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Ethiopia Squanders Geopolitical Opportunities and Blames the West

Ethiopia _ The West _ Yonas
Yonas Biru during an interview with Mengizem Media ( Photo : screenshot from the video)

Yonas Biru, PhD 

Ethiopia will remain forever poor until its political class, including its intellectuals at home and in the  diaspora find it possible to free themselves from shadow boxing with the ghosts of neo-colonialism and  imperialism. The Ethiopian government and the political class must come to the realization that Ethiopia  CANNOT pull itself out of abject poverty and put its economy on the path for prosperity without  massive international aid and foreign direct investment (FDI) from the West. 

Nations such as Japan and China who in the past saw the West as a menace to their development  aspirations and relied on economic self-sufficiency as a coiled spring to leap forward found themselves  falling behind. Japan under the Meiji Restoration and China under Deng Xiaoping turned to the West  and registered phenomenal growths and technological advances. 

Behind Ethiopia’s #NoMore street diplomacy resides articles of faith that the US and EU are afraid of  Ethiopia’s potential to become a black economic power, that they are against PM Abiy because of the  East African alliance he built with neighboring countries, and that they want to return the Tigrayan  People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to power to keep Ethiopia poor and unstable. These are staple in  Professor Al Mariam’s weekly documentaries and People-to-People’s moderated discussion forum whose  managers boast that it has 100,000 Ethiopian professionals and scholars on its distribution list. 

Less colorful #NoMor-ians say the US and EU want to keep the TPLF as a checkmate to PM Abiy whom  they do not see under their control. This is meritless and utter nonsense because, by any measure, PM  Abiy is more pro-west both by philosophical disposition and policy than the late PM Meles or his TPLF  successors ever were.  

A friend wrote to me that the #NoMore movement has brought together Ethiopian voices that were  otherwise dormant. However, its lack of well-thought out guiding principle and policy prescription leave  much to be desired to address the complex geopolitical power alignments and serve as a power of  influence in the contemporary world. This is a politically correct way of pointing out the fundamental  shortcomings and flaws of the movement.  

Its good intention aside, the campaign has detrimental consequences on Ethiopia, causing the political  class to harbor an anti-West animosity. This, in turn, has led the government to flirt with the idea of  relying on Pan Africanism and self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, Pan Africanism has been around since  1903 and its stunted growth is no more than a footnote in the grand scheme of world history. In like  manner, self-sufficiency as an economic engine was tried in China and Japan and proven to be an  illusionary mirage and abandoned. 

The problem with Ethiopia is that the dominant intellectual class is dominated by two groups. The first,  led by the ሙአዝ and Professor Al Maria, is a hermitized group that sees Ethiopia as a holy land still living  in its glorious past. The second group consists of intellectuals who have lost their soul and virginity to  Marxism-Leninism. They see the world through the prism of predators vs. preys and imperialist vs.  indigenous. 

It is the unholy matrimony of hermitized traditionalists and unrepentant communists that begot and  hardened #NoMore as a militant movement without an intellectual paradigm and policy framework. PM. Abiy was right to say that like the 1970’s student movement, the #NoMore movement has neither  concept nor sober analysis behind it.  

For example, the movement believes “Africans must solve their problem by themselves” and the US  and EU must stay out of Africa’s business. This argument was heard loud and clear during the  settlement negotiation between the government of Ethiopia and the TPLF. Soon after the agreement  was signed, ambassador Radwan Hussein thanked the US for pressuring the TPLF to sign the  agreement.  

Further, soon after the agreement was signed, the Ethiopian government turned to the US and EU to pay for the reconstruction of war-torn areas to the tune of $20 billion. So much for Pan Africanism  doctrine that portends “Africans must solve their problem by themselves.” There is something  inherently unsavory and even shameful about it.  

The West Will be Happy if Africa Feeds Itself and Prospers 

The most idiotic thing we often hear in Ethiopian political discourse is that the West does not want to see  Africa prosper. Sub Saharan Africa alone has 1.17 billion people. If Africa prospers, it will be an enormous  market for western products.  

