood and grass, were sitting on stones. There is no road connecting the village to the nearest market. The local people had to travel three to four days when they want to take their livestock
and other goods to the market. Besides the challenges this invokes in connection to time and energy of the people, it also reduces the price of livestock to be sold as the animals lose weight along the way without enough food and water. The other risky option for the local Guji people to get access to market is traveling on Lake Abaya by the traditional boat. The passengers risk their lives by crocodile and waves that sink the boat. Although the park authorities and other government officials used to tell the people that the income from the park through ecotourism will be used to provide social services to the local people, such promise remained unrealistic. Rather, the park authority sees the local people as threats to the park and works its level best to denounce all their activities labeling them as poachers and criminals.
At this junction, it is imperative to note that the official narratives of development and conservation that has been ‘emulated’ by successive regimes in Ethiopia contrast with local practical contexts (Clapham, 2006). As Clapham argues, the attempts of emulating foreign development discourses failed in Ethiopia mainly because it lacked harmonization with local contexts and by and large has been exclusionary of local traditions, customs and practices (2006). In this line, I would argue that the state version of development and conservation in the case of ‘ecotourism’ scheme in Nech Sar national park confronts with local conceptions and in the process brings different levels of contestation, negotiation and
display of power positions between different actors involved – the state and its agencies on the one hand and local actors on the other. However, it is worthy to single out the heterogeneity of actors in each category. Among the state category for example, Oromia regional state persistently demonstrated its positions supporting the local Guji claims for entitlement. In 2004/05, the regional government was given a responsibility to facilitate the resettlement of Guji Oromo into Oromia region. However, according to claims from SNNP regional state authorities, particularly officials in Amaro
district and Gamo Gofa zone – the two major actors in park affairs – the resettlement was delayed by reluctance of Oromia regional state. The views from Oromia questions the territorial reconfiguration of the park itself claiming that it was supposed to be administered under the region building its claim on Guji’s historical settlement in the area. This poses inter-regional conflict of interests on the governance of the park and the people surrounding it. Because of lack of institutional set-up to solve such inter-regional conflicts, except the Ministry of Federal Affairs, the federal arrangement seems to function through strong intervention of the federal government. That is why the park management has been
swinging between private company, SNNPR government and lastly the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority.
Office turnover and shifting conditions of management structures have obstructed consistency in management approach and produced mistrust on the part of the local people on whom to account for in cases of breaches in formal or informal agreements.
Another important aspect of the confrontation is its resultant consequence in changing local people’s attitude towards the park and prompting them to seek alternative mechanisms of securing their rights. According to James Scott (1990), the powerless would opt to hidden transcripts or hidden forms of resistance under conditions of domination. Likewise, as the domination of state apparatus continues to be stronger and stronger deploying coercive forces, the local people switch differently in covert and overt contexts. For example, they talk the words of the state (development and conservation) in
public spaces or with a researcher before rapport establishment. Their defiance of the state programs is evinced through acts of breaking park laws and discussions among members of the group. As signs of contesting the park boundaries, cattle trespass, hunting in the park and collecting forest resources are a few of acts conducted at night. More importantly, scouts employed from local communities also switch between the state and their members contextually. They are paid their salary by the government but they have also strong social networks with the local communities. Besides their connection through kinship and marriage, they depend on the people for much of their livelihood. Depending on government salary does not sustain the scouts and their family. As a result, they keep considerable number of livestock
with their kin who live close to the park. As a result, the scouts find themselves in dilemma in the confrontation between the state/park authorities and the local people. As one scout mentioned on conditions of anonymity, they conform to both state and local obligations differently. For instance, when they encounter hunters or cattle trespassers in the park territory, they chase the ‘intruders’ but report to the officials that the locals escaped the attempts of capture.
Elders from the local people argue that government intervention through so-called development and conservation schemes by evicting the people from their customary had changed the way local people; particularly the youth relate themselves with the park. Unlike in the past when the people considered the wildlife as part of their environment to be cared for, the distinction created by the state between the park and the people has brought a reconstruction of identity among the youth in which they identify the park and wildlife as foes. It can, therefore, be argued that any development program that excludes local values, norms and practices risks its missions. The ‘ecotourism’ project in Nech Sar national
park has has not only excluded the local people from their land by criminalizing their customary rights but it created a new hostile relationship between the people and the park. The ultimate effect of such top-down and non-participatory development and conservation program is destructive both to the people and the park resources.
CONCLUSION
In Ethiopia development and conservation models have been ‘emulated’ from more developed countries with the presumption that similar models would be replicated as they functioned in the host countries. Although adopting development models is not a cause of failure by itself, as it transformed Japan’s development to the expected end since the late 19th century for example, the politics of ‘emulation’ demands consideration of local contexts at best (Clapham, 2006). In the Nech Sar national park case, there are contesting views on conceptions of development and conservation.
The Ethiopian state has adopted the western approaches of nature conservation and development through ‘ecotourism’ that was derived from the protectionist perspectives of colonial period in Africa. This perspective not only excludes local people from their customary land rights, but it denigrates local knowledge of resource governance, management and conservation practices. As a result, the state ‘development’ and ‘conservation’ programs have created a hostile relationship between the people and the park and threatens the lives of the people and sustainability of the resources in
the park, particularly the wildlife for the protection of which the park was initially established.
Acknowledgement The fieldwork for this research has been done as part of my PhD project at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. While the travel expenses from Germany to Ethiopia were covered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), all other fieldwork costs have been supported by Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).

Read more at: http://www.jsd-africa.com/Jsda/Vol13No5_Fall2011_A/PDF/Contested%20terrains.pdf

Related studies read at: Ethnicity and Inter-ethnic Relations by Asebe Regassa Debelo

What is a developed country? January 12, 2015

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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.”

Decolonizing Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of Nationalism and National Self-determination (The Case of Oromia) January 4, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Oromia, Oromia Quarterly, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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 Decolonising Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of   Nationalism and National Self-determination (the Case of Oromia)

Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural autonomy, right to a culture. In the Oromo context, national self-determination is about the representation of collective identity and dignity. It is the demand of the Oromo people to govern themselves. Practically, this can be interpreted as let us be governed by people who are like us, people of our nationality or people who accept and respect our value system. For the last hundred years and so, the Oromo nation has suffered from Abyssinian expansionism, social, ecological and economic destruction and continuous and intensive cultural and physical genocide. The Abyssinians and Oromians connections have been the coloniser (refers to the former) and the colonised (refers to the latter) relationships. Contrary to the Ethiopianist discourse, they have not developed a common unifying identity, social and political system. While the Abyssinians feel a sense of glory of their kings, warlords and dictators, the Oromians feel victimisation to these rulers, so they have not emerged a common ancestry, culture and collective memory, which can result in common ‘Ethiopian’ identity. From the perspective of Oromo social construction, the present Ethiopian domination over Oromia is a continuation of what pervious generations of Oromo nation had experienced. Thus, the Oromo people, sees the present political arrangement as illegitimate because it is a rule by the people who have engaged in destroying them. So, they claim not only cultural but also political independence. Oromo nationalism is also very democratic. It follows the UN principles of self-determination for the citizens of Oromia, claiming independence from the tyranny of Ethiopian Empire. The latter has been constructed based on Amhara-Tigre nationalism. The Oromo nationalism also offers democratic solutions to the ethnic minorities in the Ethiopian Empire. Scholars of Oromo studies claim that there is fundamental behavioural, linguistic, ethnic and cultural differences between the Abyssinians (northern) and their subjects (Southern). The Oromo, Sidama, Afar and the Ogaden (Ogaden Somalians) nations, beyond their common Cushitic progeny, they have common experiences of victimisation and illegitimately absorbed by Abyssinian southward expansion. Their collective memory of past experiences and present victimisation are making common identity. This identity is a key to understand politics there and to work together for self-determination, to recover their lost humanity.

For the early version of this article, see Temesgen M. Erena, The Political and Cultural Locations National Self – Determination,  Oromia Quarterly, Vol. II, No.2, March 1999; Temesgen, M. Erena, Oromia: The Nation and the Politics of National Self – Determination, Oromia Quarterly, Vol. I, No.2, December 1997, ISSN 1460-1346.

Man knows himself only insofar as he knows the world, and becomes aware of the world only in himself, and of himself only in it. Every new object, well observed, opens a new organ in ourselves.

-Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, VI Build therefore your own world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Introduction

The passions of national freedom and national interest are probably the strongest in the whole political spectrum that characterises the present world. Kellas (1998) holds that it is stronger than the passions aroused by religion, class, individual or group interest. This passion is not all futile, either. In Gellener’s (1983) understanding, nationalism has been considered as essential to the establishment of a modern industrial society. According to Smith (1991), it is ‘the sole vision and rationale of political solidarity.’ For Kellas (1998), it provides legitimacy to the state, and inspires its citizens to feel an emotional attachment towards it. It can be a source of creativity in the arts, and enterprise in the economy. Its power to mobilise political engagement is unrivalled, particularly in the vital activity of nation building. It is intimately linked with the operation of popular democracy. Indeed, the global pattern is a mosaic of political drives, economic interests, linguistic pride, cultural imperatives, psychological needs and nations seeking identity. These factors are manifesting as a powerful staying power in a modern Africa, either. As European colonialism and socialism melted away, the perpetual existence of the backlash against ‘neo-colonial’ colony colonialism and the reviving of national selfdom become more and more significant in social and political dynamics of contemporary multi-ethno-nation African societies. The African experience is motivated by the same aspirations as that of elsewhere. At its root is a need for freedom, dignity, for the right of people of distinct social communities to function freely and independently. In this regard, Oromia represents the case of rejuvenating claim for national freedom and the struggle against more than a century old Abyssinian Empire colonialism in Africa. Oromia is a homeland for an Oromo nation, a group of people with a common culture and value system (seera fi aadaa), language ( Afaan Oromo), political institutions (Gadaa), and historical memories and experiences. Oromia is the single largest, homogeneous and endogenous nation in Africa with a population of 40 to 45 million. Both in terms of territorial and population size, more than two-third’s today’s sovereign states that are making members of UN (United Nations) are smaller than Oromia. The Cushite (see Demie, 1998) Oromo people have inhibited their homeland, Oromia, since pre-history and in antiquity were the agents of humanity’s documented Cushitic civilisation in terms of science, technology, art, political and moral philosophy. The links between the Oromo and the ancient civilisations of Babylon, Cush and Egypt has been discussed in Asfaw Beyene (1992) and John Sorenson (1998) scholarly works. Utilising prodigious evidence from history, philosophy, archaeology and linguistics, Diop (1974 and 1991) confirms that the Cushite Egyptian civilisation was emerged from the Cushite civilisations of North East Africa, particularly, the present day Western Sudan and upper Nile Oromia (also known as Cush or Punt). Indeed, except the name of places, saints and prophets, many of the Old Testament and the Holy Koran moral texts are copies of the Oromo moral codes. The formers are written documents while the latter are orally transmitted. Since the late 1880s the Oromo people have disowned their sovereignty. They disowned their autonomous institutions of governance, culture, education, creativity, business, commerce, etc. Thus, they have been claiming for national self-determination, national-self government and the right to their own state and resist the Abyssinian Empire saver (supremacist’s) nationalism. The Oromians are not only against the quality of Ethiopian Empire governance but also against the philosophy on which it is based: domination, dehumanisation, inequality, double standard, hypocrisy, deceit, exclusion, chauvinism, war institution, rent-seeking, extractive state, conservatism, feudalism, Aste fundamentalism (Aste Tewodros, Aste Yohannis, Aste Menelik, Aste Haile Sellasie), etc. The political goal of national self-determination (national self-government) is asserted in the outlook and attitudes of the Oromo political and social organisations. Of course, the Oromo nationalism, which supports the interests and identity of the Oromo people, is a more subtle, complex and widespread phenomenon than common understanding and observation. It is within this context that we are going to discuss the Oromos’ politics of national self-determination and the search for the national homeland, the demand for reinventing a state of their own in the following sections.

Defining Nation, Nationalism and Self- determination

To define nation and nationalism is as Benjamin Akzin (1964, pp. 7-10) discussed five decades ago, to enter into a terminological jungle in which one easily gets lost. Different scholarly disciplines have their own more or less established and more or less peculiar ways of dealing with nation and nationalism. Ideally, our definition of nation and nationalism should be induced of elements of nationalist ideology. Getting at such a definition has confirmed phenomenally strenuous. Hugh Seton-Watson, an authority in this domain, has deduced that ‘no scientific definition’ of a nation can be concocted. All that we can find to say is that a nation exists when significant number of people in a community consider themselves to form a nation, or behave as if they formed one (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.5).Van den Berghe (1981) defines a nation as a politically conscious ethnic group. Several attempts have been made at making a cardinalist definition of the term, pointing out one or more key cultural variables as defining variables. Among those tried are language, religion, common history/descent, ethnicity/race, statehood and common territory (homeland). For a group of people to be termed a nation, its members typically have to share several of these characteristics, although historically, one criterion may have been predominant (for example, language in Germany, or culture and history in France). In the case of Oromo, common language (Afaan Oromo), common territory (Biyya Oromo, dangaa Oromiyaa or Oromia), common historical experiences (victimisation to Ethiopian Empire rules or Abyssinocracy) are particularly very significant. Stalin made his undertaking in 1913. His definition includes four criteria: the members of a nation live under the same economic conditions, on the same territory, speak the same language, and have similar culture and national character (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.14). Neither Ernest Gellner nor Eric Hobsbawn, two influencials, gave definite definitions of the nation in their major achievements. Indeed, they are very hostile towards what they define as nationalism. ‘…For ever single nationalism which has so far raised its ugly head…’ (Gellner, 1983, p.45), this is a Gellner’s conception and sees the world as naturally divided into nations, each with its own individuality. This implies an acceptance of the nationalist self-perception. There are also other conceptualisations. A social anthropologist, Thomas Hylland Eriksen (1992, p. 220) says ‘a nation is an ethnic group whose leaders have either achieved, or aspire to achieve, a state where its cultural group is hegemonic’, Anthony H. Birch (1989, p.6) considers that a nation is best defined as ‘a society which either governs itself today, or has done so in the past, or has a credible claim to do so in the not-too- distant future. Kellas (1998) defines the nation as a group of people who feel themselves to be a community bound together by ties of history, culture and common ancestry. Nations have ‘objective’ characteristics, which may include a territory, a language, a religion, or common descent, and ‘subjective’ characteristics, essentially a people’s awareness of its nationality and affection for it. In the last resort it is ‘the supreme loyalty’ for people who are prepared to die for their nation. The definition of ‘nation’ which we will make use of in the following is one suggested by Anthony D. Smith (1983,pp. 27-109, 1991, p. 14; 1995); a definition mastering well the ‘sounding board’ dimension. Smith here defines a nation as ‘a named human population sharing a historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members. A recent definition of Smith holds nationalism, one manifestation of national-self-determination, as ‘an ideological movement for attaining and maintaining autonomy, unity and identity on behalf of a population deemed by some of its members to constitute an actual or potential ‘nation’ (Smith, 1991, p. 73; 1995). For Smith nationalism has a deep ethnic roots and rejuvenates itself in response to global and domestic impulses. While the phenomenon of globalisation and technocratic culture are there, nationalism is an eternal nature and nourishes and propels itself on technocratic innovations. In this context, national self-determination may be defined as many part aspirations of a nation: To be free to freely determine one’s own national identity, culture, including language, education, religion, and form of government, to be free of rule by another ‘nation’, that is to overcome social and political systems of domination and exclusion in which nations other than one’s own wield predominant power. To be free to select its own form of government; and those governed within it have the right of unflagging consent.

Culture and the Politics of Self-determination

Nation, nationalism and national self-determination are commanding attentions. One of the perennial issues within nationalism is whether national self-determination can stand alone, or whether it requires a ‘qualifier’ from within cultural or political ideas or both to clarify its precise cultural and political location. Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural independence and that nationalism is based on the right to a culture. Nielson, for example, peers a nation as groups of people whom ‘perceive themselves as having a distinct culture and traditions’, and Tamir presents that a nation is a community in which individuals develop their culture, and they therefore regard their place within a nation as membership in a cultural group. Indeed, she argues that ‘the right to national-self determination stakes a cultural rather than a political claim, namely, it is the right to preserve the existence of a nation as a distinct cultural entity.’ Will the people who demand national self-determination be satisfied with such an arrangement? Tamir gives credence to that the idea of basing the right to self-determination on the right to a culture is the one that has best conformity with a liberal internationalist viewpoint. That is thinkable, but international liberalism is incompetent on this particular matter. A nationalism, which is based on culture and cultural distinctions, was not very long a go. It is a concept that characteristic the thesis of right wing, or romantic theorists such as Herder. Indeed, Herder’s nationalism was not political, and it distrusted a state as something external, mechanical, not emerging spontaneously from the life of the people. Nevertheless, in the Oromo context the claim for national self-determination is a political rather than a cultural one. If we look at the distinction between the two, it would seem that the claim for national self-determination involves more than a demand to be tolerated while the cultural question is. For example, the Catalan’s and Quebecois’ culture and identity have been tolerated and respected to some extent, and yet many of them thought that this did not reflect a situation of self-determination. Indeed, meeting their claim would involve legislation and redefinition of institutions within the state, and perhaps even a new state. In the Oromo case the demand is actually the claim to have control over their lives. This does not mean over every individual’s private life, but over the public aspect of one’s existence, i.e. the system of mutual relationships, which reflect and sustain one’s membership of a certain collective. Here the self is conceptualised within the context of community, but one that has to be real, actual, and functioning and performing. Otherwise these communal ties are too abstract, which makes it impossible for the self to be defined by them. The statement of Cohen has to be recalled: ‘A person does not only need to develop and enjoy his powers. He needs to know who he is, and how his identity connects him with particular others. He must… find something outside himself which he did not create… He must be able to identify himself with some part of objective social reality’ (Cohen, 1988). Moreover, self-realisation, however, cannot be merely a mental situation; thus this community cannot be only cultural. It must be a political situation at least so that, in order for the Oromo people to realise themselves, they must not be dependent on the goodwill of a second party. They then must be certain that their self-realisation in all spheres of life will not be prevented by the Abyssinian government, the TPLF, the Orthodox Church, and so forth. They should therefore be politically active and watch such institutions carefully. In addition, they must participate in politics in order to decide collectively upon public matters, which influence their self-realisation. So the Oromos claim for national-self determination is about the realisation of their potential status, ability and collective character, which may be achieved only through participation in autonomous political institutions. But for more than a century Oromos have been denied access to these institutions, either officially or in practice. In other words, if  Oromos as a nation achieve self-determination they will better able to participate, better represented, better able to deliberate, gain much more control over their life than formerly and more autonomous. The Oromos demand for national self-determination thus, aims at establishing those institutions, which are needed for the realisation of the self-determination. When an Oromo demands national self-determination, he/she is not asserting that he/she would like to control his/her private life, e.g. his/her job, his/her shopping activities, his/her love affairs. Many Oromos do not control these aspects of their lives and yet nevertheless demand national self-determination. But the same principle also applies to cultural life. The Oromos may be allowed more-or-less to use their language, have their own newspapers and theatre, and the freedom of worship, etc. which are making cultural freedom. Actually, these rights are hardly exist at present. But when they claim national self-determination they are not only referring to these aspects of life, as political community: they want to be able to form and choose among and vote for the Oromo political parties, to observe the Oromo constitutional laws, to pay taxes to an Oromo authority, and to have a history (and indeed, myth) of independent Oromo state, from which their identity and self-determination can derive. Thus, the Oromo’s Declaration for Independence will emphasise parliamentary participation and the need to form a constitution, rather than cultural activities. In general the Oromos demand for national self-determination entails that the individuals in this nation should be citizens, engaged in politics as members of a community committed to the realisation of certain (their own) common goods, rather than participating as individuals who seek their self-interests, as it is implied by the right- to- culture school of thought and Liberal Internationalists. Perhaps for this reason Margalit and Halbertal revise the right-to- culture argument, arguing that the right is to a certain culture rather than to culture. A certain culture, then, becomes a common good. And yet, this is not enough, because they still regard the common good in cultural rather than political terms: ‘shared values and symbols… are meant to serve as the focus for citizens’ identification with the state, as well as the sources of their willingness to defend it even at the risk of their lives (Margalit and Halbertal, 1994). Why, then, do theories adhere to the culture discourse? Of course, for most of the Western theorists, the term national self-determination is affiliated to the strive to become part of humanity, to regain the human condition of autonomy; it is adjoined to the struggle to be part of the free world, of the more progressive forces; it is seen as decolonisation, as civilisation, as an attempt made to become part of the world of liberty, rights, and justice. But, it is seen as part of centrifugal forces, from the centre to the global, universalism or what Lane (1974) calls as ‘total situation’ or citizenship based on individual freedom and social justice. These theorists, therefore, universalise the notion of national self-determination: they make it part of liberalism. The liberals’ universal approach tends to be uniformist. This makes a society rootless and a citizen far removed from those who control his/her destiny. On the other hand, the notion as it is put forward and used by the Oromos that the demand for national self-determination is also centripetal, from the global and the greater units to the smaller ones. These groups demand the disengagement from the ‘other’, the global, the colonist, even from other humanity, by asserting that ‘we are not merely the essential equal and part of humanity, but rather we are also different and distinct: we have our own political identity, which we want to preserve, sustain, and establish institutionally, like the Scottish vision in multi-nation state Europe. This is the language of liberation from colonisation. It is also the language of particularisation within the universal or the global, and it seems that the uniformist approach is not sensitive enough to the real Oromos problems. Thus, the Oromos quest for self-determination involves the ultimate goal of particularism (its own unique space), reinventing the Oromia State, owning the national homeland. Of course, in a heterogeneous society of the Ethiopian Empire, though uniformity may simplify system of control, social justice will not be attained in one vast monolithic block of oppressed by colonial legislation, bureaucrats and its armies. An important work of Professor Asafa Jalata, an authority in the study of Oromo nationalism kindly quoted as’ The Oromo question involves both colonialism and ethno nationalism. Ethiopian colonialism has been imposed by global capitalism on the Oromo nation. Ethiopians, both Amharas and Tigrayans, through establishing settler colonialism in Oromia, have systematically killed millions of Oromo and expropriated their lands and other resources from the last decades of the nineteenth century until today. Ethiopian colonialists already destroyed the people called Agaw by taking their lands, systematically killing them, and assimilating the survivors. They attempt to do the same thing to the Oromo by destroying the Oromo national movement, confiscating Oromo lands, and forcing the remaining Oromo into ‘settlement villages’ or (reservations). Many times, some Oromo organisations attempted to democratize Ethiopia so that the Oromo would achieve equal citizenship rights and maintain their ethno cultural identity. Determined to maintain their colonial domination and to destroy the Oromo cultural personality through ethnocide or assimilation, Ethiopian colonialists destroyed or suppressed those Oromo political forces that attempted to transform Ethiopia into a multinational democratic society. Therefore, most Oromos are convinced that their rights and freedom cannot be obtained and respected without creating their own state, or state that they can create as equal partners with other ethno national groups interested in forming a multinational democratic society to promote ethno cultural diversity and human freedom. Hence, Oromo nationalism is an ideology of the subjugated Oromo who seek human rights, freedom, justice, and democracy’ (Jalata, 1997). In fact social justice can be attained when and only when the oppressed majority able to rule its homeland. The Oromos work for national self-determination is the great humanist and historical task in terms of Freire (1993) argument ‘To liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any ‘attempt to soften the power of the oppressor in difference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifest itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this.’ In this context, for Oromos in order to have the continued opportunity to express their ‘generosity,’ the Habasha colonist must perpetuate injustice, too. Tyranny is the permanent fount of this ‘generosity,’ that sustains at the price of death, dehumanisation, despair and poverty. ‘True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.’ (Freire, 1993). For further discussions on Oromo nationalism, universalism, globalism, Ethiopianist discourses and Oromo Nationalism, see Sorenson (1998) and Sisai Ibssa (1998).

