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Bloomberg Business: The Shadow Over Ethiopia’s Construction Boom. #OromoProtests March 21, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooEthiopian-land-giveawaySay no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

The Shadow Over Ethiopia’s Construction Boom

By William Davison, Bloomberg Business, 21 March 2016

Oromo farmer on his farmland under land grabs

  • Building glut seen fueling biggest political crisis in decade
  • Fatal land protests near capital have raged since November

(Bloomberg business) — When Ethiopian farmer Mulugeta Mezemir ceded his land three years ago to property developers on the fringes of the expanding capital, Addis Ababa, he felt he had no choice.

A gated community with white picket fences and mock Roman pillars built by Country Club Developers now occupies the fields he tilled in Legetafo, Oromia region, after the 60-year-old said local government officials convinced him to accept an offer or face expropriation. He took the cash and vacated the land, which in Ethiopia is all state-owned.

“We were sad, but we thought at the time that they were going to take the land for free,” said Mulugeta, a father of 12, while feeding hay to cattle a few meters from foundations for the next phase of housing. “We thought it was better to take whatever they were paying.”

As Ethiopia, which the International Monetary Fund estimates saw 8.7 percent economic growth in the last fiscal year, undergoes a construction boom, complaints over evictions and unfair compensation have fomented the country’s most serious domestic political crisis in a decade.

Fatal Protests

In protests by the largest ethnic group, the Oromo, that began in November, security forces allegedly shot dead as many as 266 demonstrators, according to the Kenya-based Ethiopian Human Rights Project. The government says many people died, including security officers, without giving a toll. Foreign investors including Dangote Cement Plc had property damaged.

Ethiopian Communication Minister Getachew Reda said protesters were in part angry at “some crooked officials” who have been “lining their pockets by manipulating” land deals around the capital. Property developers CCD followed legal procedures, paid standard rates of compensation and employed many members of farmers’ families, according to Tedros Messele, a member of the company’s management team.

Cases such as Mulugeta’s have been a growing trend on the outskirts of the capital over the past two decades, said Nemera Mamo, an economist at Sussex University in England. No recent, independent studies have been conducted into how many people have been affected.

‘Beggars, Laborers’

“The booming construction industry has contributed to Addis Ababa’s rapid expansion that’s dispossessed many poor farmers and turned them into beggars and daily laborers,” Nemera said. “The Oromo protest movement opposes the mass eviction of poor farmers.”

Ethiopia’s state-heavy model seeks to industrialize the impoverished nation within a decade by improving infrastructure and combining investment with cheap labor, land and water to produce higher-value goods. Projects for what the IMF calls African’s fastest-growing economy include the continent’s largest hydropower dam, railways and the building of 700,000 low-cost apartments by 2020.

Construction accounted for more than half of all industry in the fiscal year that ended in July after it grew an annual 37 percent, according to National Bank of Ethiopia data. Industry comprised 15 percent of output.

Domestic Supply

Investors such as Diageo Plc, the world’s largest liquor maker, and Unilever Plc are tapping into the expansion by building Ethiopian facilities. Citizens of Africa’s second-most populous nation are using money earned there or abroad to build residences, malls and offices.

The ruling party hasn’t kept pace with the boom by improving governance and the ability of domestic manufacturers to supply the industry, said Tsedeke Yihune, who owns Flintstone Engineering, an Ethiopian contractor that’s built upmarket housing and African Union offices.

“Construction has not been used as it was supposed to, as a means of building domestic capacity, building good governance, as well as delivering the government’s development agenda,” Tsedeke said in an interview in the capital.

More than 70 percent of construction materials are imported, including cables, steel, ceramics, locks, furniture and electrical fittings, Tsedeke said. Ethiopia’s trade deficit increased by $3 billion to $14.5 billion last fiscal year.

Government Spending

Addis Ababa-based Orchid Business Group is another recipient of government capital spending, which the IMF says could double to almost $15 billion a year by 2020. Orchid’s projects include one with Italy’s Salini Impregilo SpA building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, said Hailealem Worku, the construction and engineering head.

Cement plants built by companies including Dangote have made Ethiopia self-sufficient in the material, while manufacturing incentives means glass, paint and steel factories will play a bigger role soon, Hailealem said.

The government wants to improve regulations and change attitudes so contractors boost their skills and ethics, Construction Minister Ambachew Mekonnen said in an interview. “The construction industry suffers from a lack of good governance,” he said.