Africa’s protracted underdevelopment has little to do with the West. Being critical of colonialism half a  century after the end of the scourge is not enough to explain Africa’s lackluster economy and perennial internal conflict. Colonialism’s past has not stopped Asia from developing. Do not forget Ethiopia was  never colonized and it still is one of the poorest of the poor even by Sub Saharan Africa standards. 

This is not to say there are no residual and lingering effects of colonialism. But to lament about colonialism  as an albatross on the neck of Africa half a century after its abolishment is tantamount to declaring oneself  a permanent victim without a cure. 

On its part, the International Community (IC) has failed to address Africa’s economic and political  problems with forthrightness, courage, and a sense of global responsibility. In April 2000, the World Bank  released a comprehensive report with a pregnant question: “Can Africa Claim the 21st Century.” The question was positively answered with an assortment of caveats, including an overdose of what African  governments “must do” and what the IC “should do.” The report’s “must do” and “should do” prescriptions were employed to validate its rosy prospectus. 

A month later, the Economist Magazine took exception with an explosive cover page title: “Africa: The  Hopeless Continent.” The editors faced strong criticism and accusation of being “mouthpiece of Western  capitalist paternalism” and outright racism. A decade later, the Economist’s pendulum swung past  the point of rationality and declared “Africa Rising.” Eighteen months later, it dialed it down by a notch to “Aspiring Africa.” 

More recently, experts are elbowing each other to get to the first row to sell Africa as part of  “the final frontiers of the fourth industrial revolution” fueled by a growing young and educated population.  

The truth is starkly different. As the world gets out of poverty, it is leaving Africa behind. The Africa  Rising, Aspiring Africa, and Africa Claiming the 21st Century narratives represent futile attempts at  fictionology. Africa is increasingly becoming an existential threat to global security and economic order.  The UN projects Africa’s population will double by 2050. According to the World Bank, Sub-Saharan  Africa now accounts for 60% of the world’s poor. By 2030 it could be home to 90% of the world’s  poor.” 

To add to the list of Africa’s misery, the World Economic forum rings a warning siren that more than 60%  of Africa’s population is under the age of 25 and by 2030, young Africans are expected to constitute 42%  of global youth. Add to this a sobering statistics that in some African countries 43 percent of young men  are unemployed. Population explosion weighed by a ballooning and restive unemployed youth coupled  with festering poverty makes Africa a recruitment heaven for global terrorists and a source of massive  migration of biblical proportion. 

A 2022 Global Terrorism Index notes that Sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as the “global epicenter of  terrorism.” The Index revealed Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 48% of global terrorism deaths. Al Shabab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Sahel region, Boko Haram in Nigeria, are the  primary culprits, with less known groups scattered in other parts of Africa, including Central African  Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A 2022 survey of more than 4,500 young Africans,  aged 18-24, found 52% of them are likely to emigrate out of Africa “in the next few years.” 

In 2020, 11,315,826 Africans applied to the US’s Diversity Visa Lottery. This accounts to nearly one  percent of the total population. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.  The corresponding figure for Asia is 1,417,841. It is 594,954 for South America, Central America, and  the Caribbean region. Moreover, in 2021, 123,300 souls tried to cross the ocean by boat and 3,231  perished or disappeared at sea in the Mediterranean and the northwest African routes, Africa’s misery does not end there. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates 71.8% of urban  dwellers in Africa live in slums, the highest proportion in the world. The World Bank’s IFC flags  “Health care in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst in the world.” Africa is fast becoming a social  Petri dish for pandemics. The World Health Organization (WHO) report found “1843 substantiated  public health events” in Africa between 2001 and 2022. 

A Shift in Global Geopolitical Paradigm 

There is a general understanding and legitimate fear that Africa is a ticking time bomb posing an  existential threat not only to itself but also to the world at large. The IC has vested interest in launching  a Marshall Plan for Africa, because the alternative is a breakdown of global economic and health security.  This realization has triggered a shift in the global economic development paradigm.  