Concluding Thoughts

Man as a social animal always seeks his own territory and belongings to a social group in which his identity and sense of community is observed and respected. In the defence of the cause for social justice and social ecology, these are basic tenets to backlash against the danger of the rhetoric of universalism, polyarchy and false perspectives of social uniformity, which appear to appreciate the social problems from a single privileged point. Georg Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind ( New York, 1967 edition), in his famous philosophical discussion of the relationship between ‘lordship and bondage’ maintained that a single consciousness could know itself only through another, even in a condition of totally unequal power relationship. According to this philosophical model, the lord (the oppressor) is lord only through the relationship with a bondservant (the oppressed, the one whose humanity is stolen). In the relationship, however, the other is annulled. The self of the mastery, the lord, derives from the conquest and negation of the servant, the bond. Only recognition of the selfhood of the other permits for its annulations. Thus, lordship covertly recognises the separate identity of the dominated. They are normally equal selves locked into unequal hierarchy. Metaphorically, Hegel’s dialectics of lordship and bondage is very important to understand the Ethiopian domination over Oromia. However, in the Ethiopianist discourse, the essential equality of the selves has been escaped totally. Rather, the persisting hierarchy has taken for granted. According to Sorenson (1998), Ethiopianist scholars like Clapham, Sven Rubenson and Levine because of their attachment to one version of the Ethiopian past and present make them either or unwilling to engage with the full complexity of the problem. From this point of view, to accept the unchanging polarity of Ethiopia and Oromia in the lordship-bondage relationship is to succumb to a structure of Ethiopian aggression and colonialism. The Oromians demand for national self-determination is, however, the civilised step out of the polarity upon which the coercive hierarchy relies, it is the collective political demand, as its main purpose is to achieve the good of the social whole, humanisation, the essential liberation of the Oromo national identity, dignity and the reinvention of Oromia as a sovereign state. The Abyssinian occupation of Oromia, the existence of the Abyssinian Rule, war-lordism and their armies in Oromia and the making of Finfinnee their garrison station, the centre of their crowds is not only an act of conquest, aggression and colonialism but also, from Oromo perspective, such elements are symbols of bondage and slavery that negate the Oromo selfhood as equal essential. For the last over hundred years, the Oromo nation has disowned selfhood, its own state or administration, and lived as a bondage of Abyssinia. The Abyssinian administration which has undermined the Oromo national traditions, exploited it economically, and maintained order through mechanical and repressive means- such a nation actually must seek national self-determination to foster within its politics, to bring dignity, justice, freedom and democracy and to survival as essential equal, as a nation and as part of humanity and its civilisation. It is necessary for Oromians to build the world of their own, a world which make them capable to sustain as a group of human people. They must able to liberate themselves and the violent, the oppressor too. In this context, the Oromo issue is a test case to the deceptive ‘democracy world-wide’ which is being advocated in the USA foreign policy and manipulated by the neo-nafxanyas (see Ibssa, 1998). It is a challenge to contemporary theories of democracy and polyarchy (Robinson, 1997) and actors of post cold war Ethiopian politics who simply take for granted that the boundaries and powers of political community in the ‘Horn’ have already been settled. Thanks to the dedicated works of human rights activists, particularly the OSG (the Oromia Support Group) and its UK based publication, Sagalee Haaraa, we have been well informed on plights of human population and their environment in the entire region. We are interested to recommend this publication to all actors of the region. In this context, we are confident to say that Ethiopian democracy rhetoric or federalism sham politics is nothing more than a fig leaf, covering up the continuation of an extraction of the ‘politics of the belly’, in terms of Bayart (1993) from ‘prudish eye of the West.’ Its democratic rhetoric is a new type of rent seeking (extracting economic rent). By making believe, it enables the collection of international aid that includes diplomatic, military and humanitarian. It enables the seizure of the resources of the modern economy for the benefit of the Tigrayan elites. The situation is not in democracy’s favour, rather it is a situation that the Tyranny is retaining control over the security forces, economic rents and the support of the West. Such manipulation is not new for Africa. Menilik, Haile sellassie, Mengistu, Mobutu, Biya, Senghor and Diouf did the same thing either in Ethiopia or elsewhere in the continent at one time or another. The Quote from Bayart’s (1993) African analyis comes to our mind ‘…The support of western powers and multilateral institutions of Bretton Woods and the Vatcan, who despite having waved the flag of democratic conditionality and respect for human rights, have not dared to pursue such sentiments to their logical conclusion and have continued to think in terms of ‘Mobutu or Chaos’ where Gorbachev given up saying ‘Ceaucescu or chaos’…’. Indeed, very recently, we have read the deceptive descriptions to neo-Mobutu, neo-Mengistu, etc.: democratic, new generation, confident and pragmatic, etc. Sadly, everything changes so that everything stays the same. Nevertheless, the oppressed Oromos are not passive objects, either. They have not allowed themselves to be ‘captured’, as in the past they have demonstrated their historical ability to resist dehumanisation, despair and poverty, and predictably will continue to resist until the justice will come to them. An everyday Oromo coins the following: ‘Victory to the Oromo people! Oromia shall be free!’ We feel moral and social responsibility to support the just cause of fellow humanity.

Listen to Oromo Voice Radio (OVR) Broadcast Afaan Oromo interviews with Dr. Almayayyoo Birru on topic of Self-determination:

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromo-freedom-from-what-and-for-what-part-1/

http://gadaa.com/oduu/4613/2010/06/27/on-the-question-of-nationalities-in-ethiopia/

 

‘External self-determination, in particular, seems to carry dual meaning. On the one hand it is taken to mean full independent statehood, while on the other hand it is taken to mean external recognition by other states within the
international community.’

http://bemis.org.uk/docs/redefining-self-determination.pdf

 

‘Every individual/group possesses a moral right to secede. The burden of proof rests with the opponents of secession.’ 

This article is mainly credited to Oromia Quarterly 1997 & 1999.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2015 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2015. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

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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” 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…

View original post 1,047 more words

Africa: A resurgent “Dictators’ Club” July 30, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Tyranny, Undemocratic governance in Africa, Youth Unemployment.
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‘The international community’s failure to demonstrate strong opposition to the antidemocratic trajectory of many African countries is allowing authoritarian heads of state to gain more power and influence. The United States should single out and prioritize the needs of the few African leaders working to comply with international law and to promote democratic governance domestically and regionally. One way Washington can do this is by acknowledging and giving preference to the democratic states participating in the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit next week. If current trends are not thwarted, the future of the continent could fall under the control of a resurgent “Dictators’ Club.”’

 

“Repressive leaders are also copying one another’s laws, which collectively undermine basic freedoms for the continent’s citizens. In 2009, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia enacted the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which essentially aimed to eliminate independent civil society activity. Within a few years, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya had introduced nearly identical laws, which are muzzling the work of human rights defenders, the independent media, local journalists, and members of the political opposition across East Africa.”

 

 

Reemergence of the African Rat Pack

(Freedom House, 30 July 2014) The reemergence of unconditional solidarity among Africa’s incumbent leaders is threatening respect for human rights and good governance throughout the continent. The phenomenon is obviously bad for the people of Africa and for the overall progress of democracy. But the worst consequence of many African leaders’ support for even their most authoritarian colleagues is the growing regional acceptance—and in some cases promotion—of deeply repressive policies.

Strong bilateral relationships in Africa, for instance between Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, are undercutting domestic and regional democratic frameworks. In Zimbabwe’s 2013 election, Zuma—acting as the chief election facilitator for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)—disregarded his obligation under the organization’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections to maintain neutrality by publicly rebuking a technical team for questioning the election preparations. Zuma then endorsed Mugabe’s reelection on behalf of SADC, even when clear evidence of vote rigging emerged, which Botswana cited as another violation of SADC’s guidelines. Nevertheless, Zuma stood by his counterpart in Zimbabwe, bolstering the idea that the region’s entrenched leaders can rely on one another in their efforts to maintain power, even if this means violating their own democratic standards.

This type of solidarity in Southern Africa has extended beyond domestic affairs to include limiting citizens’ access to justice on a regional level, as clearly demonstrated by the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal, launched in 2005 to enforce the SADC Treaty. The tribunal’s fate was sealed when it ruled that Zimbabwe’s seizure of land from white farmers without compensation was illegal and discriminatory. Mugabe refused to obey the decision, challenging the court’s authority and paving the way for its suspension in 2010. Despite the best efforts of civil society groups in the region, Southern Africa’s heads of state sided with Mugabe and voted to remove the individual mandate of the court, meaning victims of state abuse could no longer file cases against their governments. Not only was this a blow to human rights protection, but it also discouraged private-sector investment, as property owners would have no legal recourse beyond national courts. Once the SADC court ruled against the big man’s interests, political imperatives suddenly took precedence, and legal order was sidelined.

Repressive leaders are also copying one another’s laws, which collectively undermine basic freedoms for the continent’s citizens. In 2009, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia enacted the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which essentially aimed to eliminate independent civil society activity. Within a few years, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya had introduced nearly identical laws, which are muzzling the work of human rights defenders, the independent media, local journalists, and members of the political opposition across East Africa.

A similar contagion effect occurred after the signing of what UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay referred to as “a piece of legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights.” Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, signed early this year, went far beyond other anti-LGBTI laws by banning association with or operation of “gay” organizations. Instead of pushing back, many of the continent’s leaders supported Nigeria with their own repressive measures, including the signing of an “anti-homosexuality” bill in Uganda, the introduction of a draft law to criminalize gay and transgender people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the launching of a parliamentary caucus to ensure the implementation of anti-LGBTI laws in Kenya, and the refusal of justice for victims of homophobic attacks in Cameroon. Many argue that this is not surprising given the preceding rise in homophobic rhetoric from many African leaders, but since the Nigerian bill was enacted, attacks against LGBTI people across the continent have increased, even in more tolerant countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Sénégal. Nigeria’s leadership catalyzed a steep regression for the protection of LGBTI individuals that could take decades to reverse.

Big-man interests are also driving a movement to withdraw en masse from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which would enable impunity for mass atrocities. Urged on by President Kenyatta, who is currently accused of crimes against humanity at The Hague, the African Union (AU) held a special meeting in October 2013 to discuss an ICC withdrawal. Due to the efforts of countries like Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Sénégal, the AU rejected the proposition, but Kenyatta succeeded in obtaining a resolution calling on the ICC to postpone his trial and to exempt sitting heads of state from international prosecution. As if this were not enough, an amendment to the newly established Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights was adopted at a June 2014 summit, giving immunity to African heads of state and senior government officials (yet to be defined) at what was supposed to be the continent’s new regional human rights court.

If the immunity amendment to the African court’s statute is ratified by AU member states, leaders will not be deterred from committing the same crimes of the past, and African citizens will have one less option for protection against human rights abuses. Furthermore, the amendment is entirely at odds with the normative frameworks already ratified by the AU member states to protect human rights, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Compliance with and enforcement of these frameworks are the best hope for strengthening democratic governance in Africa. However, these treaties, laws, and protocols will be useless if authoritarian leaders succeed in working together to ignore and actively undermine them.

It is therefore extremely important for countries like the United States to work actively with their African partners to uphold democratic principles on the continent. The international community’s failure to demonstrate strong opposition to the antidemocratic trajectory of many African countries is allowing authoritarian heads of state to gain more power and influence. The United States should single out and prioritize the needs of the few African leaders working to comply with international law and to promote democratic governance domestically and regionally. One way Washington can do this is by acknowledging and giving preference to the democratic states participating in the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit next week. If current trends are not thwarted, the future of the continent could fall under the control of a resurgent “Dictators’ Club.” Read @http://freedomhouse.org/blog/reemergence-african-rat-pack#.U9lHW9JDvys

The Inspirational Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom (1918 – 2013) July 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Self determination, Uncategorized.
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International Nelson Mandela Day

After spending almost three decades as a political prisoner in his own country, Nelson Mandela emerged from his cell and quickly became one of the most revered world leaders.  18th July, Mandel’s Birthday, has been named International Nelson Mandela Day in his honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taddasaand Mandella

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

 

 

Nelson Mandela was not only a great leader; he was a student of great leadership. As a boy, he was dazzled by stories of African leaders from the 17th and 18th centuries, and he saw himself as part of that grand tradition. He was raised by the Regent of the Tembu tribe, who allowed him to sit in on tribal councils. Mandela once told me that the Regent would never speak until the end, and then he would summarize what had been said and try to form a consensus. When I was working with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, I sat in on many meetings with his own senior team. He would almost always wait until the end to speak and then see if he could forge a consensus. To him that was the African way.

Mandela was not only a student of great leadership; he was intent on creating great African leaders. He believed that there was a dearth of great leaders in Africa, and he was keen on motivating a new generation of leadership for the continent.

I was with Mandela during many meetings with South African and international leaders. Afterwards, he would comment on a leader’s particular style or tactics, or even on what he wore. He would note if a leader was polite or deferential. He did not like leaders who were overly emotional or histrionic. If he described you as “measured,” that was a great compliment. He prized directness. He had no tolerance for leaders who were not honest. And he would sometimes smile ruefully if someone was in over his head.

Mandela believed that African leaders needed to be different than Western leaders. As the head of the African National Congress, and as the president of South Africa, he always sought consensus. He once told me that as a boy he had spent many days herding cattle, and that the way you lead cattle is from behind. By that he meant, you must marshal your forces and make sure that your people are ready to go in the direction where you want to lead them. Mandela led from the front and behind, and it is his spirit that is behind the Young African Leadership Initiative. And on Mandela’s 96th birthday, we get ready to welcome to Washington the 500 YALI Fellows who are the brightest of a new generation of great African leaders.

Mandela understood that leaders are made as well as born, and that circumstances bring forth great leaders. He liked the old English expression about leadership: “Cometh the moment, cometh the man – or the woman.” This is the moment for these young African leaders.

– See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/07/17/nelson-mandela-s-legacy-and-next-generation-great-african-leaders#sthash.oVogppHa.YJ5JRlPJ.dpuf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Living isn’t just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Photo: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~ Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace, Madiba.

Photo: "Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

 

Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress member Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise fists upon Mandela’s release from Victor Verster prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Paarl, South Africa.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela at a funeral for 12 people who died during township unrest in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 20, 1990.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela greets supporters behind the fence in the mining town of Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, Nov. 25, 1993. He toured the area as part of his campaign for the 1994 presidential election.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

President Mandela goes on a walkabout round Trafalgar Square in London on his way to South Africa House, where he made a speech from the balcony.(POOL/AFP/Getty Images),

See more at@http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/nelson-mandela-day-20140718

 

‘Over the years, Mandela’s initial military training and brief stay in Ethiopia received only a scant media coverage. It has been said that Mandela had come face-to-face with death at many junctures in his long life. But had the alleged 1962 assassination attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, succeeded, the world would have been worse off.

gutadinkaA man who single-handedly saved Mandela has recently come forward with his story. Captain Guta Dinka, 78, was one of the two guards assigned to protect the future icon of peace during his training’  in Finfinnee. Read more at  http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3723-captain-guta-dinka-the-man-who-saved-mandela

Photo: Col Fekadu Wakene said Mr Mandela was a good student

Col Fekadu Wakene,  Oromo man

In ‘July 1962, Col Fekadu Wakene taught South African political activist Nelson Mandela the tricks of guerrilla warfare – including how to plant explosives before slipping quietly away into the night.’ BBC

WASHINGTON, DC (VOA, Afaan Oromo) — Prezidaantiin Afrikaa kibbaa duraanii Nelson Maandeellaa umrii isaanii 95tti kamiisa kaleessaa du’an boqotanii jiran.Uummanni addunyaa irra jiru prezidaantii gurraacha Afrikaa kibbaaf isa jalqabaa ta’an kanaaf gadda itti dhaga’ame ibsaa jira.

Namoota hedduu biratti maandelaan Goota.Nama kaka’uumsa qabu nama jabaa fi mul’ata qabu. Yeroo baayyee nama gad of qabu, nama gaarii, amanamaa, nama warra biraafis yaadu.

Ta’uun beekamu. Nelson Mandelaan Adooleessa 18 bara 1918 dhalatanii naannoo dur gurraachonni Afrikaa kibbaa keessa jiraatan Transkei jedhamtu keessatti guddatan.

Nelesen MaandeellaaNelesen Maandeellaa

Bara dargaggummaa isaanii sochii farra Apaartaayiid keessa seenuun paartii Afrikaan Nashinaal Kongrees ykn ANC jedhamutti dabalaman.Bara 1940 ANC keessatti damee dargaggotaaf hogganaa ta’an.

Maandeellaan kooleejii fi mana barnootaa kan seeraa yeroo seenan nama ANC keessaa Oliver Thamboo wajjin turan.

Yeroo jalqabaafiis waajiira gurraachaa kan waa’ee seeraa irratti hojjatu Afrikaa kibbaa keessatti banan.Gurraachootaaf gorsa seeraa baasii tokko malee tola ykn gatii xiqqoo gaafachuun gargaaraa turan.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1804939.html

WASHINGTON,DC — Perzdaantiin Afrikaa Kibbaa ka durii,Nelson Maandellaa nama addunyaan waan hedduun faarsitu.

Akka xiinxalyaan siyaasaa Jawaar Mohaammad yuniversitii New York  jedhetti ammoo wannii Maandellaa jaalataniif “nama kana nama bilisummaa sabaatii fi ummata isaatiif falmeen jaalatama…jaarmiyaa paartii Afrikaa Kibbaa ,ANC jijjiiree paartii ummataa godhee.Ummatii cunqurfamoon addunyaa ammoo isa akka fkn laalan.”
Akka Jawaaritti wanti Maandellaa biyya alaatti akkana jaalataniif bara Maandeellaa hidhaa bahe sunitti:

“Oggaa innii qabsoo san injifannoon irra aanee mana hidhaatii bahu san sodaan guddaan… ummata isaa sun qabatee ummata adii biyya san jiru biyya sanii hari’uu, biiluu bahuu dandahaa  sodaa jettutti jira..sun ammoo hin taane.”

