Ethiopia : Things that matter but concealed in the narrative of Economic growth

borkena
by Dimetros Birku
January 5, 2015

Face of misery and dehumanized Ethiopian A desperate and impoverished Ethiopian lying, in desperation, in light rail which is said to be near completion.  Photo Credit : facebook page of Semir Ali
Face of misery and dehumanized Ethiopian
A desperate and impoverished Ethiopian lying, in desperation, in light rail which is said to be near completion.
Photo Credit : facebook page of Semir Ali

For beneficiaries of the minority ethnic supremacist regime in Ethiopia, and for those who are engaged to sell best possible image of the government in Addis Ababa the world of diplomacy, Ethiopia is on the right path with “booming economy”

Yet, there is a wide spread misery that one see barely in the narrative of economic growth. In Addis Ababa, millions are struggling to have a meal a day. Many are in the streets. Besides the booming hotel business and flourishing entrepreneurs who, obviously, are linked to the regime in one way or another in crony capitalism style, it is not uncommon to hear that many people only manage just one meal a day. Yet, instead of desperation people joke with the misery they live.

Kumara is a new colloquial name coined to capture the reality of one meal a day and the word combines three names “Kurs” (breakfast), Missa (lunch) and erat (supper). Clothing and sanitation have absolutely slipped away from the lists of hierarchies of basic human needs for millions. Yet, Millions of Ethiopians who are dehumanized and reduced to starvation in the streets barely make news. Sadly, University and college graduates are reduced to impoverished street life as well. Ironically, government machinery is essentially run by people with inadequate education – not that higher education is crucial to run the ethnic based ideology of the regime in power – but just to show meritocracy is still a strange concept in Ethiopia. Political loyalty and ethnic background seem to matter most these days.

The number of homeless is evidently increasing in the capital. Of course, there is no such thing as social housing in Ethiopia. Condominium constructions and “infrastructure development” rather dislocated many who were living in shanty homes and only to be left homeless in the streets. Yet, the construction business is attracting “investors” not just from China, but also from the Middle East and East Europe as well. Egyptians construction contractors do have a foot hold in Ethiopia, Turkish construction contractors have a foot hold in Ethiopia , not to mention their strong presence in manufacturing sector and not to mention other investors from Asia.

Poverty is not a matter in cities alone. Many Ethiopians are dispossessed of their meager land holdings just to make way for investors. Some Indians have grabbed extensive land as “investors” in South Western Ethiopia, as reported by Oakland Institute, at an incredible prices and some have allegedly formed clandestine business partnership with relatives and members of the regime in power. And the process caused many families in rural Ethiopia loss of livelihood leaving them unable to feed their children.

Yet, the narrative in the mainstream media usually reads “Ethiopia is growing.” Why on earth is a growing economy plunging millions to the worst forms of poverty – a story that matters most – is missing in the narrative.

 

You may reach the writer on twitter : @dimetros

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