The IC understands the need for imaginative and scalable solutions that match the scope and seriousness  of the challenge. At the current level, nations like Ethiopia are getting $4 billion to $5 billion in  international aid annually. Such meager resources will not move the needle on the economic  development scale.  

Ethiopia requires an annual infusion in the order of $30 billion to $50 billion to dislodge its economy  from what the economist Richard Nelson called the low-level equilibrium trap and set it on the path  for industrialization. 

Unfortunately, Ethiopia has no means of mobilizing $30 billion to $50 billion from internal sources.  Ethiopia is a resource poor nation in terms of exportable natural resources. Sadly, the Ethiopian  intellectual colony that draws its nation’s image from holy books and Greek mythology has difficulty  accepting economic data from international sources such as the World Bank, and Statista. 

We often hear Ethiopian intellectuals at home and abroad saying “we have massive natural resources to  finance our development. Besides, we rather be poor and proud than beg the West.” I do not see a  source of pride in a nation where nearly half of the population shares drinking water from the same  sources with their cattle, over 20 millions of its citizens rely on food aid, and children stunting is among  the highest in the world at 38%. 

No matter how you slice and dice it, Africa’s development depends on international aid, most  importantly from the West. Given the fact that Ethiopia is in a far worse situation than most  African countries, its dependence on international aid from the IC is more acute. It is long  past time that the Ethiopian political class jumps off its mythological high horse and accept this  harsh reality and find a sober and realistic way out of it. Accepting the fact that we have hit  bottom can be the beginning of our journey up the totem pole.

Fortunately, there is growing consensus that Africa’s development is a strategic imperative for  the West. This realization has brought to the fore urgent needs for innovative approaches that can  mobilize a globally supported Marshall Plan without unduly burdening Western taxpayers.  

Some of the viable policies include: (1) Stopping illicit capital flight out of Africa that amounts to $89  billion annually; (2) shifting supply chains from China to Africa; (3) increasing foreign direct investment,  giving Western corporations tax incentives to invest in Africa and giving the African diaspora in the  US exemptions from restrictive diaspora bond and equity investments to complement FDI investments,  (4) making technology and innovation a strategic priority, giving technological giants such as Alphabet Inc (Google), Meta Platform (Facebook), Sysco Systems and Microsoft, among others.  

As I have noted in earlier articles, the watershed moment for the paradigm shift was President Trump’s  US Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act that was signed into law  in 2018. This was followed by the EU’s New Africa Strategy. The upcoming US-Africa Leaders’ Summit hosted by President Biden is borne out of this.  

Developing nations in Asia have taken proactive measures to take advantage of the change in the global  geopolitical and geoeconomic landscapes. African governments are falling behind. The discussion on  Africa is led by experts outside of Africa. The following are published articles on this issue.  

German firms promised ‘Marshall Plan’ tax breaks for African projects (Reuter, 2018); Marshall Plan for  Africa Now or Doom by 2050 (Yonas Biru, 2019); Germany’s Marshall Plan with Africa will  Promote Innovation (German Parliamentarian Gerd Müller, 2020); US should adopt a Marshall  Plan for Ethiopia (Aubrey Hruby, 2020); Marshall Plan for Africa (Dambisa Moyo, 2020); and  Marshall Plan for Africa – the Strategic Imperative for the West (US Congressman Dave Brat  and Yonas Biru, 2020). Has the time come for a Marshall Plan for Africa (Atlantic Council  Conference, 2020), We need a Marshall plan for Africa (US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar,  2022); and A Marshall Plan for Africa (Harry Sandhu, 2022). 

Led by Congressman Brat, Liberty University organized an Africa Summit in April 2021 and October  2022 to help Africa benefit from the geopolitical paradigm shift. See my article in the Washington  Times titled “Liberty University emerges as a moral voice for Africa.” The April 2021 Summit was attended by several Africa presidents and vice presidents via zoom. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  opened it in person as a keynote speaker. 

The 2022 Summit attracted 500 CEOs from the US. Ghana sent its former President John Mahamat to attend. Also in attendance was a big delegation from Democratic Republic of Congo, including the  President’s senior advisor, as well as Ministers of Trade and Agriculture. A Total of 10 African countries,  including Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leon were represented. Nigeria’s delegation included Several billionaire businessmen and women who took the Summit as an opportunity tap into the billions of  dollars that the US-BUILD Act avails. 