Dubbii tana araaraan fixuutti akka Maandellaan jaalatamu tolche.Gama kaaniin ammoo Maandellaan gaafa leenjii waraanaatiif Finfinnee dhufe jeneraalii waraanaa bara sunii Taaddasaa Birruu jalatti leenjifame.

Itti gaafatamtootii waraana Oromoo ta bara 1960s keessaa tun Jeneraal Taaddasaa  Birruu, Koloneel Fiqaaduu Waakkanneetii,Kumaalaa Fiqaaduu Dibaabaatii fi Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa faan  Perz.Maandellaa leenjisanii nagaa isaallee eegaa bahe.haga Maandellaan Finfinnee jiru sunitti leenjisaa waan hedduun gargaaraa bahan.

Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa  akka Maandellaa ijjeesu sobamulee “sobamuu didee lubbu Maandeellaa oolche.”

Gaafa Maandeellaan leenjii fixatee Afrikaa Kibbaatti deebihullee  kumaalaa Guutaan shugguxii tokkoo fi rasaasa 200 Maandellaa kenne.Jennaan  Maandellaan poolisiin itti dhufnaan shugguxii sun gatee ammallee horii guddaan barbaaduutti jiran.

Gama kaaniin ammoo dhaabi fiilmii Amerikaa baasu Holly Woodii fi ka Afrikaa Kibbaalleen seenaa Maandellaafaa shugguxi Maandellaa ta baddee fi seenaa Oromoota isa waliin turanii irralleetti wa hojjachuutti jira.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1806836.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/what-mandela-meanttoafricanactivists.html

His Excellency Jacob G Zuma
President
Republic of South Africa
Dear Mr. President:
It is with feelings of great sorrow that we in the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo people at large learned the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of South Africa and a true freedom -fighting icon. On behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the people of South Africa during this time of national mourning. The passing of Former President Mandela is a tremendous loss not only to South Africa and Africa alone but to the whole world.
The world and Africa in particular has lost an extraordinary statesman; a true freedom fighter whose moral strength, dedication and determination liberated his people from the evil of apartheid and set a genuine example for the rest of world. This gallant son and leader of Africa, through his unconditional sacrifices and heroism transformed his beloved country, South Africa, into peaceful multiracial nation that continues to serve as an example of a true and genuine national reconciliation in the world.
We, Oromo, have very fond memories of Mr. Mandela’s secret visit to our country in 1962, where he was hosted by General Taddasa Biru, an Oromo hero, founder of the OLF and leader who was murdered by the Ethiopian regime in 1975, while in struggle for the liberation of his own people. General Taddasa Biru trained and prepared Mr. Mandela for armed struggle. Because of this connection in particular, Mr. Nelson Mandela has become a source of inspiration for those of us struggling for freedom, equality, peace and reconciliation. We will greatly miss this freedom icon and giant son of Africa.
History will remember President Nelson Mandela as a great man and hero. Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on and inspire generations to come.
At this moment, our prayers are with the people of South Africa and President Mandela’s family in particular and we hope that they will find strength and solace to overcome their sorrow during this period of deep grief.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!
Yours Sincerely,

Dawud Ibsa
Chairman
Oromo Libertion Front– National Council

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2013/12/olf-sends-condolence-letter-on-mandela.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is profoundly saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a father, a husband, a statesman, a global hero, an anti-apartheid symbol, an advocate of human rights, and a fearless fighter of discrimination. He fought for the equal right of the black people in Apartheid South Africa, and paid a heavy price for the freedom of his people. He was condemned to a 27-year imprisonment. Despite the prison ordeals, he defended his dignity, civility, discipline, principle, and emerged a better human being. Eventually, he led a pariah state to a new chapter of peace with itself and the world. A passionate and forgiving man, he built a common home for blacks and white races – making animosity between the once sworn enemies a matter of history. Today, the rainbow nation is a model for a racial equality and tolerance. Added to his popularity and grace was his decision to limit his presidency to one term in the continent often incumbents die in the office or removed by coup.

Gadaa.com
Mr Mandela with His Oromo Trainer, General Tadesse Biru. (Photo: Public Domain)

Mandela was a prisoner of conscience, but he was a free man at last. Today, there are tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners of conscience in Ethiopian prisons. Mandela was once considered a terrorist. Today, the Ethiopian government often labels one who advocates for the rights of the Oromo people as a terrorist. It is against this background that Mandela’s universal message of justice has a strong resonance in the Oromo nation, a nation trying to overcome a century of discrimination, oppression, marginalization, exploitation, and occupation.

The Oromo nation had a historical connection to a man who changed the world through his words and actions. He inspired General Taddasa  Birru, a man who ignited the struggle of the Oromo people for freedom and equality. The Oromo nation takes pride in teaching a military science and training Mandela needed to spark the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela cut his teeth under General Taddasa Birru and Capt. Fekadu Wakane. The Oromo nation also foiled an assassination attempt against the life of Nelson Mandela. Captain Dinka Guta is still a living witness for that. We are also happy that Dr. Neville Alexander, a son of an Oromo slave, fought for the independence of the people of South Africa, and imprisoned with Mandela at the same prison.

Mandela has left the world for good; yet he has changed the world for good.  Today, the world is a better place for humanity because of a meaningful life he lived and a remarkable legacy he left behind.  We are grieving his death, but humanity is better off because of his universal message of love, peace, harmony, understanding, human rights, and democracy. Mandela’s struggle against discrimination and oppression will inspire the struggle of the Oromo people and other oppressed peoples around the world.  Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and the people of South Africa during this difficult time.

—————————
Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, signing a condolence book at the Consulate General of South Africa, in Chicago, December 6, 2013.

Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, briefed the staff of the Consulate General of South Africa about the link between the Oromo struggle and the South Africans’ struggle against the Apartheid
—————————

Ibrahim Elemo, M.D, M.P.H

President, the Oromo Studies Association/Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

December 7, 2013

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

‘May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela!’ Obama

The Oromo nationals with the Oromo flag at the memorial services for Nelson Mandela in Soweto FNB Stadium, South Africa, 10th December 2013.

Qunu, South Africa—Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and its most beloved leader, was laid to rest Sunday at a state funeral in the lush green hills he roamed barefoot as a child.

About 4,500 mourners gathered in a giant white tent on the Mandela family compound, where 95 candles—one for each year of Mandela’s life—burned behind his South African flag-draped casket. Family, friends and world leaders recalled Nelson Mandela as disciplined but mischievous, courageous yet humble.

The service concluded a 10-day period of national mourning that included a memorial gathering in Soweto, various concerts and Mandela’s body lying in state for three days in Pretoria. Organizers wanted Sunday’s service to wrap up in two-and-half hours, because a man of Mandela’s stature should be buried at noon, “when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest,” said African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who served as master of ceremonies.

“Madala, your abundant reserves of love, simplicity, honesty, service, humility, care, courage, foresight, patience, tolerance, equality and justice continually served as a source of enormous strength to many millions of people in South Africa and the world,” said Ahmed Kathrada, who gave the first eulogy, addressing Mandela with the Xhosa word for elder. “You symbolize today, and always will, qualities of collective leadership, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.”

Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison with Mandela, choked up several times during his address. “When Walter [former African National Congress Secretary General Sisulu] died, I lost a father,” he said. “When you died, I lost a brother. Now I don’t know who to turn to.”

Guests included luminaries like Price Charles, Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson and African leaders such as Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete and Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda.

Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, gave a moving tribute that recalled her grandfather’s humble roots. “He grew up from these rolling hills,” she said. “He went to school barefoot yet he rose to the highest office in the land.”

She depicted Mandela as a stern, but fun-loving and mischievous grandfather who loved telling stories.

“People always talk about his achievements, but he was a lot of fun to be around and he was a great storyteller.” She said he particularly liked to poke fun at himself, recounting a tale he told about trying to pick up a piece of chicken with his fork while at dinner with a girl he was trying to impress and her family. “Every time I stabbed the chicken, it jumped,” Nandi Mandela recalled her grandfather saying with a hearty laughter. “We shall miss your voice, we shall miss your laughter.”

Residents of Qunu and surrounding villages and ordinary South Africans who traveled from all over the country were not permitted inside the tent. Instead, hundreds watched Nandi Mandela and the other speakers on a giant screen set up in a distant field overlooking the Mandela compound, and at other public viewing sites around the country.

Draped in yellow and green Mandela t-shirts and scarves, with small South African flags attached to their hats or behind their ears, they sat quietly and intently, but jumped to their feet ululating and cheering when Mandela’s former praise poet, Zolani Mkiva, offered a rousing introduction to President Jacob Zuma.

The boos that greeted Zuma during a memorial service last week in Soweto were absent Sunday. In his speech, Zuma said Mandela offered, “hope in the place of hopelessness” and promised that South Africans would not abandon the principles that defined Mandela’s life.

“We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct,” Zuma said. “We have to take your legacy forward.”

As they watched the service in the field, mourners recalled how Mandela threw Christmas parties for the children of Qunu and surrounding villages, plying them with shoes, uniforms, and bags for school.

“For a big man like this, he was always there for us,” said Masibulele Magqirha, 42, of Qunu. Magqirha said he grew up playing soccer on the fields where Mandela’s house now stands. And he recalled when his entire soccer team decided they’d go ask Mandela to buy them uniforms.

“He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ But nobody wanted to talk,” Magqirha recalled. “’Gentlemen I’m talking to you, what are you coming here for?’” Mandela said, according to Magqirha. Magqirha finally spoke up: “Tata, please we are here to ask you to buy for us a kit. We are out playing soccer but we don’t have a kit.” Mandela told two team leaders to return the next day, Magqirha said. “When we came back, he said, ‘Tell me, what is your story?’ Are you studying? Please, you must go to school.’”

The next day, Magqirha returned, and was told to hop into a military truck, where he was presented with cleats, socks, shorts and shirts for the entire team.

“Where will we get a person like this again?” he asked.

Following Zuma’s speech, mourners walked behind the giant screen and paused in a vast open field. A young woman sat gazing towards the gravesite, crying. Others stood peering through binoculars towards the Mandela compound. Two police officers took a selfie, the funeral tent in the background. A man raised one fist in the air, holding a poster of Mandela in his other hand, gazing into the distance.

Then two busloads of men from neighboring KwaZulu Natal province, wielding spears and shields, offered a tribute in music and dance to Mandela, gyrating through the field.

Ultimately, Ramaphosa, the master of ceremonies, had to plead with the ancestors for extra time, as the ceremony went about an hour longer than expected. A small, private burial service followed at the family gravesite nearby.

Three helicopters carrying South African flags whizzed by, and military jets passed overhead in tribute as mourners sprinted towards them in a futile dash. A 21-canon salute boomed and smoke filled the village air.

At the Mandela family’s request, the national broadcaster cut the live feed to allow for a private burial. As coverage on the big screen ended, a woman seated in the front row wearing an elegant purple dress raised her hand and waved goodbye.

http://www.channel4.com/news/nelson-mandela-funeral-madiba-live-south-africa-qunu-video

http://www.newsweek.com/mandela-laid-rest-mourners-bid-final-farewell-224567

‘Much of Mandela’s belief system came from his youth in the Xhosa tribe and being raised by a local Thembu King after his own father died. As a boy, he lived in a rondavel — a grass hut — with a dirt floor. He learned to be a shepherd. He fetched water from the spring. He excelled at stick fighting with the other boys. He sat at the feet of old men who told him stories of the brave African princes who ruled South Africa before the coming of the white man. The first time he shook the hand of a white man was when he went off to boarding school. Eventually, little Rolihlahla Mandela would become Nelson Mandela and get a proper Methodist education, but for all his worldliness and his legal training, much of his wisdom and common sense — and joy — came from what he had learned as a young boy in the Transkei. Mandela might have been a more sentimental man if so much had not been taken away from him. His freedom. His ability to choose the path of his life. His eldest son. Two great-grandchildren. Nothing in his life was permanent except the oppression he and his people were under. And everything he might have had he sacrificed to achieve the freedom of his people. But all the crude jailers, tiny cells and bumptious white apartheid leaders could not take away his pride, his dignity and his sense of justice. Even when he had to strip and be hosed down when he first entered Robben Island, he stood straight and did not complain. He refused to be intimidated in any circumstance. I remember interviewing Eddie Daniels, a 5-ft. 3-in. mixed-race freedom fighter who was in cell block B with Mandela on the island; Eddie recalled how anytime he felt demoralized, he would just have to see the 6-ft. 2-in. Mandela walking tall through the courtyard and he would feel revived. Eddie wept as he told me how when he fell ill, Mandela — “Nelson Mandela, my leader!” — came into his cell and crouched down to wash out his pail of vomit and blood and excrement. I always thought that in a free and nonracial South Africa, Mandela would have been a small-town lawyer, content to be a local grandee. This great, historic revolutionary was in many ways a natural conservative. He did not believe in change for change’s sake. But one thing turned him into a revolutionary, and that was the pernicious system of racial oppression he experienced as a young man in Johannesburg. When people spat on him in buses, when shopkeepers turned him away, when whites treated him as if he could not read or write, that changed him irrevocably. For deep in his bones was a basic sense of fairness: he simply could not abide injustice. If he, Nelson Mandela, the son of a chief, tall, handsome and educated, could be treated as subhuman, then what about the millions who had nothing like his advantages? “That is not right,” he would sometimes say to me about something as mundane as a plane flight’s being canceled or as large as a world leader’s policies, but that simple phrase — that is not right — underlay everything he did, everything he sacrificed for and everything he accomplished.’

Read more: Nelson Mandela Dead at 95 | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-1918-2013-remembering-an-icon-of-freedom/#ixzz2nfn3oxN0

Copyright © OromianEconomist  2013 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

 

Dictators lie about economic growth July 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Economics, Free development vs authoritarian model, Youth Unemployment.
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Dictators lie about economic growth

BY HENRY FARRELL

(Washington Post, 26th June 2014), There’s a lot of recent scholarship suggesting that non-democratic regimes grow faster than democratic regimes. This has led some people not only to admire the Chinese model of growth focused authoritarianism, but to suggest that it may be a better economic model for developing countries than democracy. However, this research tends to assume that both democracies and non-democracies are telling the truth about their growth rates, when they report them to multilateral organizations such as the World Bank. Is this assumption safe? The answer is no, according to aforthcoming article (temporarily ungated) by Christopher S. P. Magee and John A. Doces in International Studies Quarterly.

The problem that Magee and Doces tackle is that it’s hard to figure out when regimes are being honest or dishonest about their rates of economic growth, since it’s the regimes themselves that are compiling the statistics. It’s hard to measure how honest or dishonest they are, if all you have to go on are their own numbers. This means that researchers need to find some kind of independent indicator of economic growth, which governments will either be less inclined or unable to manipulate. Magee and Doces argue that one such indicator is satellite images of nighttime lights. As the economy grows, you may expect to see more lights at night (e.g. as cities expand etc). And indeed, research suggests that there’s a very strong correlation between economic growth and nighttime lights, meaning that the latter is a good indicator of the former. Furthermore, it’s an indicator that is unlikely to be manipulated by governments.

Magee and Doces look at the relationship between reported growth and nights at light and find a very clear pattern. The graph below shows this relationship for different countries – autocracies are the big red dots. Most of the dots are above the regression line, which means that most autocracies report higher growth levels to the World Bank than you’d expect given the intensity of lights at night. This suggests that they’re exaggerating their growth numbers.

Growth and reported growth

 

The two countries with the biggest difference between their reported growth and their actual growth (as best as you can tell from the intensity of nighttime lights) are China (although the discrepancy was considerably larger in the mid-1990s than now) and Myanmar. More broadly:

If democracies report their GDP growth rates truthfully, then dictatorships overstate their yearly growth rate by about 1.5 percentage points on average. If democracies also overstate their true growth rates, then dictatorships exaggerate their yearly growth statistics by about 1.5 percentage points more than do democracies.

The authors conclude:

the existing literature on economic growth overestimates the impact of dictatorships because it relies on statistics that are reported to international organizations, and as we show, dictatorships tend to exaggerate their growth. Accounting for the fact that authoritarian regimes overstate growth slightly diminishes the effect of these regimes on long-run economic growth. In light of this point, much of the evidence showing growth benefits associated with authoritarian regimes is less compelling and the case for democracy looks better than before. See more @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/26/dictators-lie-about-economic-growth?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

 

Related Article:

What if everything we know about poor countries’ economies is totally wrong?

Read @ http://www.vox.com/2014/7/10/5885145/what-if-everything-we-know-about-poor-countries-economies-is-totally?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_name=share-button&utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=article-share-top

 

 

(OPride) – Over the last decade, Ethiopia has been hailed as the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa, maintaining a double-digit annual economic growth rate. The Ethiopian government says the country will join the middle-income bracketby 2025.

Despite this, however, as indicated by a recent Oxford University report, some 90 percent of Ethiopians still live in poverty, second only after Niger from 104 countries measured by the Oxford Multidimensional Poverty Index. The most recent data shows an estimated 71.1 percent of Ethiopia’s population lives in severe poverty.

This is baffling: how can such conflicting claims be made about the same country?  The main source of this inconsistent story is the existence of crony businesses and the government’s inflated growth figures. While several multinational corporations are now eyeing Ethiopia’s cheap labor market, two main crony conglomerates dominate the country’s economy.

Meet EFFORT, TPLF’s business empire

The seeds of Ethiopia’s economic mismanagement were sown at the very outset. We are familiar with rich people organizing themselves, entering politics and protecting their group interests. But something that defies our knowledge of interactions between politics and business happened in 1991 when the current regime took power.

Ethiopia’s ruling party, the EPRDF, came to power by ousting the communist regime in a dramatic coup. A handful of extremely poor people organized themselves exceptionally well that they quickly took control of the country’s entire political and military machinery.

In a way, this is analogous to a gang of thieves becoming brutally efficient at organizing themselves to the extent of forming a government. Once in power, the ruling Tigrean elites expropriated properties from other businesses, looted national assets and began creating wealth exclusively for themselves.

This plan first manifested itself in the form of party affiliated business conglomerate known as the Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT). EFFORT has its origin in the relief and rehabilitation arm of the Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the country’s infamous 1984 famine.

As reported by BBC’s Martin Plaut and others, the TPLF financed its guerilla warfare against the Dergue in part by converting aid money into weapons and cash. That was not all. On their way to Addis Ababa from their bases in Tigray, the TPLF confiscated any liquid or easily moveable assetsthey could lay their hands on. For instance, a substantial amount of cash was amassed by breaking into safe deposits of banks all over Ethiopia. Those funds were kept in EFFORT’s bank accounts. TPLF leaders vowed to use the loot to rehabilitate and reconstruct Tigray, which they insisted was disproportionately affected by the struggle to “free Ethiopia.”

Intoxicated by its military victory, the TPLF then turned to building a business empire. EFFORT epitomizes that unholy marriage between business and politics in a way not seen before in Ethiopian history. According to a research by Sarah Vaughan and Mesfin Gebremichael, EFFORT, which is led by senior TPLF officials, currently owns 16 companies across various sectors of the economy.

This figure grossly understates the number of EPRDF affiliated companies. For example, the above list does not include the real money-spinners that EFFORT owns: Wegagen Bank, Africa Insurance, Mega Publishing, Walta Information Center and the Fana Broadcasting Corporate. The number of companies under EFFORT is estimated to be more than 66 business entities. Suffice to say, EFFORT controls the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy.

While it is no secret that EFFORT is owned by and run exclusively to benefit ethnic Tigrean elites, it is a misnomer to still retain the phrase “rehabilitation of Tigray.” Perhaps it should instead be renamed as the Endowment Fund for Rendering Tigrean Supremacy (EFFORTS).

MIDROC Ethiopia, EPRDF’s joker card

In Ethiopia’s weak domestic private environment, EFFORT is an exception to the rule. Similarly, while Ethiopia suffers from lack of foreign direct investment, MIDROC Ethiopia enjoys unparalleled access to Ethiopia’s key economic sectors. Owned by Ethiopian-born Saudi business tycoon, Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi, MIDROC has been used by the EPRDF as a joker card in a mutually advantageous ways. The Sheik was given a privilege no less than the status of a domestic private investor but the EPRDF can also count it as a foreign investor. For instance, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that about 60 per cent of the overall FDI approved in Ethiopia was related to MIDROC.

MIDROC stands for Mohammed International DevelopmentResearch and Organization Companies. Despite reference to development and research in its name, however, there is no real relationship between what the crony business says and what it actually does. Ironically, as with EFFORT, MIDROC Ethiopia also owns 16 companies. But this too is a gross underestimation given the vast sphere of influence and wealth MIDROC commands in that country.