In Legetafo, Mulugeta was paid 17 birr ($0.80) a square meter in compensation. Meanwhile, people were bidding as much as 355,555 birr per meter to rent land in Addis Ababa last year. Mulugeta used the 200,000 birr he received for the plot for expenses including renting more farmland. Two of his children now work as CCD cleaners, earning 40 birr a day.

“We are getting deeper into poverty,” he said.


 

Oromo: Ethiopia’s Construction Boom Marred by Evictions and Unrest

http://unpo.org/article/19034

 

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Oromia of Dhaqabo Ebba: The Cradle of Mankind Is Also A Home of The Oldest Living person Known to Humanity September 10, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Dhaqaba Ebba, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromo, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Library, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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Dhaqabo Ebba – Courtesy of OPride.com

Dahqabo Ebba, Oromo elder,   who is over 160 years is the oldest living person known  to humanity.

He is a resident of  Dodola town, Oromia.

http://www.unpo.org/article/16351

OTV (Oromiyaa TV)

In  interviews conducted  in his native language Afaan Oromo  Obbo Dhaqabo Ebba counts his age based on Oromo Gadaa system calendar. According to  traditional Oromo Gadaa system every member of the society goes through the Gadaa time grade. Obbo Dhaqabo Ebba has lived 4 Gadaa cycles. one Gadaa cycle has 5 stages. One stage is for 8 years. One Gadaa cycle is 40 years, (8*5).  Obbo Dhaqabo has already completed 4 Gadaa cycles (4*40) which are 160 years. He involved  in the Gadaa system in its full functioning time in all its structures and  development stages from Dabballe to Jaarsa. He still living after the 4 cycles means he is actually over 160 years. The Journalist of Oromiyaa TV did not yet ask him how many years since his last 4 Gadaa cycles was completed. Gadaa ways of timing is exact to know own birth years and historical events. In his fascinating life that has touched 3 centuries (from middle 19th century to the present 2nd decades of 21st century which  has been over 160 years he remembers all major  political, social, economic and environmental events and changes.  He remembers from a time when the Ethiopian empire still expanded south to Oromia such as 1880’s the time the Abyssinian Menelik start to occupy  the Oromo capital Finfinnee (Abyssinians named it Addis Ababa). At this event and the time  of  first Italian  invasion he used to travel to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  for his livestock  trading.  He mentioned that  he engaged in farming (crops and livestock) but also in commerce. it took eight days on horseback to cover the 150 miles between his village and  Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). In 1895 ( at the time of Italian invasion) he was already a married  person of two wives and his first son ( over 100 years old with him  at interview) was a young boy and able person to look after his livestock. “When Italy invaded the country, I had two wives and my son was old enough to herd cattle,” he said, referring to Italy’s 1895 invasion of his country.  “Not even one of my peers is alive today.” He knows and remembers by naming  all Abyssinian rulers, Menelik to present who have been in Oromia (Oromo land) since the occupation of Finfinnee in 1880’s.

Mohammed Ademo of Opride  said. “Given that the Oromo like many African cultures are an oral society, ‘each time an elder dies, a library is lost.’ Ebba’s is one such library from which much can still be preserved.”

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1756208.html

As elaborated in the works of  “Oromia: an Introduction,”  by Gadaa Melbaa ( book published in Khartoum,  1988),  the following is a brief description of how the Gadaa system works and the gadaa Grades:  “There are two well-defined ways of classifying male members of the society, that is the hiriyya (members of an age-set all born within the period of one Gadaarule of eight years) and Gadaa grade. The Gadaa grades (stages of development through which a Gadaa class passes) differ in number (7-11) and name in different parts of Oromia although the functions are the same.”

The  Gadaa grades:-

1. Dabballee (0-8 years of age)

2. Folle or Gamme Titiqaa (8-16 years of age)

3. Qondaala or Gamme Gurgudaa (16-24 years of age)

4. Kuusa (24-32 years of age)

5. Raaba Doorii (32-40 years of age)

6. Gadaa (40-48 years of age)

7. Yuba I (48-56 years of age)

8. Yuba II (56-64 years of age)

9. Yuba III (64-72 years of age)

10. Gadamojjii (72-80 years of age)

11. Jaarsa (80 and above years of age)

 

http://gadaa.com/culture.html

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   http://www.unpo.org/article/16351

http://now.msn.com/dhaqabo-ebba-ethiopian-farmer-is-160-years-old-reporter-claims