Ethiopia was a no show both in 2021 and 2022. This is the consequence of the #NoMore አሲዮ ቤሌማ that sees the US and EU as an enemy and falls back on a misguided theology of self-sufficiency. Our  embassy in Washington is busy mobilizing resources on the Go-Fund-Me platform and fundraising  dinners. In a good month such endeavors pull $50,000. It is hard not to be cynical about it being the  devaluation of Ethiopia’s most important diplomatic post to a ስሙኒ ለቀማ enterprise. 

Squandering a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity  

Ethiopia is an anchor country for the stability of the Horn of Africa that is a critical corridor for Asia and  Europe trade and energy security. This accords it an enviable opportunity to leverage geopolitical interests for its economic agenda. Sadly, the PM and the people he has put in Charge in the Ministry of Foreign  Affairs and diplomatic posts in the US and key European countries leaves much to be desired in  understanding and leveraging geopolitical opportunities.  

In the old days, Ethiopia was the Mecca of Africa’s diplomatic universe. Today, our diplomats are randomly  walking the geopolitical landscape without strategy or coherent policy. In the geopolitical universe, we  have become #NoMore. That is not all. In a sardonic twist of irony, PM. Abiy, who bills himself as a  champion of free market and a friend of the West, is aspiring to be the 21st century Thomas Sankara (aka  the African Che Guevara) to revive Pan Africanism in a quest to promote an Africa centered economic  progress and transformation.  

The problem is that Pan Africanism is nothing more than a zero-calorie political slogan. It has existed for  80 years before Sankara and 35 years after his demise at the hands of his own lieutenants. Pan Africanism  may produce heat in the blood veins of Anti-West activists, but it produces neither light nor enlightenment. 

Granted that self-sufficiency is critical in some areas, such as food. In this regard, the PM is doing a  phenomenal job and the goal is not only achievable, but it is a spitting distance away. Nonetheless,  development is more than food security. Both China and Japan were able to achieve self-sufficiency in  agriculture. But this was not sufficient to build an industrialized nation. That is when they realized that  turning to the West was unavoidable for their transformation from agrarian economies to industrial  ones. China’s Xiaoping had it right when he said our strategic choice is to be with the United States. 

Small wonder why the so-called Asian tigers’ (Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan)  development is attributable to their close ties with the West. Similarly, the so-called South American  Jaguars (Chile, Argentina, Brazil) are closely tied with the West. The smart strategy is to partner with  all nations that can further Ethiopia’s development ambitions.

If one must choose between the West and East, the picture below can serve as a demonstrative  handbook. The picture is a satellite image of North and South Korea taken at night. The bright light  shows the amply developed South Korea. North Korea, the poster child of Russia and China, looks  like it is in the dark ages. The simplest and basic guidelines in the choice between the West and East  is “ጨው ለራስህ ስትል ጣፍጥ.” 

Ethiopia _ The west

This by no means undermines the destruction the US has created in countries such as Iraq. There is  no country that has tasted the wrath of the US more than Vietnam. This did not stop Vietnam from  normalizing its relationship with the US and benefiting mightily from it. 

In 1994, the bilateral trade between the US and Vietnam was $450 million. This was the year Vietnam  started to take off. By 2019, its trade with the US alone shot up to $77 billion – an increase of 177- fold. Today, the US is Vietnam’s largest export market. In the early 1990s Ethiopia’s GDP per capita  was higher than that of Vietnam. In 2021, Vietnam’s GDP per capita is 4 times that of Ethiopia. 

The Geopolitical Market is a Dog-Eat-Dog Market 

The geopolitical market is where every country is vying to benefit itself. This requires having a strategy  that is both robust and agile to navigate through a maze of competing demands as well as leveraging  opportunities and mitigating challenges. Nations do not cry #NoMore every time they are elbowed or undermined. They dust themselves up, find an entry point and jump back into the ring with skillful  diplomacy and clear goals.  