Like EFFORT, Al-Amoudi’s future was also sealed long before the TPLF took power. He literally entered Addis Ababa with the EPRDF army, fixing his eyes firmly on Oromia’s natural resources. Shortly after the TPLF took the capital, Al-Amoudi allegedly donated a huge sum of money to the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization.

Why the rush?

The calculative Sheik sensed an eminent threat to his business interests from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a groups that was also a partner in the transitional government at the time. In return for its “donation,” MIDROC acquired massive lands in Oromia – gold mines, extensive state farms and other agricultural lands. In a recent article entitled, “The man who stole the Nile,” journalist Frederick Kaufman aptly described Al Amoudi’s role in the ongoing land grab in Ethiopia as follows:

In this precarious world-historic moment, food has become the most valuable asset of them all — and a billionaire from Ethiopia named Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi is getting his hands on as much of it as possible, flying it over the heads of his starving countrymen, and selling the treasure to Saudi Arabia. Last year, Al Amoudi, whom most Ethiopians call the Sheikh, exported a million tons of rice, about seventy pounds for every Saudi citizen. The scene of the great grain robbery was Gambella, a bog the size of Belgium in Ethiopia’s southwest whose rivers feed the Nile.

It is little wonder then that Al-Amoudi said, “I lost my right hand,” when Ethiopia’s strongman of two decades Meles Zenawi died in 2012. If EFFORT is a curse to the Ethiopian economy, MIRDOC is EPRDF’s poisoned drink given to the Ethiopian people.

Mutual Distrust

The marriage between politics and business has had damaging effects on the country’s economy. One of its most far-reaching consequences is the total breakdown of trust between the EPRDF and the Ethiopian people. In economic policy, trust between private investors and the government is paramount. The deficit of trust is one of the hallmarks of Ethiopia’s much-touted development.

After all youth unemployment hovers around 50 percent. Every year, hundreds of young Ethiopians risk their lives trying to reach Europe or the Middle East, often walking across the Sahara desert or paying smugglers to cross the Red Sea or Indian Ocean aboard crowded boats. The desperation is a result of the lack of confidence in the government’s ability to provide them with the kind of future they were promised.

Ironically, aside from their crony businesses, the EPRDF does not have any confidence in Ethiopian entrepreneurs either. It is this mutual distrust that culminated in the prevalence of an extremely hostile environment for domestic private investment.

This is not a speculative claim but a well-documented fact. The World Bank’s annual survey, which measures the ease with which private investors can do business, ranks Ethiopia near the bottom. In the 2014 survey, Ethiopia came in 166th out of 189 countries in terms of difficulties in starting new business or trading across borders. Moreover, year on year comparison shows that the investment climate in Ethiopia is actually getting worse, sliding down the ranking both in the ease of doing business and trading across borders.

Farms but no firms

The TPLF cronies do not engage in competitive business according to market rules but act as predators bent on killing existing and emerging businesses owned by non-Tigrean nationals. However, the ruling party, which largely maintains its grip on power using bilateral and multilateral aid, is required to report its economic progress to donors (the regime does not care about accountability to the people). In this regard, the lack of foreign direct investment (FDI) has been a thorn in the throat of the EPRDF. Donors have repeatedly questioned and pressured the EPRDF to attract more FDI. The inflow of FDI is often seen as a good indicator of the confidence in countries stability and sound governance. Despite widespread belief in the West, the EPRDF regime cannot deliver on these two fronts.

To cover up these blind spots, the regime has persuaded a handful of foreigners to invest in Ethiopia, but until recently few investors considered any serious manufacturing venture in the country. Besides, considered “cash cows” for the government, banks, the Ethiopian Airlines, telecommunication and energy sectors remain under exclusive monopoly of the state. They provide almost free service to the crony businesses. Any firm looking to invest in manufacturing and financial sectors have to overcome insurmountable bureaucratic red tape and other barriers.

One sector that stands as exception to this rule is agriculture. Since the 2008 financial crisis and the rise in the global price of food, the regime opened the door widely for foreigners who wanted to acquire large-scale farms. These farms do not hurt their crony businesses but they do harm poor subsistence farmers. Vast tracts of lands have been sold to foreigners at ridiculously cheap prices, often displacing locals and their way of life.

Contrary to the government rhetoric, the motivation for opening up the agricultural sector has nothing to do with economic growth but everything to do with politics – to silence critics, particularly in the donor community who persistently question EPRDF’s credibility in attracting FDI. In essence, hundreds of thousands of poor farmers were evicted to make way for flower growers and shore up the government’s image abroad. This tactic seems to be working so far. Earlier this year, Ethiopia received its first credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. In the last few years, in part due to rising labor costs in China and East Asia, several manufacturers have relocated to Ethiopia.

Addis’ construction boom as a smokescreen

Crony businesses and flower growers may have created some heat but certainly no light in Ethiopian economy. EFFORT and MIDROC were in action for much of the 1990s and early 2000s but GDP growth was not satisfactory during that time. In fact, since other private businesses were in dismal conditions (and hence domestic market size is very limited), even the crony businesses encountered challenges in getting new business deals.

The setbacks in political front during the 2005 election shifted EPRDF’s strategies to economic front to urgently register some noticeable growth.  This partly explains the motives behind the ongoing construction rush in and around Addis Ababa. In several rounds of interviews on ESAT TV, former Minister d’etat of Communications Affairs, Ermias Legesse, provided interesting accounts of cronyism surrounding Addis’ explosive growth and its tragic consequences for Oromo farmers.

It is important to understand the types of construction that is taking place around or near Addis. First, private property developments by crony estate agents mushroomed overnight. A lion’s share of land expropriated from Oromo farmers were allocated to these regime affiliates through dishonest bids. Luxury houses are built on such sites and sold at prices no average Ethiopian could afford, except maybe those in the diaspora. The latter group is being targeted lately due to shortages of hard currencies.

Second, EPRDF politicians and high ranking military officers own multi-storey office buildings, particularly aimed at renting to NGOs and residential villas for foreign diplomats who can afford to pay a few thousand dollars per month. It is a known fact that the monthly salary cap for Ethiopian civil servants is around 6000 birr (about $300). As such, that these individuals could invest in such expensive properties underscores the extent of the daylight robbery that is taking place in Ethiopia.

Third, the government was engaged in massive public housing construction but under extremely chaotic circumstances. The condominium rush in Addis is akin to the Dergue regime’s villagization schemes in rural Ethiopia. Families are uprooted from their homes without any due consideration for their social and economic well-being.

Most households that once occupied the demolished homes in Addis Ababa’s shantytowns made a living through informal home businesses such as brewing local drinks and preparing and selling food at prices affordable to the poor. It was clear that the condominiums were not suitable for them to continue doing such businesses. The construction of the public houses was financed by soft loans from various donor agencies to be sold to target households at affordable prices. However, the government often priced them at the going market rates for condos.

As a result, the poor households simply rented out the properties to those who could afford, while struggling to find affordable houses for themselves. Solving the public housing crisis was never the government’s intention in the first place, as they were only interested in creating business opportunities for their crony construction companies.

Fourth, roads and railway networks are by far the most important large-scale public sector construction projects taking place in Addis. There is no doubt that Addis Ababa’s crowded roads, equally shared by humans, animals and cars, need revamping. But, what is happening in the name of building roads and railways simply defies belief. First, the sheer scale and magnitude as well as the obsession with construction makes the whole undertaking look suspicious. Every time I travelled to Addis, I witness the same roads being constructed and then dug up to be reconstructed over and over again.

The ulterior motive behind these projects is nothing more than expanding TPLF’s business empire and benefit crony allies. Having exhausted opportunities within the existing perimeter of Addis, the so-called master plan had to be crafted to enlarge the size of “the construction site” by a factor of 20 to ensure that the cronies will stay in business in the foreseeable future.  In effect, the large-scale construction projects are being used to siphon off public funds. And there seems to be no priority or accountability in the whole process from the project inception, planning to implementation.

Lies and damn lies

The construction boom in Addis serves as a two edged sward. On the one hand, the funds generated from selling Oromo lands to private property developers adds to the ever-expanding business empire of Tigrean political and military elites. On the other hand, the appearances of several high-rise buildings and complex road networks give the impression that Ethiopia is witnessing an economic boom. The target audience for the latter scenario is foreign journalists and the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa, some of whom are so gullible that they fall in love with ERDF’s economic “miracle” from the first aerial view even before landing at the Bole airport.

The fact remains however: no such economic miracle is actually happening in Ethiopia. A pile of concrete slabs cannot transform the economy in any meaningful way. After all, buildings and roads are only intermediaries for doing other businesses. For instance, it is not enough to build highways and rural roads – a proportionate effort is required to enhance production of goods and services to move them on the newly built roads in such a way that the roads will get utilized and investments made on them get recovered. Otherwise, the roads and buildings can deteriorate without giving any service, and hence more public money would soon be required to maintain them. This is exactly what is happening in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, the EPRDF has been engaged in a frantic effort to generate lies and damn lies to fill the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of Ethiopia’s economy. The government-controlled media has been used for extensive propaganda campaign to create a “positive image” in the eyes of ordinary citizens. They literally compel viewers or listeners to see or feel things that do not exist on the ground. The Ethiopian television zooms onto any spot of land with a colony of green grass or lush crop fields to “prove” the kinds of wonders the government is engineering.

Barring rain failures, much of Ethiopia’s lush-green countryside has a decent climate for agriculture. But the EPRDF regime tries to convince the public that anything positive that occurs in the Ethiopia is because of its economic policies. But, as evidenced in ongoing multifaceted grievances around the country, the government is fooling no one else but itself (and perhaps a few gullible individuals in the diplomatic community).

Its lies also come in the form of dubious economic statistics, which are generated in such a way that EPRDF could report double-digit economic growth year after year. The story of the double digit economic growth rate in Ethiopia has been such that a lie told hundreds of times, no matter how shambolic the numbers are, is becoming part of the western vernacular. Donors often point to the abundance of high-rise buildings and impressive road networks in Addis Ababa in regime’s defense.

In a brief conversation, it is not possible to take such casual observers through details of the kind I have attempted to narrate in the preceding paragraphs. And, unfortunately for millions of Ethiopia’s poor, in the short run the government’s lies and crony capitalism may continue to ravage the country’s economy until it begins to combust from within.

*The writer, J. Bonsa, is a researcher-based in Asia.

 

Read @ http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/3762-the-myth-of-ethiopia-s-crony-capitalism-and-economic-miracle

Beneath the surface of the Africa rising illusion May 29, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromian Voices, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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OK.-Y.-Amoako

The Africa Rising illusion: continent needs more than just growth – By K.Y. Amoako @ The African Arguments

We hear a lot these days about “Africa Rising” – and with good reason. … Enabled by reforms in macroeconomic management, by high commodity prices, and by increasing exports of extractives, this growth has created a spirit of optimism, encouraged foreign investment, and provided an incentive for young Africans to return home after being educated abroad. Increasing earnings among some sectors of society have supported the emergence of an African middle class, with promising purchasing power. But beneath the surface it’s not that simple. The rate of African growth may have increased, but the structure of most Sub-Saharan economies has not changed much over the past 40 years. African economies are still narrowly based on the production and export of unprocessed agricultural products, minerals, and crude oil. There is little manufacturing— indeed, in many countries the share of manufacturing in GDP is lower now than in the 1970s. Competitiveness on global markets – apart from crude extractive products – is low due to poor productivity and underdeveloped technology. And in most countries, more than 80% of the labor force is employed in low-yield agriculture or informal activities in towns and cities. Thus the headline statistics disguise both residual problems and inherent vulnerabilities. Recent economic growth has not eliminated inequalities between or within countries, and has done little to reduce hunger. While the proportion of Africa’s population living in extreme poverty is falling, the total number of extremely poor people rose by more than 20 million between 2002 and 2012. Youth unemployment threatens instability, and while access to education has improved significantly, standards are still low. This is not the first time that the continent has experienced growth of an unequal or unstable nature. Indeed, in the years after independence, the region’s economy was booming. But growth faltered in the mid-1970s following the first oil price shock, and the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s saw incomes fall and poverty increase. How can we prevent this pattern repeating itself? – Read more @http://africanarguments.org/2014/05/29/the-africa-rising-illusion-continent-needs-more-than-just-growth-by-k-y-amoako/

 

The silent recolonisation of Africa is happening on a mass scale.

Tragically, a silent recolonisation on a mass scale is happening through further dispossession in areas where the original colonisation had not been complete. The new colonisation is dressed in the language of economic development and fighting poverty but its interest is the satisfaction of the needs of multinational companies for markets and land to grow food for export – to satisfy the food needs of their primary market while depriving Africans the satisfaction of their needs.- Read more @

http://thisisafrica.me/land-grabbing-africa-new-colonialism/

Protests, State Violence, and the Manufacture of Dissent in Ethiopia May 6, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, America, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Hetosa, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Meroetic Oromo, No to land grabs in Oromia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo Culture, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Oromummaa, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, State of Oromia, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Two things happened simultaneously on May 1st, both involving the U.S. State Department and its relation to Ethiopia. Thing one was the State Department’s news program, Voice of America, broadcasting its brief account of Ethiopian security forces firing upon student demonstrations the previous day (April 30) at three universities resulting in 17 dead and many wounded. Thing two was the Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia giving a speech full of praise for Ethiopia’s rapid economic development as well as the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership in addressing the violence against civilians in neighboring Sudan and Somalia. Apparently, Kerry was unaware that the day before, just a two-hour’s drive down the road from where he was speaking, America’s supposed partner, the Ethiopian government, had committed acts of violence against its citizens. In fact, thousands of individuals at universities and in cities across the Oromia region of Ethiopia had been protesting for days, and as the journalist Mohammed Ademo’s article for Think Africa pointed out on Tuesday (August 29), what they were protesting was precisely the consequences of the rapid economic development and foreign direct investment that Kerry praised in his speech – the eviction and displacement of tenant farmers and poor people due to the expansion of the capital city Addis Ababa into the Oromia region.

We might observe a contradiction here within the same State Department. While the State Department’s news program laments an event and clearly points to the root cause, the State Department’s secretary appears ignorant of the event and also strangely unable to discern the causes of ethnic unrest across Africa. An Al Jazeera op-ed responding to Kerry’s speech suggests that the United States fails to see the contradiction in its policy that talks about democracy and human rights but in practice emphasizes security for foreign direct investment (as per the State Department’s own report on such investment in Ethiopia published shortly before Kerry’s visit.) Noticeably, two contradictory ideas are coming out of the State Department simultaneously. What do we make of that contradiction?

Before I answer that question, I might add on to this strange state of affairs by pointing out that Kerry did criticize the Ethiopian government for using repressive tactics against its journalists — the famous Zone 9 bloggers — but what strikes me is that at the very moment that Kerry criticizes the state of journalism in Ethiopia, the mainstream American news outlets such as CNN, National Public Radio, and the NY Times have for a long time neglected to give any serious coverage of the issues within Ethiopia and in fact did not report on the student demonstrations. The only American media mention of the recent student demonstrations and deaths is a very brief Associated Press article that appeared the day after Kerry’s speech (May 2) and that article embarrassingly gets its facts wrong about what happened and why. Such poor journalism is increasingly perceived to be the norm of America’s once celebrated media whose many factual inaccuracies and lack of any genuine will to truth arguably contributed to the Iraq War back in 2003. Curiously, the only news organization in America that did its job (the VOA) is the news organization intended to serve communities outside of America. Moreover, the VOA is part of the very same “department” that Kerry heads. The quality of mainstream American media coverage might seem excusable if it weren’t for the fact that BBC covered these tragic events in Ethiopia reasonably well, first on its radio program immediately after the massacre (May 1st) and then more comprehensively on its website the following day.

Theory Teacher's Blog

Two things happened simultaneously on May 1st, both involving the U.S. State Department and its relation to Ethiopia. Thing one was the State Department’s news program, Voice of America, broadcasting its brief account of Ethiopian security forces firing upon student demonstrations the previous day (April 30) at three universities resulting in 17 dead and many wounded. Thing two was the Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia giving a speech full of praise for Ethiopia’s rapid economic development as well as the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership in addressing the violence against civilians in neighboring Sudan and Somalia. Apparently, Kerry was unaware that the day before, just a two-hour’s drive down the road from where he was speaking, America’s supposed partner, the Ethiopian government, had committed acts of violence against its citizens. In fact, thousands of individuals at universities and in cities across the Oromia region of Ethiopia had been protesting for days, and as the journalist…

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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

Make Ogaden Accessible US House Urges Ethiopia April 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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The U.S House of Representatives and the government of United Kingdom plus EU Parliament and United Nations have recently stepped up a campaign to help Somalis from Ogaden region to realize that their voice has been heard by the International Community after decades of virtually silent.

As UK’s government recently released a report indicating allegations of abuses by the Liyu Police or “Special Police”,which London expressed its concerns,United States House of Representatives and EU Parliament have both sent strong messages to Addis Ababa,which was meant to open the Somali religion of Ogaden to the humanitarian agencies and International media to have free access to avoid further humanitarian crisis.

The U.S Congress issued a message which eventually published on Somalilandsun that reads:

The US House of Representatives has asked Ethiopia to Permit Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations Access to its Somali region of Ogaden. The House informed (d) ETHIOPIA. “That Funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Ethiopian military and police forces shall not be made available unless the Secretary of State–
(A) certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Ethiopia is implementing policies to–
(i) protect judicial independence; freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law; and (ii) permit access to human rights and humanitarian organizations to the Somali region of Ethiopia; and (B) submits a report to the Committees on Appropriations on the types and amounts of United States training and equipment proposed to be provided to the Ethiopian military and police including steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to military or police personnel or units that have violated human rights, and steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia to investigate and prosecute members of the Ethiopian military and police who have been credibly alleged to have violated such rights.”http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/world/4945-make-ogaden-accessible-us-house-urges-ethiopia


The EU’s head of International Unit Party Socialist democrat,Anna Gomes,MEP said “Ethiopia is one of the largest humanitarian and development aid receiver yet these donations are used incorrectly and corruptly. Western governmental Organizations and Western Embassies to Addis Ababa ignored the stolen donations and humanitarian aid that are being used as a political tool by the Ethiopian regime, which is contrary to EU rules on the funding”.http://www.tesfanews.net/eu-holds-discussion-on-ethiopian-human-rights-crisis-in-ogaden-and-kality-prison/
Ulvskog, MEP,in her part when she was speaking about the steps needed to be taken in order to stop the human rights abuses that is being committed against Ethiopian and Ogaden civilians, she said that the EU could use sanctions or words against Ethiopia or follow up documents and information like the one provided by Ogadeni whistle-blower, Abdullahi Hussein,who smuggled out one-hundred-hours filmed footage, to show the reality in the ground.

The UK government’s website said last week that there have been many reports of mistreatment associated with the Special police,including torture and executions of villagers accused of supporting the Ogade n National Liberation Front.

“The UK government and the UN have pressed the Ethiopian government to articulate a reform plan for the Special police.The Ethiopian government has agreed this is needed,so we will encourage them to take action”,added the report.https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/country-case-study-ethiopia-justice-and-treatment-in-detention

The Rights Groups such as Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International and Genocide Watch have accused of Ethiopia that it has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ogaden region.The ONLF accuses Addis Ababa similar charges of egregious human rights abuses against Somali civilians in the region.

John Holmes, The highest UN Official to visit Somali Region of Ogaden in part of its fact finding mission,since the Ethiopian crackdown (2007) called on a further investigation,a plan to wait its implementation until now.

Somali people of Ogaden Region,who has been deplored the international Community’s inaction and silence,when it comes to human rights violations committed at Ogaden region could now feel that they have been heard as the International Community including U.S,UK,EU and United Nations are ready to take action against those committed war crimes and crimes against humanity yet believe that they can get away with it.