The problem with the Ethiopian political class is that they see the geopolitical marketplace as a cross  between a Crusade domain for religious showdowns and a theatre stage for clashes of civilizations. They are quick to summon the Bible and Greek mythology as alibi to show the US-led geopolitical sphere is 

a source of Ethiopia’s existential threat rather than as an opportunity for leverage. Consequently, the  nation’s reflexive action often is recoiling into a state of reclusiveness and defense.  

Ethiopia can still put itself on the front row to leverage its strategic geopolitical importance to its  advantage. This requires having a new frame of mind and developing a geopolitical strategy free of  Pan Africanism’s imaginary depictions and illusionary fantasy. It also demands appointing qualified  people in the nation’s finance, economics, foreign affairs, and international investment establishments.  

In Conclusion 

At bottom, Ethiopia’s misguided goose-chase to find a solution for a geopolitical existential threat that  does not exist springs from the lack of understanding of the fast-evolving geopolitical landscape. Past  geopolitical power structures, the systems underpinning those structures and the cost-benefit calculus  that governed the policies of geopolitical powers were different from current realities. Understanding  this phenomenon is critical to develop a robust geopolitical strategy.  

Ethiopia’s economic future in the short to medium term depends on its ability to navigate the geopolitical  landscape and leverage its enviable strategic importance in the global geopolitical calculus. It will be a  travesty if PM Abiy fails to capitalize on a once in a lifetime geopolitical opportunity.  

The geopolitical market is never smooth. It has bumps and cracks. Not every misunderstanding and  differences of opinion are driven by sinister objectives. Sometimes, geopolitical interests clash. The  challenge is to navigate such occurrences with strategy and skillful diplomacy. 

Accusing the West of a plethora of mischiefs of wanting to keep Ethiopia weak and poor and of wining  and dining Ethiopians to oppose the PM’s pet projects may have domestic political expediency in the  immediate short term. But its utility is myopic and its benefits short-lived.  

On its part, the IC must help finance a Marshall Plan for Africa. In the absence of effective domestic  institutional and constitutional bulwark against corrupt and incompetent governance, the international  donor community must play an assertive role to use its aid portfolio as a leverage and guard-rail to combat  corruption. God knows that Ethiopia where corruption has become an over-the-counter transaction of  doing business needs it. The Ethiopian model that on the one hand accuses the IC of being an enemy and on the other hand pleads  for an economic bailout from the same group of countries must not continue unchallenged. The IC must  stop being a bailer of last resort without holding African governments accountable. The World Bank and  IMF model that continues to fund failing governments must be eradicated and a new development  paradigm must be developed. This is the only viable way to get Africa out of its structural  underdevelopment.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Subject: “Ethiopia Squanders Geopolitical Opportunities and Blames the West” by Yonas Biru, PhD ,November 24, 2022

    Daring Commentary, 24 Nov 2022
    Greetings Dr. Yonas
    As the ancient expression goes & YOU POURED YOUR HEART OUT with 3750 words!!!
    It is a sincere effort.
    In my naive opinion, Ethiopia must:
    a) First and foremost — CLEAN ITS HOUSE
    b) THEN DETERMINE LONG RANGE REALISTIC VISION
    c) STRENGTHEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE
    d) DEEPLY CONCENTRATE ON THE APPLICATION OF THE LONG RANGE PLAN.

    I think, I succeeded revealing my INNOCENCE.
    Give me a passing percentage for my effort. (especially counting the words!!!)