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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

Ethiopia: Farmer gets legal aid from UK to sue Britain for giving aid to the brutal regime of Ethiopia March 30, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa Rising, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Ethnic Cleansing, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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An Ethiopian farmer has been given legal aid in the UK to sue Britain – because he claims millions of pounds sent by the UK to his country is supporting a brutal regime that has ruined his life.
He says UK taxpayers’ money – £1.3 billion over the five years of the coalition Government – is funding a despotic one-party state in his country that is forcing thousands of villagers such as him from their land using murder, torture and rape.
The landmark case is highly embarrassing for the Government, which has poured vast amounts of extra cash into foreign aid despite belt-tightening austerity measures at home.
Prime Minister David Cameron claims the donations are a mark of Britain’s compassion.
But the farmer – whose case is set to cost tens of thousands of pounds – argues that huge sums handed to Ethiopia are breaching the Department for International Development’s (DFID) own human rights rules.
He accuses the Government of devastating the lives of some of the world’s poorest people rather than fulfilling promises to help them. The case comes amid growing global concern over Western aid propping up corrupt and repressive regimes.
If the farmer is successful, Ministers might have to review major donations to other nations accused of atrocities, such as Pakistan and Rwanda – and it could open up Britain to compensation claims from around the world.
Ethiopia, a key ally in the West’s war on terror, is the biggest recipient of British aid, despite repeated claims from human rights groups that the cash is used to crush opposition.
DFID was served papers last month by lawyers acting on behalf of ‘Mr O’, a 33-year-old forced to abandon his family and flee to a refugee camp in Kenya after being beaten and tortured for trying to protect his farm.
He is not seeking compensation but to challenge the Government’s approach to aid. His name is being withheld to protect his wife and six children who remain in Ethiopia.
‘My client’s life has been shattered by what has happened,’ said Rosa Curling, the lawyer handling the case. ‘It goes entirely against what our aid purports to stand for.’

Read more @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592534/Is-farcical-use-taxpayers-money-Ethiopian-gets-legal-aid-UK-sue-giving-aid-Ethiopia.html

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.

Ethiopia: Silence, Pain, Lies and Abductions March 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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O

‘This is a regime whose character has the potential to confuse even Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former Reagan foreign policy advisor, who made a distinction between “authoritarian” and “totalitarian” regimes. In her essay “Dictatorship and Double Standards,” she describes authoritarian dictators as “pragmatic rulers who care about their power and wealth and are indifferent toward ideological issues, even if they pay lip service to some big cause”; while, in contrast, totalitarian leaders are “selfless fanatics who believe in their ideology and are ready to put everything at stake for their ideals”.’

martinplaut

This assessment of the reaction to the article I published on this blog: “Silence and Pain,”  is interesting for its exploration of the relationship between the Ethiopian government and the media, even though it overestimates any influence I may have.

Martin

Source: Muktar M. Omer

Ethiopia: Silence, Pain, Lies and Abductions

March 16, 2014

By Muktar M. Omer

Template denials

The Ethiopian Government, through its foreign ministry,  responded to Martin Plaut’s article “Silence and Pain: Ethiopia’s human rights record in the Ogaden” with the usual feigned shock and template denial that has long characterized the regime’s political personality. It is the established behavior of aggressive and autocratic regimes to discount well-founded reports of human right violations as propaganda constructs of the ‘enemy’. The response from the Foreign Ministry was thus nothing more than a well memorized and rehearsed Ethiopian way of disregarding documented depravities committed by the regime. As usual…

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Africa: Legacy of Pre-colonial Empires and Colonialism March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dhaqaba Ebba, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Hadiya, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Haile Fida, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Youth Unemployment.
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O

‘Our knowledge of the nature of identity relations in pre-colonial Africa is less than complete. However, there is little doubt that many parts of the continent were torn apart by various wars, during that era. Many of the pre-colonial wars revolved around state formation, empire building, slave raids, and control over resources and trade routs. The slave raiding and looting empires and kingdoms, including those of the 19th century, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations. It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in detail the nature of pre-colonial empires in Africa. The examples of the Abyssinian Empire and the Mahdiyya state in Sudan provide a glimpse of the impacts of pre-colonial empires on the prevailing problems in inter-identity relations. The Abyssinian Empire, for example, is credited for creating the modern Ethiopian state during the second half of the 19th century and defending it from European colonialism. However, it also left behind a deeply divided country where the populations in the newly incorporated southern parts of the country were ravaged by slave raids and lootings and, in many cases, reduced into landless tenants, who tilled the land for northern landlords (Pankhurst, 1968). The Empire also established a hierarchy of cultures where the non-Abyssinian cultures in the newly incorporated territories were placed in a subordinate position. There are claims, for instance, that it was not permissible to publish, preach, teach or broadcast in Oromiya [Afaan Oromo] (language of the Oromo people) in Ethiopia until the end of the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (Baxter, 1978, 228). It requires a great deal of sensitivity to teach Ethiopian history in the country’s schools, since the empire-builders of the 19th century are heroes to some identities while they are viewed as villains who brought destruction and oppression by others. Similarly, Sudan’s Mahdiyya state, which professed Arab identity and was supported by slave raiding communities, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations, which still plague the country (Francis Deng, 2010).’ pp 10-12

Diversity Management in Africa: Findings from the African Peer Review Mechanism
and a Framework for Analysis and Policy-Making , 2011.

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

Related articles:

No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the cruelty of the TPLF/EPRDF regime.
A country is not about its leaders but of its people. It goes without saying that the people are the symbolic mirror of their nation. That is exactly why foreigners particularly the development partners assess and evaluate a nation through its people. In other words, a happy people are citizen of not only a peaceful and happy nation but one which accepts the principles of democracy, rule of law and human and people’s right. On the contrast, heartbroken, timid and unhappy people are subjects of dictatorial, callous and brutal regimes. Such people are robbed of their humanity and identity through systematic harassment, intimidation, unlawful detention, extra judicial killing and disappearances by the leaders who transformed themselves into creators of human life or lords. The largest oromo nation in Ethiopia through the 22years of TPLF/EPRDF repressive leadership has turned into a nation sobbing in the dark. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. All it takes is a closer look at any Oromos in the face. The story is the same on all the faces: fear, uncertainty, and an unquenchable thirst for freedom. The disturbing melody of the sobs in the dark echo the rhythmic desire to break free from TPLF dictatorial shackles.
The Horn African region of the Ethiopia is home to just 90 million people, it is also home to one of the world’s most ruthless, and eccentric, tyrannical regime .TPLF/EPRDF is ruling the nation particularly the Oromos with an iron fist for the past two decades and yet moving on. Today dissents in Oromia are frequently harassed, arrested, tortured, murdered and put through sham trials, while the people are kept in a constant state of terror through tight media control, as repeatedly reported by several human rights groups. It has been long time since the Woyane government bans most foreign journalists and human rights organizations and NGOs from operating in the country for the aim of hiding its brutal governance from the world. While the people in Ethiopia are being in terrorized by TPLF gangs, the western powers are yet looking at the country as a very strategic place to fight the so called terrorism in horn African region. But In today’s Ethiopia; as an Oromo, No one can speak out against the dictatorship in that country. You can be killed. You can be arrested. You can be kept in prison for a long time. Or you can disappear in thin air. Nobody will help. Intimidations, looting Oromo resources and evicting Oromos from their farm lands have become the order of the day everywhere across Oromia.
No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the killing machinery of the TPLF securities. The recent murdering of Tesfahun Chemeda in kallitti prison is a case book of the current Circumstance.
The So called EPRDF constitution, as all Ethiopian constitutions had always been under the previous Ethiopian regimes, is prepared not to give legal protections to the Oromo people, but to be used against the Oromo people. Prisons in the Ethiopia have become the last home to Oromo nationalists, human right activists or political opponent of the regime. Yet the international community is either not interested or have ignored the numerous Human Right abuses in Ethiopia simply because, they think there is stability in the country. Is there no stability in North Korea? I don’t understand why the international community playing double standard with dining and wining with Ethiopian brutal dictators while trying to internationally isolate other dictators. For crying out loud, all dictators are dangerous to humanity and shaking their hands is even taboo much more doing business with them.
Without the support of the USA and EU, major pillars of the regime would have collapsed. Because one reason why TPLF is sustaining in power is through the budgetary support and development funding of the EU, the United States and offered diplomatic validation by the corrupted African Union. Foremost, the US and EU as the largest partners are responsible for funding the regime’s sustainability and its senseless brutality against ordinary citizens. They would have the capacity to disrupt the economic might of this regime without negatively impacting ordinary citizens, and their failure to do so is directly responsible for the loss of many innocent lives, the torture of many and other grievous human rights abuses. Helping dictators while they butcher our people is what I cannot understand. What I want to notify here is, on the way of struggling for freedom it is very essential to call on the western powers to stop the support they are rendering to dictators in the name of fighting the so called terrorism in Horn Africa, otherwise it will remain an obstacle for the struggle.
Holding elections alone does not make a country democratic. Where there is no an independent media, an independent judiciary (for the rule of law), an independent central bank, an independent electoral commission (for a free and fair vote); neutral and professional security forces; and an autonomous (not a rubber stamp) parliament, no one should expect that the pseudo election will remove TPLF from power. The so-called “Ethiopian constitution” is a façade that is not worth the paper which it is written on. It does not impose the rule of law; and does not effectively limit governmental power. No form of dissent is tolerated in the country.
As my understanding and as we have observed for more than two decades, it is unthinkable to remove TPLF regime without a military struggle or without popular Uprisings. They are staying, staying, and staying in power – 10, 20, 22 and may be 30 or 40 years. They have developed the mentality of staying on power as their own family and ethnic property. So that they are grooming their clans, their wives, sons, cats, dogs and even goats to succeed them. They are simply the worst mafia regime and the most politically intolerant in the Africa. It is impossible to remove them electorally because we have been witnessing that the electoral system is fundamentally flawed and indomitably skewed in favor them. Every gesture and every words coming from TPLF gangs in the last several years have confirmed that to remove them by election is nothing but like to dream in daylight.
The late dictator “Meles Zenawi” had once said that TPLF “shall rule for a thousand years”, asserting that elections SHALL NOT remove his government. He also said: “the group who want the power must go the forest and fight to achieve power”. Therefore, taking part in Pseudo election will have no impact on reducing the pain of the oppressed people. Evidently, the opposition and civil societies have been rendered severely impotent, as any form of dissent attracts the ultimate penalty in Ethiopia. Furthermore, we are watching that this regime is intensifying its repression of democracy each day, and ruling strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.
As we are learning from history, Dictators are not in a business of allowing election that could remove them from their thrones. The only way to remove this TPLF dictatorship is through a military force, popular uprising, or a rebel insurgency: Egypt (2011), Ivory Coast (2011), Tunisia (2011), Libya (2011), Rwanda (1994), Somalia (1991), Liberia (1999), etc. A high time to fire up resistance to the TPLF killings and resource plundering in Oromia, is now. To overthrow this brutal TPLF dictatorship and to end the 22 years of our pain, it is a must to begin the resistance with a nationwide show of defiance including distributing postures of resistance against their brutality across Oromia and the country. Once a national campaign of defiance begins, it will be easy to see how the TPLF regime will crumble like a sand castle. Besides, we the Oromo Diaspora need to work on strengthening the struggle by any means we can. It is the responsibility of the Diaspora to advance the Oromo cause, and at the same time to determine how our efforts can be aided by the international community. As well, it is a time for every freedom thirsty Oromo to take part in supporting our organization Oromo liberation Front by any means we can.
These days, TPLF regime is standing on one foot and removing it is easier than it appears. Let all oppressed nations organize for the final push to liberty. The biggest fear of Woyane regime is people being organized and armed with weapons of unity, knowledge, courage, vigilance, and justice. What is needed is a unified, dedicated struggle for justice and sincerity. Oromo’s are tired of the dying, the arrests, the detentions, the torture, the brutality and the forced disappearances. This should come to an end! DEATH FOR TPLF LEADERES ,.long live FOR OROMIYA
_____________________________________
The author, ROBA PAWELOS, can be reached by bora1273@yahoo.com
http://oromiatimes.org/2014/03/13/no-oromo-has-constitutional-or-legal-protection-from-the-cruelty-of-the-tplfeprdf-regime-roba-pawelos/
‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”. Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.
If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.
Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.’…………………………………………………

A number of African governments accused of human rights abuses have turned to public relations companies to salvage the image of their countries.

The BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine asked two experts whether “reputation management” is mostly a cover-up for bad governance.

NO: Thor Halvorssen is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Thor Halvorssen has published extensively on the subject of lobbying
For Public Relations (PR) companies and their government clients, “reputation management” can be a euphemism of the worst sort. In many cases across Africa, it often means whitewashing the human rights violations of despotic regimes with fluff journalism and, just as easily, serving as personal PR agents for rulers and their corrupt family members.

But they also help governments drown out criticism, often branding dissidents, democratic opponents and critics as criminals, terrorists or extremists.

Today, with the preponderance of social media, anyone with an opinion, a smart phone and a Facebook account can present their views to an audience potentially as large as any major political campaign can attract.

This has raised citizen journalism to a level of influence unknown previously. Yet, this communication revolution has also resulted in despotic governments smearing not just human rights advocates, but individuals with blogs as well as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts. This undermines the power and integrity of social media.

And as PR firms help regimes “astroturf” with fake social media accounts, they do more damage than just muddling legitimate criticism with false comments and tweets linking back to positive content – they also make the general public sceptical about social media.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations. But PR professionals who spin for them should be exposed as amoral.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations”

For instance, Qorvis Communications, a PR and lobbying firm in the United States, represents Equatorial Guinea – among other allegedly repressive governments – for a reported $55,000 a month. The firm is said to have amassed more than $100 million by helping their clients with “reputation management”.

By burying opposing public opinions or spinning false, positive stories of stability and economic growth on behalf of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s brutal regime, the firm is seriously hampering the progress of human rights in the country.

In response, Qorvis says that customers with troublesome human rights records are a very small part of its client base, and that these governments are using Qorvis as a means to be heard in the “court of public opinion”.

Washington Media Group, another American PR firm, was hired in 2010 by the Tunisian government. The autocracy was subsequently described in various media outlets as a “stable democracy” and a “peaceful, Islamic country with a terrific story to share with the world”. Only after the regime’s snipers began picking off protesters did Washington Media Group end its $420,000 contract.

‘Limited engagement’
When a PR firm spins a dictator’s story, it does not just present a different viewpoint, as the firm might want you to believe; rather, it undermines the resources from which people can draw opinions. If a website or magazine commends the government, how is an average citizen to know for certain if the information is accurate or true?

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Teodoro Obiang Nguema is accused of leading a brutal regime in Equatorial Guinea
Many firms that operate, or have done, on behalf of kleptocracies in Africa are based not only in the US but also in the United Kingdom. They include Bell Pottinger (Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt), Brown Lloyd James (Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya) and Hill & Knowlton (Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda).

There are likely many more that continue to do this work under the cover of corporate secrecy. When firms get caught or criticised for their activities many say it is “limited engagement” for only a few months or that the task only involved “tourism” or “economic progress”.

If, for instance, a firm served the questionable government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo they would probably insist they are “consultants” helping to create “economic opportunity” and, no doubt, providing a “guiding hand” to the current president as he improves the lot of the Congolese poor.

Yet the spin doctors most probably ignore the fact that President Joseph Kabila’s security forces killed Floribert Chebeya, arguably the DR Congo’s leading human rights defender, and likely “disappeared” his driver (he is still missing). Only after an international uproar were the policemen directly responsible for the killing brought to justice.

Meanwhile, political opponents routinely disappear, journalists are arrested for criticising the government and any comprehensive human rights report contains appalling anecdotes and painful analysis about a country with little judicial independence and respect for the rule of law.

PR agents do not create “economic opportunities” – they alter reality so that certain deals and foreign aid can flow faster and in larger quantities – all the while being rewarded handsomely.

‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”.

Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.

If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.

Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15109351

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

The Oromo are the second largest indigenous population in Africa March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, African Beat, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Development, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Fatuma Roba, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, OMN, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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Hard roads to freedom: The Oromo fight for recognition in their new home
refugeeweek

 

‘We have to tell people we are the second largest indigenous population in Africa
because nobody knows about us.’O

refugeeweekhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/hard-roads-to-freedom-the-oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home/

 

http://advocacy4oromia.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home.pdf

 

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/

Democracy Is On Average Richer, Lets People Speak Their Minds, Shape Their Own And Their Children’s Futures February 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Corruption, Gadaa System, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Governance System, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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“Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. That so many people in so many different parts of the world are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.”
Ethiopia: in 1972 not free, in 1991 partly free and in 2013 not free.

See chart by the Economist through the link and read the analysis@ http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21596796-democracy-was-most-successful-political-idea-20th-century-why-has-it-run-trouble-and-what-can-be-do
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The protesters who have overturned the politics of Ukraine have many aspirations for their country. Their placards called for closer relations with the European Union (EU), an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine’s politics and the establishment of a clean government to replace the kleptocracy of President Viktor Yanukovych. But their fundamental demand is one that has motivated people over many decades to take a stand against corrupt, abusive and autocratic governments. They want a rules-based democracy.
It is easy to understand why. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. That so many people in so many different parts of the world are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.
Yet these days the exhilaration generated by events like those in Kiev is mixed with anxiety, for a troubling pattern has repeated itself in capital after capital. The people mass in the main square. Regime-sanctioned thugs try to fight back but lose their nerve in the face of popular intransigence and global news coverage. The world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers to help build a democracy. But turfing out an autocrat turns out to be much easier than setting up a viable democratic government. The new regime stumbles, the economy flounders and the country finds itself in a state at least as bad as it was before. This is what happened in much of the Arab spring, and also in Ukraine’s Orange revolution a decade ago. In 2004 Mr Yanukovych was ousted from office by vast street protests, only to be re-elected to the presidency (with the help of huge amounts of Russian money) in 2010, after the opposition politicians who replaced him turned out to be just as hopeless.
Between 1980 and 2000 democracy experienced a few setbacks, but since 2000 there have been many
Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world.
In the second half of the 20th century, democracies had taken root in the most difficult circumstances possible—in Germany, which had been traumatised by Nazism, in India, which had the world’s largest population of poor people, and, in the 1990s, in South Africa, which had been disfigured by apartheid. Decolonialisation created a host of new democracies in Africa and Asia, and autocratic regimes gave way to democracy in Greece (1974), Spain (1975), Argentina (1983), Brazil (1985) and Chile (1989). The collapse of the Soviet Union created many fledgling democracies in central Europe. By 2000 Freedom House, an American think-tank, classified 120 countries, or 63% of the world total, as democracies.
Representatives of more than 100 countries gathered at the World Forum on Democracy in Warsaw that year to proclaim that “the will of the people” was “the basis of the authority of government”. A report issued by America’s State Department declared that having seen off “failed experiments” with authoritarian and totalitarian forms of government, “it seems that now, at long last, democracy is triumphant.”
Such hubris was surely understandable after such a run of successes. But stand farther back and the triumph of democracy looks rather less inevitable. After the fall of Athens, where it was first developed, the political model had lain dormant until the Enlightenment more than 2,000 years later. In the 18th century only the American revolution produced a sustainable democracy. During the 19th century monarchists fought a prolonged rearguard action against democratic forces. In the first half of the 20th century nascent democracies collapsed in Germany, Spain and Italy. By 1941 there were only 11 democracies left, and Franklin Roosevelt worried that it might not be possible to shield “the great flame of democracy from the blackout of barbarism”. Read further @
http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21596796-democracy-was-most-successful-political-idea-20th-century-why-has-it-run-trouble-and-what-can-be-do

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.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 @:

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How to end poverty? February 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, 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, Food Production, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Poverty, Self determination, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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“Nations fail economically because of extractive institutions. These institutions keep poor countries poor and prevent them from embarking on a path to economic growth. This is true today in Africa, in South America, in Asia, in the Middle East and in some ex-Soviet Union nations. While having very different histories, languages and cultures, poor countries in these regions have similar extractive institutions designed by their elites for enriching themselves and perpetuating their power at the expense of the vast majority of the people on those societies. No meaningful change can be expected in those places until the exclusive extractive institutions, causing the problems in the first place, will become more inclusive.” http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-to-end-poverty/#

“If we are to build grassroots respect for the institutions and processes that constitute democracy,” Mo Ibrahim writes for Project Syndicate, “the state must treat its citizens as real citizens, rather than as subjects. We cannot expect loyalty to an unjust regime. The state and its elites must be subject, in theory and in practice, to the same laws that its poorest citizens are.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mo-ibrahim/africa-needs-rule-of-law_b_4810286.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Otrazhenie

Poverty

I was always wondering about the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity. More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? As J.W. Smith points it, with the record of corruption within impoverished countries, people will question giving them money as such ‘donations’ rarely ‘reach the target’. Building industries instead? While that approach seems to provide better results (see few examples described by Ray Avery in his book ‘Rabel with a cause‘), it still did not provide a silver bullet solution, as it does not address the roots of poverty and prosperity.

Poverty
From Christian Bowe

In their book ‘Why nations fail?‘, that examines the origin of poverty and prosperity, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or the lack of it). Therefore only the development of inclusive…

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Economics: The Comparative Advantage & Opportunity Cost February 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Comparative Advantage, David Ricardo, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Food Production, International Economics, International Trade, Opportunity Cost, Oromia, Specialization, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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Dependency Aid is Dysfunctional: Time for Self-sufficiency February 19, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Food Production, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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Against the dysfunctional dependency foreign assistance, Clare Lockhart in World Affairs argues for cheaper, smarter and stronger aid that creates self-sufficiency.

‘Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid . . . . It’s not just aid, it’s trade, investment, social enterprise. It’s working with the citizenry so that they can unlock their own domestic resources so that they can do it for themselves. Think anyone in Africa likes aid? Come on.’

Putting these “Fish for a Lifetime” approaches into effect will require some major shifts. It will involve looking not to how much money was disbursed, or how many schools were built, but to value for money and return on investment. And instead of propping up a vast technical assistance industry of varying and often indifferent quality, a higher priority will be placed on conducting a “skills audit” of key personnel—from doctors and teachers to engineers and agronomists—who can be trained internally rather than importing more costly and less invested technical assistance from abroad.

‘It is also important under this new paradigm to distinguish between “aid” (such as life-saving humanitarian assistance and the financial or material donations it requires) and “development engagement,” which is something quite different. Development engagement can be low-budget, and should be designed to move a needy country toward self-sufficiency—so that the state can collect its own revenues and the people can support their own livelihoods—as soon as possible. Many recipient countries have enormous untapped domestic resources, and with some effort devoted to increasing those revenues and building the systems to spend them, could assume much more of the responsibility of meeting their citizens’ needs.’

But a strategy is only as good as its execution. Implementing development policies and programs correctly will require a clear-eyed look at the way programs are designed and implemented, and a re-examination of the reliance on contractors. There is no substitute in the long term for unleashing a society’s domestic potential of human, institutional, and natural capital through a well governed country.

‘Having judged the development programs of the last decade to be failures, many in the US now call for development budget cuts and wearily espouse isolationism. But it is a classic example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Failed methods do not mean that the goal of international development must be abandoned. Development needn’t be an indulgent venture in charity, or risky business, or a road to nowhere paved with good intentions. A more hardheaded approach, one that creates self-sufficiency rather than dependency, is the new beginning that the development world has been waiting for.’ – http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/fixing-us-foreign-assistance-cheaper-smarter-stronger

In 2002, during the early stages of Afghanistan’s reconstruction process, I sat in a remote part of Bamiyan Province with a group of villagers who told me how excited they had been several months before, when a $150 million housing program from a UN agency had been announced on the radio. They felt the program, which promised to bring shelter to their communities, would transform their lives. They were shocked, however, to discover soon after that this program had already come and gone—with very little change to their lives. Indignant, as well as curious, they decided to track the money and find out what had happened to the program that, as far as they were concerned, had never been. Becoming forensic accountants, they went over the files and figures and found that the original amount granted by the UN had first gone through an aid agency in Geneva that took twenty percent off the top before sub-contracting to a Washington-based agency that took another twenty percent. The funds were passed like a parcel from agency to agency, NGO to NGO, until they limped to their final destination—Afghanistan itself. The few remaining funds went to buy wood from Iran, shipped via a trucking cartel at above-market rates. Eventually some wooden beams did reach the village, but they were too heavy for the mud walls used in construction there. All the villagers said they could do was cut up the wood for firewood, sending $150 million literally up in smoke.

With examples like this, it’s really no surprise that a growing chorus of commentators claims that foreign development is expensive, ineffective, and often resented by the intended beneficiaries. In The White Man’s Burden, for instance, William Easterly provides a searing critique of this do-good mentality, which he shows often causes more harm than help. In The Crisis Caravan, Linda Polman documents the unintended consequences of humanitarian assistance. In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo argues that aid serves to fuel corruption and lack of accountability among elites.

Critics of US assistance build on this narrative to paint a picture of an America overstretched and in decline, wasting money abroad in a futile effort to serve its uncertain foreign policy objectives, and call for cutbacks and disengagement.

The US has spent $100 billion in nonmilitary funds to rebuild Afghanistan. Yet, after a decade of mind-bending mismanagement and unaccountability, it seems all for naught.
Some of America’s recent engagements abroad have indeed been marked by extraordinary waste and poor design. As Joel Brinkley described in an article in this publication one year ago (“Money Pit,” January/February 2013), American aid to Afghanistan has at times been extravagantly wasteful, as when a contractor overbilled the US government by $500 million. Brinkley also points to the general practice of outsourcing aid projects to contractors with little oversight. Such failures undermine confidence in the very notion of US efforts in confronting poverty and call into question our ability to deal with conflict through “soft power.”

But this criticism misses an important distinction: it is not the principle of engagement, but the way many development projects work that has led to failure. There is, in fact, an alternative way of engaging abroad to promote stability and prosperity with more lasting effect and at a far lower cost than what has become a discredited status quo.

This alternative approach recognizes that there is no shortcut to development that circumvents the citizens and governing institutions of the country. It recognizes the prominent role of entrepreneurial and civic activity. It demonstrates an understanding that institutional change requires years, not months. It has been practiced by a number of farsighted development programs that have reinforced principles of partnership and local ownership of the policy agenda. This “Learn to Fish for a Lifetime” model seeks to build up local institutions that provide security, good governance, and other elements of self-sustaining economic growth. It takes advantage of the things that America knows how to do well: mobilizing investors, firms, universities, and other potent but underused tools that leverage private capital to deliver a kind of development that far outlasts the initial intervention. Many of the activities undertaken with this model actually generate enough revenue to pay back the initial investment, meaning that foreign development projects could someday operate at or close to “net zero” expenditure to the US taxpayer, a particularly appealing prescription in an era of harsh fiscal realities.

Putting “Fish for a Lifetime” approaches into practice, however, requires rejecting the prevailing approach, which makes for a complicated and ultimately self-defeating operation, in favor of one that emphasizes return on investment, both financially and in terms of improved conditions on the ground.

My own wake-up call to the yawning gap between the intentions and impact of major development programs came in that remote part of Afghanistan, soon after the Taliban had fled. Stories similar to the one I heard have been documented by the US special inspectors general for Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction. But it is not just in combat zones where billions of taxpayers’ funds have created disappointment. After Haiti’s tragic earthquake in January 2010, world powers promised to “build back better” and citizens internationally joined them in committing billions of dollars to that country’s reconstruction. Aid programs in Haiti were notoriously dysfunctional even before the earthquake, but in the scramble to provide help after the catastrophe, funds and opportunities were squandered on an even grander scale. More than three years on, results have fallen far short of the promise. It is what one commentator and Haiti expert, Jonathan Katz, bleakly referred to in the title of his book on the aftermath of the earthquake: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.

Haitian President Michel Martelly has been vocal in his criticisms of the effort, too: “Where has the money given to Haiti after the earthquake gone? . . . Most of the aid was used by nongovernmental organizations for emergency operations, not for the reconstruction of Haiti . . . . Let’s look this square in the eye so we can implement a better system that yields results.”

As Mark Schuller documents in his book Killing with Kindness, foreign donors directed the money to a network of NGOs that bypassed the Haitian government’s policy framework and the implementation capacity of its private sector, and thereby failed to meet the priorities of its citizens. Haitian organizations saw very little of the investment they needed to rebuild their society, but instead were overwhelmed by a vast aid machinery that parachuted down upon them with its own rules and priorities and complex bureaucracy.

Failure, as Haiti showed, does not come from a shortage of money or goodwill. Rather, the aid business has been afflicted by a set of institutional pathologies that almost guarantee failure. Projects designed in national capitals and foreign embassies are often divorced from the realities of the local lives of the people they intend to help, while the long time frames and rigidity of design mean that by the time a project rolls out, it is often irrelevant, even if money actually arrives after the overhead is paid to the food chain of delivery organizations. Multiple contractual layers mean too much of the original project money never even leaves international capital regions—especially Washington.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, analysts report how an NGO spent nearly $1 million of European Commission money on a project to construct eleven boatyards intended to stimulate the livelihoods of local fishermen, but in the end only created ten boats, none of them seaworthy.

Somewhere along the way, incentives have become skewed. Project managers and contractors alike are monitored mainly for whether the money in their charge can be tracked, rather than for whether aid activities have any transformational power. For many aid agencies, moreover, running projects has become the goal, rather than seeking to foster institutions and build productive partnerships among governments, firms, and communities. The metrics track whether a project was completed and the money disbursed, not whether sustainable institutions were left after the money had come and gone.

Finally, much of what has become standard procedure in the development business distorts local markets and displaces market activity. Every time a wheat consignment is distributed for free, for instance, local farmers see the market price for their locally grown wheat decrease. In Afghanistan in 2003, after a large-scale World Food Program wheat distribution, farmers threw up their hands and simply let their crops rot because aid had collapsed the market. Nor is it only farmers who are affected by thoughtless charity. Every time solar panels, water pumps, tractors, or cell phones are handed out for free, a local supplier can no longer sell and install his inventory, and a small business that might have long-range prospects for hiring and supporting several people is smothered.

The perversity of incentives operating in the aid and development field is no longer a trade secret. It has caught the attention of even some of the founders of the modern aid movement. “Aid is just a stopgap,” the pop star Bono, one of the forces behind putting charity to Africa on the map through the Live Aid concerts, told an audience at Georgetown University in November 2012. “Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid . . . . It’s not just aid, it’s trade, investment, social enterprise. It’s working with the citizenry so that they can unlock their own domestic resources so that they can do it for themselves. Think anyone in Africa likes aid? Come on.”

In an apparent one-eighty from his earlier focus on simply mobilizing aid donations, Bono’s Live Aid partner, Sir Bob Geldof, has followed suit by launching an infrastructure investment firm for Africa, proclaiming, “I want to leave behind me firms, farms, and factories.”

While the stories of what didn’t work in Afghanistan have grabbed the headlines, there have also been several examples of successful development engagement there. The National Solidarity Program in Afghanistan, for example, has directly reached more than thirty-eight thousand villages since 2003. Under its approach, a block grant, ranging from $20,000 to $60,000, goes directly to a bank account held by the village council, or Community Development Council. The village doesn’t have to apply for the funds, but if it wants to, it must follow three simple rules: elect or appoint the council, ensure a quorum of residents attend meetings to choose projects, and post the accounts in a public place. To date, the program has disbursed more than $1.6 billion, and the village councils have completed more than seventy thousand projects—roads to the local markets, water canals, and generators and microhydro systems that electrify the area.

In one case, thirty-seven villages trying to combat the loss of women in childbirth got together and pooled their money to build a maternity hospital. In another case, one hundred and eighty-five villages pooled their money to create a watershed management system, vastly expanding the land they could cultivate. NGOs are involved in these projects as facilitators who support the village through the complex transactions that it must undertake, but unlike in the traditional model of development, they don’t hold the purse strings or oversee the implementation of projects. The US Agency for International Development is now part of an international consortium that contributes to the program costs.

Similar projects exist at even greater scale in Indonesia and Pakistan. In Indonesia, the National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM) works in more than eighty thousand villages across the nation. The program formed in 1998, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, with the imperative to benefit communities directly with cash. Neither the government’s social safety nets nor the NGOs could do this alone, and so a partnership between governments and communities was established. Over time, the program has evolved to include micro-finance and other investment facilities, barefoot lawyers programs, and the construction of schools—all managed directly by the villages themselves.

According to official numbers, one of the PNPM programs, PNPM Mandiri Rural, reached four thousand three hundred and seventy-one sub-districts by 2009, and saw the construction or rehabilitation of ten thousand kilometers of road, two thousand and six bridges, two thousand nine hundred and eighty-six health facilities, and three thousand three hundred and seventy-two schools, in addition to the construction of public sanitation facilities and irrigation systems. These projects increased per capita consumption gains by eleven percent and reduced unemployment by one and a half percent. PNPM can accomplish all of this because of an open planning process by which projects are targeted to meet demand as expressed by the community rather than by officials thousands of miles away.

In a similar operation in Pakistan, the Rural Support Programs Network (RSPN) partners with three hundred and twenty thousand community organizations, covering five million households and thirty-three million people. These organizations have led responses to the earthquakes and floods, organized micro-finance and health insurance schemes, and built and operated schools, clinics, roads, and hydropower schemes.

This family of homegrown programs in Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Pakistan, and similar ones in Colombia, Mexico, and India, have proven it is possible to reach communities directly and at scale, cutting out the layers of contractors and NGOs that function as middlemen, while making communities the implementers of their own development in projects that achieve real results.

We really don’t need to look far afield to find approaches that work. There are a number of distinctly American approaches to development that have delivered in the past but have fallen unaccountably into disuse. Take the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, a framework that for a while worked exceptionally well, but whose practices have been strangely forgotten in recent decades. At its core was the idea of facilitating “the achievement by the countries . . . of a healthy economy independent of extraordinary outside assistance.” The act’s programs, including the tremendously successful Marshall Plan, were geared toward the institutional and economic self-sufficiency of the recipients, with a central premise that the program could be judged a success only if it reduced the need for aid, rather than perpetuating it.

The Marshall Plan worked for the countries it sought to benefit and worked for the donor as well, paying the US back dividends both economically and in security terms far above its costs. This did not happen by chance. One of the participants in this plan, the political scientist Herbert Simon, describes in Administrative Behavior the painstaking organizational design that went into fine-tuning its approach. George Kennan, in a now-declassified memo from 1947, argued that “it is absolutely essential that people in Europe should make the effort to think out their problems and should have forced upon them a sense of direct responsibility for the way the funds are expended. Similarly, it is important that people in this country should feel that a genuine effort has been made to achieve soundness of concept in the way United States funds are to be spent.”

Other lesser-known US development programs similarly brought impressive results with moderate or no cost to the US taxpayer.

In the aftermath of the Korean War, South Korea had one of the lowest GDPs on earth, but between 1966 and 1989, it raised its GDP by an average of eight percent per year. Behind this story lies a dedicated effort to foster local capacity and industrial-led growth, backed by a US partnership. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson agreed with President Park Chung-hee of South Korea to help establish the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and assembled a team of leading scientists and technical experts to form and plan the institute. KIST aimed to nurture Korea’s own technical and managerial capacity to lay the basis for its economic transformation, rather than remain dependent on foreign management and input for its projects and companies. Korea is now one of a handful of nations that combine GDP per capita in excess of $20,000 with a population of more than fifty million people.

The South Korean government and the US government each contributed $10 million to KIST at its founding, and Washington used a similar model when it helped establish the Saudi Arabian National Center for Science and Technology (SANCST) in 1977. Saudi funds went to the US Treasury, which in turn paid for the technical assistance required for the center and a range of other initiatives.

Many of the best development initiatives are not directed by governments, but by the private sector and its use of market mechanisms. One example is the involvement of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in the Afghan telecom sector. In 2002, Afghanistan had sparse telephone coverage, with access only either through a small number of fixed lines or very expensive satellite coverage. The UN proposed that the telecom sector should be addressed through an aid-driven approach, whereby funds would be used to contract with a major cell phone provider to set up services that would provide coverage to key embassies and aid agencies, at an estimated cost in the tens of millions of dollars. But, in line with how cell phone services are organized in any developed country, it was decided instead that rather than being paid by the government or aid agencies, the telephone company would bid for the license to operate a commercial service, with the proviso that services include a certain level of coverage and standard of quality.

The tender process went ahead. Several international companies registered their interest, but many expressed reservations about the level of risk they would be undertaking. This is where OPIC stepped in to draw up a risk guarantee for possible political and security problems. With an expenditure of just $20 million, this agreement provided sufficient confidence in the telecom sector for investment to proceed. By now, several billion dollars have been invested, more than sixteen million phones purchased, significant revenues generated via taxes to the Afghan government—and the $20 million guarantee was never called upon because the risks feared by the private companies never materialized. In this case, a risk instrument was able to pave the way for new market opportunities and to provide an essential service. Contrast that with the typical aid approach, which would have distorted the market, squandered money, and likely produced, at best, ambiguous results.

A similar example came out of the Caribbean. Before 2007, individual insurance companies were reluctant to insure Caribbean islands for hurricane and earthquake damage, the liability being considered commercially too risky. But then the World Bank’s Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was created, pooling risk to enable governments in the area to purchase affordable insurance. CCRIF was designed to protect Caribbean countries from the financial fallout of a natural disaster, offering each country timely and flexible payouts. The group can respond more quickly and more efficiently to a member country in need than can the sort of chaos of good intentions that descended on Haiti, as was demonstrated in its response to Hurricane Tomas in 2010. Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines received fifty percent of their payouts within days.

In contrast to a top-down, statist aid paradigm, these “Fish for a Lifetime” approaches are all designed to unlock and leverage the value from within the society, state, and market. They all start with the operating principle of co-designing programs with the citizens and leaders from the country concerned. Where there is a market, they do not seek to use grant capital. Once the initial intervention is over, success is judged by whether or not the innovations designed for the crisis are sustainable. This approach is geared toward increasing the self-sufficiency of the country concerned, and in particular boosting its economy and generating its own revenue and tax base.

While the treasuries of most Western countries may be afflicted by the constraints of austerity budgeting, there are vast amounts of private investment capital looking for opportunities. Many of the countries that are seen as the neediest destinations for aid are also considered by emerging market investors as the fastest-growing in the world—Rwanda, Nepal, Indonesia, and India. Infrastructure projects from power to roads and ports can and do attract private capital, and public funds can be used for risk guarantees or as co-investments rather than grant aid for these projects. Rather than seeking to maximize aid, such an approach seeks to maximize the return on investment to the society concerned.

Putting these “Fish for a Lifetime” approaches into effect will require some major shifts. It will involve looking not to how much money was disbursed, or how many schools were built, but to value for money and return on investment. And instead of propping up a vast technical assistance industry of varying and often indifferent quality, a higher priority will be placed on conducting a “skills audit” of key personnel—from doctors and teachers to engineers and agronomists—who can be trained internally rather than importing more costly and less invested technical assistance from abroad.

It is also important under this new paradigm to distinguish between “aid” (such as life-saving humanitarian assistance and the financial or material donations it requires) and “development engagement,” which is something quite different. Development engagement can be low-budget, and should be designed to move a needy country toward self-sufficiency—so that the state can collect its own revenues and the people can support their own livelihoods—as soon as possible. Many recipient countries have enormous untapped domestic resources, and with some effort devoted to increasing those revenues and building the systems to spend them, could assume much more of the responsibility of meeting their citizens’ needs. Getting the toolbox right requires instruments that can best support this approach: the OPIC, enterprise funds, chambers of commerce, public diplomacy, scholarships, international financial institutions, trade measures, and the National Academies, among others.

But a strategy is only as good as its execution. Implementing development policies and programs correctly will require a clear-eyed look at the way programs are designed and implemented, and a re-examination of the reliance on contractors. There is no substitute in the long term for unleashing a society’s domestic potential of human, institutional, and natural capital through a well governed country.

Having judged the development programs of the last decade to be failures, many in the US now call for development budget cuts and wearily espouse isolationism. But it is a classic example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Failed methods do not mean that the goal of international development must be abandoned. Development needn’t be an indulgent venture in charity, or risky business, or a road to nowhere paved with good intentions. A more hardheaded approach, one that creates self-sufficiency rather than dependency, is the new beginning that the development world has been waiting for.

Clare Lockhart is the coauthor, with Ashraf Ghani, of Fixing Failed States and the director of the Institute for State Effectiveness, an organization devoted to finding, documenting, and facilitating better approaches to engaging abroad.
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http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/fixing-us-foreign-assistance-cheaper-smarter-stronger

Africa: Agribusiness Feeds the Rich; Small Farmers Feed the Rest February 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Domestic Workers, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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“Agribusiness feeds the rich; small farmers feed the rest. Yet we have a strong interest in feeding the world and are concerned that food conferences dominated by agribusiness directly threaten our ability to produce affordable, healthy, local food.Solving world hunger is not about industrial agriculture producing more food – our global experience of the green revolution has shown that the drive towards this industrial model has only increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Feeding the world is about increasing access to resources like land and water, so that people have the means to feed themselves, their families and their communities. Small family farms produce the majority of food on the planet – 70% of the world’s food supply! If conferences, like this one, exclude the voice of small farmers, then the debate about feeding the world is dominated by the rich and the solutions proposed will only feed their profits.”
A farming revolution is under way in Africa, pushed by giant corporations and the UK’s aid budget. It will surely be good for the global economy, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron, but will Africa’s small farmers see the benefit?

Many millions of small farmers that were once merely poor, will be propelled into destitution, the chaff of a neoliberal market revolution as pitiless as it is powerful.
World leaders in agriculture and development gathered in London last week at the The Economist’s ‘Feeding the World Summit’ to discuss global solutions to tackling Africa’s food security crisis.

At the event, which cost between £700 and £1,000 to attend, industry leaders spoke of new innovations and initiatives which would help fight poverty, world hunger and malnutrition, and transform the lives of millions of farmers worldwide.

Just one farmer

But there was only one farmer among the speakers, Rose Adongo, with barely a handful more in the audience. A Ugandan beef and honey farmer, Adongo was unimpressed by the technical solutions offered by the corporate speakers.

For her, the main issue was land ownership for farmers – and desperately needed changes in Ugandan law, under which women have no right to land ownership even though 80% of the country’s farmers are women, and they produce 60% of the food.