    • “No country should accept the presence of foreign country on its land”: Obasanjo

      “It is the duty of the federal ethiopian government and fano who decide who should stay in ethiopian soil , supporters of pp & Fanos

      “Amahara region is part of Eritrea” Higdef partisans
      የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትና የፌደራል ሠራዊቱ በተቆጣጠሯቸው የሀገረ ትግራይ ግዛት ውሥጥ እንኳ የትግራይ ሕዝብ የመሠረታዊ አገልግሎቶች ተጠቃሚ እዲሆንና ወደ ሀገር የገባው የእርዳታ እህል እንዲያገኝ በተገቢው መልኩ ሲሰሩ አይታም፥፥ይባስ ብሎ ፥የብልፅግና አመራር አባላት ወደ ሀገር የገቡ የእርዳታ እህልና መድሃኒቶችን እየዘረፉ በጅምላ መሸጥ ላይ እንደተሰማሩ እየተነገረ ይገኛል፤፤የሰላም ሂደቱ ላይ በዚህ እና በመሳሰሉ ኢሰብአዊ ድርጊቶቻቸው እንቅፋት እየፈጠሩ ይገኛሉ፥፥

  2. Subject: “Ethiopia Squanders Geopolitical Opportunities and Blames the West” by Yonas Biru, PhD ,November 24, 2022

    Daring Commentary, 24 Nov 2022
    Greetings Dr. Yonas
    As the ancient expression goes & YOU POURED YOUR HEART OUT with 3750 words!!!
    It is a sincere effort.
    In my naive opinion, Ethiopia must:
    a) First and foremost — CLEAN ITS HOUSE
    b) THEN DETERMINE LONG RANGE REALISTIC VISION
    c) STRENGTHEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE
    d) DEEPLY CONCENTRATE ON THE APPLICATION OF THE LONG RANGE PLAN.

    I think, I succeeded revealing my INNOCENCE.
    Give me a passing percentage for my effort. (especially counting the words!!!) Please add “3750 words) )

  3. Eloquent advocacy promoting ‘dependency syndrome’, one exact reason why poor countries, particularly Ethiopia, had remained stuck in the quagmire of poverty. Go back as far as the brain takes to find out if any of projects/programs generated, prepared, and financed by all sorts of foreign ‘aid or grant’ programs have survived and/or had sustainable impact; I could not. The only outcome I find is heavy indebtedness that tied the country’s foreign exchange earning to debt servicing rather than financing internally generated, prepared, and implemented good and sustainable projects.

    I look forward to the day the good old USA plays its ‘sanction’ game and pressures international and bilateral funding institution to stop extending ‘aid’ to Ethiopia. That would surely force the country to be proactive in finding sustainable solutions to its economic problems rather than relaying on more, and still more ‘foreign financing’. That would be a wake up call the country needs. It would surely be painful in the short to medium term, which would be a necessary evil that would yield good dividends in the long run.

    Dependency syndrome is never good for individuals or nations. The welfare system in the US had kept the black and Native Indian population poor, unimaginative, alcoholic, drug addicts, infidels, and lacking self confidence. And that is what the article above promotes to be good development strategy’ for Ethiopia. A whole lot of nonsense or BS!

  4. Dr. Yonas lacks tact, acts tyrant, and has become a boring voice in national conversation. He is divisive on many levels, one of which is his constant attack on professor Al Mariam and others. No need to do that. Dr. Yonas continues to rubbish Ethiopian intellectuals for contradicting him. Why should everyone turn to right wing economics to solve Ethiopia’s problems? In the above article he cites Japan and China prospering as a result of following right wing economics. But he never refers to the contexts. In Japan, the role of US violence and after the war putting in place a treaty to inhibit Japanese militarism. In China, the emergence of a unique form of state capitalism that to an extent kept apart politics and privatized economy. Dr. Yonas is a neck of a ranter (to borrow his own word).

  5. I hope Dr Yonas Biru will focus more on the internal contradictions bordering on dystopia in Ethiopia.
    What Western company would invest in a country where personal safety is not assured , tribal killils are at each other’s throats to control.the meager resources of the country , corruption is rampant.
    The late PM Meles was the golden boy of the West rewarded with the coveted invitation to G7 meetings schmoozing with the likes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. What exactly did that do for Ethiopia particularly Tigray. The system of governance designed and maintained by tribalists is prone to produce poverty rather than prosperity which the PM Abiy has been preaching ad nauseam to anyone who would listen.
    Western economic aid , with strings attached, as stated by economists like Angus Deaton , is taking money from the middle class in the West to give to rich kleptocrats in poor countries.
    For poor country like Ethiopia some introspection is in order.