If only a woman could own land – currently passed down from father to son “she can produce more food”. Besides that she wanted cheaper fertilisers and an end to the desperate toil of hand working in the fields. Much of the land is currently plowed by hand which “can take weeks to do”.

Among the excluded …

But many were excluded from the event – and desperately wanted their voices to be heard. Among them was Jyoti Fernandes, from The Landworkers’ Alliance (member of La Via Campesina), a producer-led organisation representing small-scale agroecological producers in the UK.

“Agribusiness feeds the rich; small farmers feed the rest”, she said. “None of our members could afford to attend the Feeding the World Summit.

“Yet we have a strong interest in feeding the world and are concerned that food conferences dominated by agribusiness directly threaten our ability to produce affordable, healthy, local food.

Solving world hunger, she insisted, “is not about industrial agriculture producing more food – our global experience of the green revolution has shown that the drive towards this industrial model has only increased the gap between the rich and the poor.”

Improving access to land and water

“Feeding the world is about increasing access to resources like land and water, so that people have the means to feed themselves, their families and their communities.

“Small family farms produce the majority of food on the planet – 70% of the world’s food supply! If conferences, like this one, exclude the voice of small farmers, then the debate about feeding the world is dominated by the rich and the solutions proposed will only feed their profits.”

As Graciela Romero of War on Want commented in The Ecologist last week, it is that small farmers are feeding the world – not corporations:

“Millions of small-scale farmers produce 70% of the world’s food. Yet they remain excluded and forgotten from exchanges which affect their livelihoods or concern how to end world hunger.”

Private investment

Among the 27 speakers at the event were Nestlé Head of Agriculture Hans Joehr, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Cargill Vice-Chairman Paul Conway, UN Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition David Nabarro, and representatives from the World Food Program and World Vision.

And despite the involvement of some NGOs, academics UN officials, the main topic of discussion was private sector investment in agriculture.

Lynne Featherstone, a junior UK minister for International Development, said the way forward is newly developed efficient fertilisers, pest tolerant crops and private sector investment:

“There is substantial room for improvement, and helping farmers increase productivity while consuming fewer inputs is a priority. With partners such as CGIAR we have developed more efficient fertilisers and pest tolerant crop varieties.”

UK spending £280m to support private sector engagement

She also outlined the Government plans to invest £280m from its aid budget funding in businesses and organisations under the Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (AFNC).

This private sector initiative – which has also involves 14 Governments – ostensibly aims to lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty by 2022, by attracting more private investment in agriculture. Featherstone explained the rationale:

“Economic growth in these countries is best achieved through agricultural growth, which has the power of raising incomes and getting people out of poverty. And the private sector can catalyse that agricultural growth with sustainable agricultural investment.”

But is it really about land grabs?

But critics fear that is has rather more to do with getting governments on-side so corporations can carry out land grabs – taking the best watered and most fertile land away from African farmers and delivering it up to investors to plant cash crops across the continent, while turning once independent small farmers into a a proletarian underclass of landless plantation workers and rootless urban workers.

Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy on Food and Nutrition Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands attempted to strike a balance:

“We are not going to fix the zero-hunger challenge without involving the private sector, but we need to set the criteria for these transformational partnerships. They need to have a business outcome and a development outcome.”

Corporations keen to help small farmers …

Representatives of major food corporations also insisted that they wanted to work with small farmers and help them to produce their crops efficiently while meeting development objectives.

Nestlé’s Corporate Head of Agriculture, Hans Jöhr, claimed to be willing to work with small farmers as well as large to fulfil development objectives and improving resource efficiency:

“The issue of feeding the world has to been seen in perspective of rural development, and not only technology”, he said. “And it’s definitely not about talking small versus big farmers, I think that was really the yesterday talk. It’s about people, individuals, it’s about farmers.

We cannot go on polluting and destroying

“So in this meeting about farmers, when we are talking about farmers, we are going back to what we have listened to, the restrictions we all face in business is natural resources, natural capital. It’s not only about the land, it’s mainly about water.

“This leads us to looking into production systems and methods and understanding that we cannot continue to go on with polluting destroying and depleting natural resources and with wasting them.

“Farmers who don’t know how to farm waste a tremendous amount of natural resources and agricultural materials because they don’t know how to store, and are not linked to an outlet to markets. That means that we have to help them better understand the production systems.”

Productivity must be raised

Vice Chairman of Cargill, Paul Conway, emphasised the importance of secure land ownership: “The number one thing here isn’t technology, it isn’t finance, it’s security of tenure of the land, which is absolutely critical.”

And Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant played down the importance of genetic modification in improving crop yields in Africa, from 20 bushels of grain per hectare to India’s typical level of 100 bushels.

“There is no reason Africa shouldn’t be close to India, it’s all small-holder agriculture. Why is it 20 today and not 90? Now forget biotech, that’s eminently achievable with some sensible husbandry and land reform ownership, the tools are in hand today.”

“We have set goals to double yields in the next 30 years with a third less water, agriculture gets through an enormous amount of water. The first 70 per cent of which goes to agriculture, the next 30 per cent goes to Coke, Pepsi, swimming pools and everything you drink and all of industry, and that isn’t sustainable.

We believe our sole focus on agriculture is vital as the world looks to produce enough nutritious food to feed a growing population while conserving, or even decreasing, the use of precious natural inputs such as land, water and energy.”

Farmers ‘invisible and irrelevant’

But Mariam Mayet, Director of African Safety for Biosafety – which campaigns against genetic engineering, privatisation, industrialisation and private sector control of African agriculture – was not convinced.

To the constellation of famous speakers and corporate representatives, she said, small farmers were a simple obstruction to progress:

“We know that all of African farmers are invisible and irrelevant to those at this summit. These producers are seen as inefficient and backwards, and if they have any role at all, it is to be forced out of agriculture to becoming mere passive consumers of industrial food products.

“Africa is seen as a possible new frontier to make profits, with an eye on land, food and biofuels in particular.

“The recent investment wave must be understood in the context of consolidation of a global food regime dominated by large corporations in input supply such as seed and agrochemicals especially, but also increasingly in processing, storage, trading and distribution.

“Currently African food security rests fundamentally on small-scale and localised production. The majority of the African population continue to rely on agriculture as an important, if not the main, source of income and livelihoods.”

Can the chasm be bridged?

If we take the sentiments expressed by corporate bosses at face value – and why not? – then we do not see any overt determination to destroy Africa’s small farmers. On the contrary, they want to help them to farm better, more productively and efficiently, and more profitably.

And perhaps we should not be surprised. After all that suits their interests, to have a growing and prosperous farming sector in Africa that can both buy their products and produce reliable surpluses for sale on global food markets.

The rather harder question is, what about those farmers who lack the technical or entrepreneurial ability, the education, the desire, the extent of land, the security of land tenure, to join that profitable export-oriented sector? And who simply want to carry on as mainly subsistence farmers, supporting their families, producing only small surpluses for local sale?

The small subsistence farmer has no place

Stop and think about it, and the answer is obvious. They have no place in the new vision of agriculture that is sweeping across the continent, with the generous support of British aid money.

Their role in this process is to be forced off their land – whether expelled by force or by market forces – and deliver it up to their more successful neighbour, the corporation, the urban agricultural entrepreneur, to farm it at profit for the market.

And then, either to leave their village homes and join the displaced masses in Africa’s growing cities, or to stay on as landless workers, serving their new masters.

This all represents ‘economic progress’ and increases in net production. But look behind the warm words – and many millions of small farmers that were once merely poor, will be propelled into destitution, the chaff of a neoliberal market revolution as pitiless as it is powerful.

Is this really how the UK’s aid funds should be invested?

Sophie Morlin-Yron is a freelance journalist.

Oliver Tickell edits The Ecologis

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2287243/africas_farm_revolution_who_will_benefit.html

 

A landmark G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty has been damned as a new form of colonialism after African governments agreed to change seed, land and tax laws to favour private investors over small farmers.

Ten countries made more than 200 policy commitments, including changes to laws and regulations after giant agribusinesses were granted unprecedented access to decision-makers over the past two years.

The pledges will make it easier for companies to do business in Africathrough the easing of export controls and tax laws, and through governments ringfencing huge chunks of land for investment.

The Ethiopian government has said it will “refine” its land law to encourage long-term land leases and strengthen the enforcement of commercial farm contracts. In Malawi, the government has promised to set aside 200,000 hectares of prime land for commercial investors by 2015, and in Ghana, 10,000 hectares will be made available for investment by the end of next year. In Nigeria, promises include the privatisation of power companies.

A Guardian analysis of companies’ plans under the initiative suggests dozens of investments are for non-food crops, including cotton, biofuels and rubber, or for projects explicitly targeting export markets.

Companies were invited to the table through the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition initiative that pledges to accelerate agricultural production and lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022.

But small farmers, who are supposed to be the main beneficiaries of the programme, have been shut out of the negotiations.

Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said governments had been making promises to investors “completely behind the screen”, with “no long-term view about the future of smallholder farmers” and without their participation.

He described Africa as the last frontier for large-scale commercialfarming. “There’s a struggle for land, for investment, for seed systems, and first and foremost there’s a struggle for political influence,” he said.

Zitto Kabwe, the chairman of the Tanzanian parliament’s public accountscommittee, said he was “completely against” the commitments his government has made to bolster private investment in seeds.

“By introducing this market, farmers will have to depend on imported seeds. This will definitely affect small farmers. It will also kill innovation at the local level. We have seen this with manufacturing,” he said.

“It will be like colonialism. Farmers will not be able to farm until they import, linking farmers to [the] vulnerability of international prices. Big companies will benefit. We should not allow that.”

Tanzania’s tax commitments would also benefit companies rather than small farmers, he said, adding that the changes proposed would have to go through parliament. “The executive cannot just commit to these changes. These are sensitive issues. There has to be enough debate,” he said.

Million Belay, the head of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), said the initiative could spell disaster for small farmers in Africa. “It clearly puts seed production and distribution in the hands of companies,” he said.

“The trend is for companies to say they cannot invest in Africa without new laws … Yes, agriculture needs investment, but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to bring greater control over farmers’ lives.

“More than any other time in history, the African food production system is being challenged. More than any other time in history outside forces are deciding the future of our farming systems.”

AFSA has also denounced the G8 initiative as ushering in a new wave of colonialism on the continent.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/18/g8-new-alliance-condemned-new-colonialism

As The 1960s Euphorea, The Current Africa Rising Optimism Is Illusionary Than Real: Let Us Actually Think How Africa Can Become Truly Prosperous. February 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Food Production, Human Rights, Ideas, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Moghalu_book

‘Much of the “Africa Rising” narrative is based on the cyclical growth in income revenues from commodities. But who knows how long this will last? Dr Moghalu wants African governments to grasp hold of their future by creating industrial manufacturing so that Africans can consume what they produce. If that could be achieved, the continent will have moved away from being an import-driven consumer-driven economy. It is only then, he argues, that we can say Africa has truly risen.’
The term “Africa Rising” is on the lips of many these days particularly as seven of the world’s fastest growing economies are believed to be African. But can this current wave of Afro-optimism bring genuine prosperity to the African continent? Dr Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria thinks not.

“Hope is good,” he says. “But hope must be based on concrete substantive strategy going forward, so I pour a little bit of cold water of the Africa Rising phenomenon. I think it could lead to illusionary thinking. I recall that when African countries became independent that there was a huge sense of euphoria around the continent that independence guaranteed economic growth, political development and stability. But this did not happen in the following 30 to 40 years.”

In his latest book, Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ can prosper and matter, Dr Moghalu presents his own ideas on how Africa can become truly prosperous. He describes it as “a vision for Africa’s future based on a fundamental analysis of why Africa has fallen behind in the world economy”.

In doing so, the LSE alumnus discusses some fundamental misunderstandings about which African states need to revise their assumptions.

The first is the idea that globalisation is automatically good. Rather, Dr Moghalu describes it as a huge and influential reality which Africans must engage with a sense of sophistication and self-interest. It is important to find a way to break that stranglehold because globalisation is neither benign in its intention nor agnostic in its belief. It is driven by an agenda and there are people who drive it.

Economist Dambisa Moyo caused controversy with her first book, Dead Aid: Why foreign aid isn’t working and how there is another way for Africa. Dr Moghalu echoes some of her arguments describing foreign aid as one of the leading reasons why Africa is impoverished. “It has removed the incentive of many African nations to seek solutions for their economic challenges and create wealth for their citizens,” he argues. “Instead it has perpetuated poverty because they are simply content to survive from one day to the next.”

Foreign aid does have its place, Dr Moghalu admits, but “it should always be within a limited time frame and it should focus on economic wealth creation activities rather than just helping people survive”. On the day we meet, the UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening is in the news revealing that there will be a radical shift in future UK aid into economic development, concentrating on economic growth and jobs. Dr Moghalu expressed great pleasure at this announcement remarking that “it is very interesting that British policy is catching up with the recommendations in my book”.

Another fundamental understanding that the central banker develops in his book is the importance of understanding the four different kinds of capitalism and the implications they have for Africa’s growth. The first is state capitalism which is not very common, although it is practised by China. It is, in fact, an oxymoron. Many African states do not have the capacity to run state capitalism because you need an all-knowing state with a huge reserve of strategic thinking capacity to be able to direct wealth creation for the purposes defined by the state. There is also oligarchic or crony capitalism in Russia and some African states. This can be turned into strategic activity if cronyism is not rampant. South Korea did that by creating the Chaebols, the family-held businesses which today dominate the South Korea economy. Welfare capitalism is the norm is Europe. Some African states have practised welfare capitalism without generating the type of revenue that will sustain it into the future. Now it is out of favour. Entrepreneurial capitalism is what made America wealthy and this is what Dr Moghalu recommends for most African economies because it suits the African culture. Along with a certain amount of oligarchic and welfare capitalism, it would do Africa a world of good, he adds.

Much of the “Africa Rising” narrative is based on the cyclical growth in income revenues from commodities. But who knows how long this will last? Dr Moghalu wants African governments to grasp hold of their future by creating industrial manufacturing so that Africans can consume what they produce. If that could be achieved, the continent will have moved away from being an import-driven consumer-driven economy. It is only then, he argues, that we can say Africa has truly risen. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2014/02/12/afro-optimism-will-not-transform-africa/

US Congress Takes a Historic Stance Against Land Grabs-Related Forced Evictions in Ethiopia February 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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???????????The US Congress has acted to prevent aid being used to support the forced evictions of Mursi, Bodi and Kwegu tribes from their ancestral land in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley.


See the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (p. 1295-1296) @

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-h3547-hamdt2samdt_xml.pdf

 

Oakland, CA – In a historic move, the US Congress has taken a stance on land grabs-related human rights abuses in Ethiopia. The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill contains provisions that ensure that US development funds are not used to support forced evictions in Ethiopia.

The bill prevents US assistance from being used to support activities that directly or indirectly involve forced displacement in the Lower Omo and Gambella regions. It further requires US assistance in these areas be used to support local community initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods and be subject to prior consultation with affected populations. The bill goes further and even instructs the directors of international financial institutions to oppose financing for any activities that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions in Ethiopia.

According to Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, “We welcome this move as it aims to address one major flaw of US assistance to Ethiopia. The step taken by the US Congress is very significant, as it signals to both the Ethiopian government and the US administration that turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in the name of development is no longer an option.”

Several reports from the Oakland Institute have raised alarm about the scale, rate, and negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia that would result in the forced displacement of over 1.5 million people. This relocation process through the government’s villagization scheme is destroying the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and pastoralist communities. Ethiopian security forces have beaten, arrested, and intimidated individuals who have refused to relocate and free the lands for large-scale agricultural plantations.

Ethiopia’s so-called development programs cannot be carried out without the support of international donors, primarily the US, one of its main donors. Oakland Institute’s on-the-ground research has documented the high toll paid by local people as well as the role of donor countries such as the US in supporting the Ethiopian policy.

This language represents an important first step towards Congress initiating a comprehensive examination of US development practices in Ethiopia. As the oversight authority of the State Department, Congress must now ensure that the law is fully upheld and implemented. This warrants thorough scrutiny of USAID programs to Ethiopia and their contribution to forced resettlements and human rights abuses.

With this bill, USAID, the State Department, as well as the World Bank, will have to reconsider the terms and modalities of the support they provide to the Ethiopian government. According to Frederic Mousseau, Oakland Institute’s Policy Director, “This is a light of hope for the millions of indigenous people in Ethiopia who have sought international support from the international community to recognize their very destruction as communities and people.” Read Further @

http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/press-release-us-congress-takes-historic-stance-against-land-grabs-related-forced-evictions-ethiopia

USAID’s cover-up of Ethiopia abuses overruled by Congress 12 February 2014

The United States Congress has acted to prevent its aid to Ethiopia being used to fund forced evictions of tribal peoples in the south west of the country.

The provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2014 represent a slap in the face for USAID, which last month said that ‘there are no reports of widespread or systematic human rights abuses’ in the region.

In fact, tribes of the Lower Omo Valley are being violently evicted from their villages by the government to make way for lucrative cotton, palm oil, and sugarcane plantations whose irrigation will be made possible by the controversial Gibe III dam. Transferred to designated resettlement areas, the once self-sufficient tribes will be left with no access to their livestock or lands and, consequently, will be unable to sustain themselves. Intimidation tactics, such as rape and beatings, have reportedly been used against those who resist resettlement.

One Mursi man told Survival International, ‘We are waiting to die. We are crying. When the government collects people into one village there will be no place for crops, and my children will be hungry and have no food.’

The Ethiopian government has not consulted any indigenous communities over its aggressive plantation plans in the Omo Valley, and very few were consulted over the construction of the Gibe III dam.

This sugarcane plantation, part of a government sponsored land grab, now occupies land used by tribes of the Lower Omo Valley since time immemorial.

This sugarcane plantation, part of a government sponsored land grab, now occupies land used by tribes of the Lower Omo Valley since time immemorial.
© Ethiopian Sugar Corporation

The region’s top human rights body, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, has written to the Ethiopian government asking it to halt the forced resettlement of the Lower Omo tribes while it investigates Survival’s submission regarding human rights violations in the area.

Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of American and British aid through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Although the provisions in the recent spending bill will force USAID to reevaluate the funding given to Ethiopia, it will ultimately be the responsibility of Congress to guarantee that the terms are upheld.

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This bill is a huge step in the right direction, and shows that USAID’s shameful denials of the human rights abuses being committed in the Lower Omo simply haven’t been believed.

‘American taxpayers want to be sure that their money isn’t going toward the destruction of tribal peoples’ lives. Hopefully the historic provisions in this year’s spending bill will ensure that’s the case. It is now high time that British parliamentarians follow suit and ensure that DFID does not use UK taxpayers’ money to fund human rights violations in the Lower Omo.’ http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9983

 

Further References on land grabs in Africa

Around 90 percent of the population of 87 million still suffers from numerous deprivations, ranging from insufficient access to education to inadequate health care; average incomes are still well below $1500 a year; and more than 30 million people still face chronic food shortages.

And while there are a number of positive and genuine reasons for the growth spurt – business and legislative reforms, more professional governance, the achievements of a thriving service sector – many critics say that the growth seen in agriculture, which accounts for almost half of Ethiopia’s economic activity and a great deal of its recent success, is actually being driven by an out of control ‘land grab’, as  multinational companies and private speculators vie to lease millions of acres of the country’s most fertile territory from the government at bargain basement prices.

At the ministry of agriculture in Addis Ababa, this land-lease programme is often described as a “win-win” because it brings in new technologies and employment and, supposedly, makes it easier to improve health care, education and other services in rural areas.

“Ethiopia needs to develop to fight poverty, increase food supplies and improve livelihoods and is doing so in a sustainable way,” said one official.

But according to a host of NGO’s and policy advocates, including Oxfam, Human Rights Watch and the Oakland Institute, the true consequences of the land grabs are almost all negative. They say that in order to make such huge areas available for foreign investors to grow foodstuffs and bio-fuels for export – and in direct contravention of Ethiopia’s obligations under international law – the authorities are displacing hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples, abusing their human rights, destroying their traditions, trashing the environment, and making them more dependent on food aid  than ever before.

“The benefits for the local populations are very little,” said renowned Ethiopian sociologist Dessalegn Rahmato. “They’ve taken away their land. They’ve taken away their natural resource, because these investors are clearing the land, destroying the forest, cutting down the trees. The government claims that one of the aims of this investment was to enable local areas to benefit by investing in infrastructure, social services … but these benefits are not included in the contract. It’s only left up to the magnanimity of the investor.”

And those investors, he continued, are simply not interested in anything other than serving their own needs: “They can grow any crop they want, when they want it, they can sell in any market they want, whether it’s a global market or a local market. In fact most of them are not interested in the local markets.”

He cited as an example a massive Saudi-owned plantation in the fertile Gambella region of south west Ethiopia, a prime target area for investors: “They have 10,000 hectares and they are producing rice. This rice is going to be exported to the Middle East, to Saudi Arabia and other places. The local people in that area don’t eat rice.”

But the most controversial element of the government’s programme is known as ‘villagisation’ – the displacement of people from land they have occupied for generations and their subsequent resettlement in artificial communities.

In Gambella, where two ethnic groups, the Anuaks and the Nuers, predominate, it has meant tens of thousands of people have been forced to abandon a traditional way of life. One such is Moot, an Anuak farmer who now lives in a government village far from his home.

“When investors showed up, we were told to pack up our things and to go to the village. If we had decided not to go, they would have destroyed our crops, our houses and our belongings. We couldn’t even claim compensation because the government decided that those lands belonged to the investors. We were scared … if you get upset and say that someone stole your land, you are put in prison. If you complain about being arrested, they will kill you. It’s not our land anymore; we have been deprived of our rights.”

Despite growing internal opposition and international criticism, the Ethiopian government shows no sign of scaling the programme back. According to the Oakland Institute, since 2008, an area the size of France has already been handed over to foreign corporations. Over the next few years an area twice that size is thought to be earmarked for leasing to investors.

So what does all this mean for the people on the ground? In Ethiopia – Land for Sale, filmmakers Veronique Mauduy and Romain Pelleray try and find out.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2014/01/ethiopia-land-sale-20141289498158575.html

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/23/land-deals-africa-farming-investment?CMP=twt_gu

Farming and food in Africa and the battle over land, water and resource rights

Africa is being heralded as the new frontier for commercial farming but, as governments and investors sign deals, a counter movement of family farmers is promoting alternative pathways to development.

The International Year of Family Farming is now underway, and never before have family farmers in Africa been more under threat.

Large land deals between African governments and usually foreign (and sometimes domestic) investors have seen swathes of the countryside leased or conceded, often for as much as 50-99 years. From Senegal in West Africa to Ethiopia in the Horn, and down to Mozambique in the south, land considered idle and available has changed hands, with profound implications for local people and the environment.

http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/?p=34552

Stop Clearing Oromo from their Land in the Name of Boosting Economic Development: Who Will Stand for the Oromo People Living on the Outskirts of Finfinnee? February 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Food Production, Gadaa System, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Ideas, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????urban networks

It is to be recalled that Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) was founded as the present capital city the so called Ethiopian in 1886 by a man called Minilik II. During this time, the area was inhabited by the Oromo people and the area was almost covered with natural forest. Initially the Shawa government made it seat at Ankober. Hence, before the founding of Finfinee as a political and economic capital of the king, all the areas within the present Finfinnee and the surround areas was free like any other Oromia lands. However, after 1886 the Semitic people from the northern segments and others had taken the land and the Oromo people who were used to live in these areas were forced lost their land through time.

For example, according to Central Statistics Agency of Ethiopia (2007) Out of the 2,738,248 100% total population living in Finfinnee, the total number of the Oromo people living in the city was only 534,255 (19.51%). Since its founding as a capital, Finfinnee remained the capital city for the successive Ethiopian regimes (Menilik II, Lij Eyassu, Zawuditu, Hailesillasse I, Mengistu, Melles and HaileMariam). Through time, the number of inhabitants increased and urbanization expanded greatly. The deliberate and implicitly planned mission and decision of the Semitic people to erase any sign of Oromo history from Finfinnee was started during the forcefully integration of Oromo people into Ethiopia as second-class citizens and the process has continued in the present government.

Different people mostly from the northern part of the so called Ethiopia have come from the various ethnic groups come and settled in the capital owing to its supper suitable agro-climatic and exploit the natural within the outside today’s Finfinne from the near distance in the name of work and investment. Where did those Oromo farmers go when Finfinnee became the property of new invaders? Be in mind that the Oromo’s are pushed to the peripheral areas of the capital and the number of Oromo people inhabitants decreased from time to time, as the above data depicts. The indigenous people of the land were pushed out one after the other and were replaced by the invaders from the north. What is happening to the Oromo people living on the outskirt of Finfinne today? It is simply the continuation of a process, which had resulted in a massive displacement of an indigenous Oromo people.

B. The New Master Plan of Fifinnee and Areas to be Incorporated

For the last 100 or so years the Master Plan of Finfinnee city was revised several times. The recent proposal of preparing new Master Plan for City administration that planned to incorporates all the towns and districts lying within the range of 1 hour commuting distance from the Finfinnee, justifies the blatant violation of the constitution and their voracious appetite to systematically replacing resource and land deficient people to these fertile lands owned by the Oromo people. According to the proposed plan of established the “Integrated Regional Development Plan”, an additional 36 towns and 17 districts currently administered by the Oromia regional State will be merged with Finfinnee so that the right of the land use will be determined by the central mayor .

The new Master Plan was intended to incorporate Oromia’s land locating in 100kms around the Finfinnee city. According to Ethiopia Government preparation, the following 36 Towns and 17 Districts are included in the newly planned Master plan. (See the figure 1.)

Some of the Towns are: Adama, Sodere, Mojo, Wenji Adama, Ejere, Alem Tena, Koka, Adulala, Bushoftu, Dukem, Gelen, Akaki Beseka, Godino, Chefe Donsa, Sebeta , Sendafa, Milkewa, Wendoda, Sirti, Duber,Gorfo, Chancho, Mulo, Debra,Muger , Ulo, Adis Alem, Holota, Burayu,Debre Genet, Illu Teji, Tefki, Sebeta, Boneya, Melka Kunture and etc.
Some of the Districts areas are: Adama, Dodota, Bora, Lome, Liben chukala, Adea (around Bushoftu), Akaki, Gimbichu, Bereh(around Sebeta), Aleltu, Jida, Sulultu, Ejere, Welmera, Illu, Sebeta Hawas and etc.
Today, when the world is concerned about preserving ecology and wild life in their natural habitat, it is an Ethiopian Government that is clearing an indigenous Oromo people from their home Land in the name of inequitable Economic Development. Hence, who should stand and speak for these innocent people and argue to preserve the right of the extremely vulnerable Oromo people living in the proposed territories and to preserve the indigenous Oromo people, culture, Languages and etc. Otherwise sooner than latter these great people will be marginalized and lost their identities.

Finfinee
Figure 1: The newly Developed and proposed Master Plan of the tomorrow’s Finfinne over the coming 25 years

C. The Agenda behind the “Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP)”

An office called “Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan” prepared an International and National Conference on June 2013 at Adama Town, Galma Abba Gadaa. The Objective of organizing the conference of the top ranking government cadres (mostly OPDO’s) was to work on the manifesting of the proposed Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP) and prepare the cadre’s to work on the people.

On the Conference, it was stated that, the Purposes of the “IRDP” are:

Instrumental to unleashing Regional Development Potentials
Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
Strengthens complementarities and interconnection of localities
These purposes can be the explicit or clear objectives of the plan. However, the plan have hidden or implicit agenda. Systematically bringing the land under their custody so that, it will sooner or later scramble among their impoverished people in their region. For example, the Finfinnee City Administration and Finfinnee Special Zone can address their mutual development challenges without being incorporated into one master plan. However, the Master plan is not prepared on mutual benefit as the plan is solely prepared by Finfinnee City Administration, despite the name of the office. Hence, though development is boldly emphasized, the main purpose seems to clear the Oromo farmers from their lands in the name of unfair Economic Development.

It was also stated that the Pillars of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

Regional Infrastructure Networks
Natural Resource and Environment Stewardship
Cross – Boundary Investments/ e.g FDI)
Joint Regional Projects
However, there seem hidden agenda behind these pillars. For example, in the name of cross-Boundary Investments, local Oromo farmers are going to lose their land for the so-called “investors” and under the pretext of promoting national economy through FDI initiatives In addition, if the plan is going to be realized natural and environmental degradation is inevitable.

In addition, the Basic Principles of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

Ensuring Mutual Benefits
A joint development Framework – not a substitute for local plans
An Integrated Regional Plan voluntarily accepted by participating partners
Differences resolved through negotiation and under in-win scenario
Nevertheless, the plan will not ensure a mutual benefit at it is largely intended to displace Oromo farmers from their land. In additions, the populations of the two areas are not homogenous. Hence, they have no common interest. Even though it is said the “IRDP’ will be voluntarily accepted by participating partners, the top cadres in Oromia themselves have strongly opposed the plan on the conference. Beside, the implicit objective of the plan is to remove/avoid the differences in language and culture there by to plant “Ethiopianism or Tigreans” on Oromo land. The plan is intended to say good bye to Oromo Culture and language. The other thing is that the differences between Oromo and others cannot be resolved as it is intended to eradicate Oromo identity, culture and language. As we know from history, Oromo’s never compromised on these issues. Hence, if the plan is to be implemented, peaceful co-existence may not be there.

D. Problems that may come because of the Integrated Regional Development Plan

As different sources shown, many Oromo’s living in Special Zone has already lost their land in the name of foreign direct investment and land grasping. This is because of several fa3ctories are constructed in the special zone by taking the Lands from local Oromo farmers. It is not new to see Oromo labor workers or guards in their own land. Family members are highly displaced by this measure. Many went to street. Not only the displaced Oromos damaged by this. It is said chemical coming out of the factories are also hurting the health of the remaining Oromos. It is said that “In Central Oromia, thousands of people and their livestock died due to the industrial pollution directly released to rivers and lakes.”

Taking the above as an experience, there also different reasons why the newly Master plan of Finfinne should not be implemented on Oromo people. Some of the reasons are:

1. It will bring Extreme Poverty: It is inevitable that the local Oromo farmers lost their land in the name of investment and urbanization. This means that the Oromos are systematically cleaned from their own land, as they were cleaned from Finfinnee in earlier days. Hence, the local farmers lose their land which is part of their permanent asset. After the lose their land, the farmers will going to work for 300 birrr in the factory or serve as house servant or home guard, which is already started. By doing so, the farmers face extreme poverty. In addition, the gap between rich and poor will very high. For example, one writer described the impact of “investment” saying:

“The current regime has sold out more than 3 million hectares of fertile land to the foreigner investors after forcefully displacing Oromo farmers from their ancestral land. The grabbing of land ended the indigenous people without shelter and foods. This displacement of the Oromo people accompanied by limitless human rights violations set the Oromo to be the vast number of immigrants in the Horn of Africa.”

2. Family displacement and disintegration: Members of a family will be displaced and disintegrated as a result of loosing their land. In addition, the workers of Finfinnee special zone will be displaced as they are working in Afan Oromo.

3. Abuse of constitutional rights: After long year of struggle and sacrifice of thousands of Life, Afan Oromo given constitution right to be used in administration, school and other sectors in Oromia region. This is one of the basic objectives that Oromos has been struggling. However, if the master plan is going to be implemented, working language of Finfinnee City, Amharic, is going to be used in the areas. By doing so, the local people will be forced to learn new language to use it for different purpose. The measure will take back Oromo to the “Atse” region. The Federal Constitution states “Every people, nation and nationality have the right to speak, to write and to develop their own language, as well as to express, to develop and to promote their culture and history.Article 39” will be clearly violated. The Oromo living in Finfinnee Special Zone will lose the rights that the FDRE constitution guarantees them.

4. Academic and psychological impacts on Oromo students: If the newly proposed master plan of Finfinnee City is going to be implemented, Oromo students living in the surrounding area will attend their education in Amharic, which is second language to the students. It is strongly argued that using the native languages of students as a medium of instruction is a decisive factor for effective learning However, this situation, failure to give a role to native languages and largely depending on second/foreign language instruction, brought various difficulties to students. The students are expected to entangle not only with learning the subject matters but also the language itself. It also creates difficulty to students in expressing themselves and as a result it limits their classroom participation as there is fear of making mistakes. In addition, it is a barrier to smooth classroom communication. It is also argued that use of a second/foreign language in education negatively affects the ability and the ease with which knowledge is acquired by students. It also affects the performance of students and creates difficulties in developing their cognitive skills. Moreover, giving low status to native languages of students in educational setting leads to marginalization of majority of the citizens from active engagement in the development arena. In general, the master plan will have negative impacts on Oromo students in various academic aspects.

5. Impact on Identity and Culture of Local Oromo People: The new plan will make Oromos to lose their identity and culture, like the previous regimes did. This is because people having different identity and culture are going to settle on Oromo land. The settlers will push out the Oromo identity and replace by their own. The Oromo’s will have very limited opportunity to exercise their cultural value and linguistic form. The language and cultural development will be also hampered by the new plan.

6. Economic impact: If the master plan is going to be realized, the Finfinnee City Adminstration will control all economic aspects of the areas. The income that is collected from different factories will be taken. The Oromiya government will loose great income to Finfinnee city administration.

7. Impact on Natural Resource and Environment: As the result of the plan, there will be overspread ground and surface water pollution. In addition, there will be severe deforestation and natural resource depletion.

8. Cutting Oromia into East and West Regions: The new Master Plan of Finfinne city will cut the current Oromia into two parts i.e. Eastern and Western. This is because the Central and great part of Oromia is proposed to be taken and incorporated into Finfinnee. Hence, the Central part that joins East and West will be taken.

D. What Should be done to Save the Oromo People around Finfinnee

As shown above, the master plan is so disadvantage for Oromia. In general, if we see the plan, it will affect local Oromo people in various aspects. However, the government who is supposed to represent the Oromo people is unable to see the danger. So we kindly ask the Oromos at home and Diaspora and other concerned bodies to forward ways and mechanisms to stop the intended plan. We ask the Oromo people and international communities, who will stand for the Oromo’s living around Finfinnee??

If we read an honest history of the present and past Governments of Ethiopia, we would conclude that the present Government is truly facing a difficult dilemma. At the dawn of the 21st century, we can neither run away from ourselves nor hide our realities. We have to face our generation and the historical realities of our time. It is undeniable that today, people demand respect for their human and national rights. Above all, people will not rest until their identity and their sovereignty over what is theirs is ensured. These are the peoples’ most burning issues. They realize that they have to make utmost effort of their own. It is within the context of the above-mentioned framework that the Oromo people resolutely demand their rights and freedom. It is to those who want to deny the rights and freedoms of the people that we are most bitterly opposed. It is a crime to deny the national identity and sovereignty of a people no matter how sophisticated the tactics used to do so. It is equally wrong to see the national desire of a people from a selfish perspective. It is based on the above concepts and precepts that the Oromo people continue their unceasing and bitter struggle against being treated as second class citizens. We know that our struggle is just for it is motivated by our desire to preserve our dignity and identity as a people.

We, the sons and daughters of the Oromo people, strenuously oppose the implementation of new Master Plan for Finfinne administration because we fully understand the historical development of the desire of other people to displace the Oromo people in order to benefit the non-Oromo new comers and their lackeys in this country. This highly orchestrated conspiracy, the present Oromo generation shall not tolerate at any cost. It will steadfastly and resolutely resist the conspiracy.

We also request international communities to put pressure on FDRE/TPLF Government and Finfinnee City Administration to stop the proposed Master Plan, which directly or indirectly harm the Oromo people.

We call on the Federal Government of Ethiopia, House of Peoples’ Representatives, the Federation Council, the Oromia Council to stop clearing Oromo people from their home Land in the name of inequitable Development and replacing others on their land.

Please generate comments as many as possible on what should be done about the plan.

May Waaq Gurraacha help us!

From: Sabbontoota Oromoo, Oromia.

We are always Oromo First!!!!

Sabbontoota Oromo can be reached at sabboontotaaoromo@yahoo.in

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Ethiopia: Raya under destruction

by Teumay Debesay | February 13, 2014
rayaRaya refers a tract of land stretching from Ala wuha in the south to Alaje in the north. That is bigger than Adwa and Axum awrajas combined. Historically, this is where the Weyane rebellion started in 1928 as a spontaneous reaction to a repressive system of the time. Originating in their present day Kobo wereda, the revolt would quickly spread to cover the entire Raya and Wejerat provinces. Later, the inhabitants of Enderta joined the revolt and a sort of quasi-organized alliance was formed after a decade of Raya and Wejerat rebellion. This alliance, Weyane, would emerge so potent that by its heyday it practically liberated the provinces of Raya, Wejerat and Enderta. The imperial government with the support of British Air force resorted to aerial bombardment of the rebel held areas which caused a wide-spread damage, including complete erasure of villages. However, the most detrimental factor that actually caused the demise of Weyane was to come from none other than Adwa people. In 1943, Dejazmach Gebrehiwot Meshesha along with a dozen of Adwans exploited the trust vested on them to assassinate the leaders of the Weyane movement. This is significant for in the Ethiopian tradition, at least until then, if one manages to kill the leader one will win the battle. Meshesha and co. breach of the traditional trust and value was so venomous that even to this date mistrust and resentment runs high in Raya. It is to be noted that if not for Meshesha of Adwa, the people were in a very strong bargaining position and if one has to look how similar revolts in Bale and other regions were resolved, the rebels demand for better governance was within reach. As a thank you for their contribution, Meshesha and his fellow Adwans were rewarded heavily by Haileselasse while a series of punitive attacks continued on the ‘originators’ of Weyane and ultimately Raya was divided between Wollo and Tigray.
When the TPLF started the armed insurrection in Ethiopia, it took little time to transform itself as an Adwa-only club by the same inherited act of treachery. The legacy of resentment that Meshesha and co. left means TPLF-Adwa had hard time to set foot in Raya. Hence, they needed to come up with a trick and did it so by cosmetically inserting the word Weyane in the Tigrigna version of its name. Taken with the harsher realities under DERG, Rayans reluctantly sided with TPLF on the principle of the lesser devil. Soon, tens of thousands of Raya youth joined the TPLF, including forming the majority and the backbone of Hadush “Hayelom” Ariaya’s fighting force that brought the little known“Hayelom” into prominence. However, if the experience of my village is anything, it is fair to conclude that almost all the Raya recruits ended up as cannon fodders. Those who survived, especially the independent and rational ones, would have never escaped the Meles-Sebhat death squad. In Raya, for example, it is not uncommon to talk to your relative TPLF fighter over the phone in the morning only to be notified of his death of “natural” consequences on the same day. I will say more on the motives next time. But for now, I want to draw your attention to the following Table, which is taken from the 1994 and 2007 population census of Ethiopia. I think this illustrates how the Raya and Adwa are faring under the TPLF-Adwa administration.
Table 1: Population of Raya and Adwa awraja towns in 1994 and 2007 census

Clearly, 7 towns (Robit, Gobiye, Waja, Mersa, Korem, Wedisemro, Chelena) of Raya from the total 11, i.e., 64% of the town that existed in the 1994 Census Ethiopia have died or are dying.  Well, with Adwa awraja towns the figures show a hard-to-believe growth registering as ridiculous as 1033% for Gerhusenay, Idegaarbi(377%), Nebelet(266%); even noticeable is the emergence of a novel city (Diobdibo) in the 2007 census, attesting to the developmental and modernization campaigns  in Adwa rural areas as well. The bar graph of the rate at which towns are expanding (Adwa) or shrinking (Raya) shown below can only be a proof that in the so-called Tigray “killil” both, depending on the area, de-constructive and constructive policies are in operation. To the unsuspecting, it may occur that this might have to do with the pre-1991 TPLF bandit caused civil war. However, it is not quite so for, for instance, there was no single bomb that was dropped on Adwa towns nor was a confrontation in populated areas in the entire Adwa awraja. There was insignificant causality as far as the civilian population of Adwa is concerned for the TPLF military engagement tactic in Adwa/Axum area was totally different from the rest awrajas. For example, Korem town alone might have received far more arial bombardment than the entire Adwa awraja. From SehulMikael (the Godfather of Ethiopia’s disintegration), to Meshesha-Sebhat-Meles-Sebhat(again), there exist very little dissimilarity.Raya-under-destruction2Right now, Alamata, the only remaining city not to die fast enough as Adwans would have liked to see, is under open destruction. The residents never complained on the absence of developmental activity but never expected that the Adwa administration of the city will come-up with a destruction agenda. Surprised by the revelation, the unsuspecting residents went to Mekelle to air their grievances in the hope that the big men there might be rational and take proper action. However, Abay Woldu’s administration did not give it a second to listen; just ordered more Bulldozers, armored tanks and a battalion to effectively carry out the planned destruction. Worse, those who complained the demolishing of their belonging are rounded-up and now languish in Adwa operated secret Tigrayan jails
Reference:

  1. Central Statistical Authority Ethiopia: The 1994 populaion and Housing Census of Ethiopia. Results for Tigray region, Volume 1, Statistical report.Table 2.2, Page 11
  2. Central Statistical Authority Ethiopia: The 1994 populaion and Housing Census of Ethiopia. Results for Amhara Region, Volume 1, Statistical report.Table 2.2, Page 13
  3. The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Tigray Region, Table 2.1, page 7
  4. The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Amhara Region, Table 2.2, page 11

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