  6. Excellent article Dr. Yonas. It is rare to get such kind of articles based on facts instead of false propaganda. I was always laughing at those people who say” the west don’t want our development ” and then again live in the west, make a difference in their life there and not in Russia or China. I don’t know how” dumb” they are. They live in a democracy and want us not to democratize. Every less developed nation of the world recieve aid and add that to domestic resources to develop and improve their economy. But this less knowledgeable people tell us Ethiopia can prosper by itself only(they want us to follow the path of Eritrea which is run by dictatorship and made the country one of the poorest in the world. Do these people learn now/ in the future open their eyes, see the virtues of democracy, and work on creating more friends to Ethiopia not only in the East but also more friends in the West where they live and work and educate themselves and their kids?

  7. I think Dr. Yonas Biru – a well experienced & professional of ample experience, has a good intentions of seeing his homeland comes out of abject poverty and flourish. The focus of this article seems to be economic. It is evident that the political quagmire currently we are in poses unimaginable hurdles to the economic front. So gearing the economy as proposed won’t be as such an easy one. Letting our diplomatic failure aside, I’ve some questions to you and others:
    (1) do you think US and the west, at large, do have genuine appetite to help Ethiopia come out of poverty? in my view no evidence for that – though US was long time friend of us in the era of the emperor, US had made no visible investment in Ethiopia.
    (2)what do you think is the impact of US strong tie with Egypt, the main sponsor & financer of all armed rebels in Ethiopia to keep us weakened?
    (3) what is your assessment of the US relentless support for TPLF from its days in the jungle to date, including the treatment of its mainstream media including the so called ‘white TPLSiets’ against the sovereignty of Ethiopia?
    In my view a love for US of Ethiopians is evident if US & the west at large genuinely want to support US come out of poverty.

  8. Dr. Yonas Birru in his EMS discussion tried to ridicule the modern, civilized and proud people of Tigray as the ones facing identity crisis. He should study Tigray history to understand the uniqueness of its people who can not be compared to any one in Ethiopia or the region. Because they have a long history of nationhood and civilization.

  9. Marshall Plan for Africa, really this won’t happen ever. No European or American power will put money like Marshal Plan. You just criticized others for being naïve however by the end of a long article you end up being naïve yourself. Please come up with a better idea and make your articles short so people we can get what the central point of your article is? Were you a Marxist yourself, you seem to write as one

  10. PM Abiy Ahmed Free, Release from Prison and STOP Abusing 80 Years Old INNOCENT JOURNALIST Tadios Tantu.

    Since the coming of Derg the trajectory of Ethiopia’s government philosophy and ideology has taken a wrong twist where lies and deceits have become normal, glorified as being smart means, where greedy power mongers and obsessed with getting rich greedy individuals oozes to power.

    Why are we surprised when people pretend there is a government when there is non. When innocent people daily, hourly and every minutes get massacred without pause while Abiy Ahmed gives you the wrong picture as if he is ruling a tranquil, peaceful, law abiding government?

    So we should not be surprised when the country so called leaders are addicted and trapped in begging for handouts when the economy tanks to bottom and where only the few who controlled the government have become murderers and millionaires and billionaires while 99% are victims of murders, destitute and beggars.

  11. Dr. Yonas,

    PhD’አችሁን – ከእነ Amazon፣ Walmart፣ ወዘተ – ነው – የምትገዙት? እንዴት የሰው ልጅ – Ph.D. ይዞ – እንደ እርሶ እና የእርሶ-መሰል ሆድ-አደሮች – እንዲህ አስተሳሰበ-ደሐ ይሆናል? ትገርማላችሁ!

    እናንተ እና የእናንተ ሞዕራባውያን ጌቶች – ኢትዮጵያ ራሷን እንድትችል እና ድሕነት እንድታጠፋ – ብትፈልጉ እማ ኖሮ – ለምን የሞዕራባውያኑ ቀኝ እጆች – እናንተ እና እነ WB፣ IMF፣ወዘተ – ኢትዮጵያን ለዘመናት ለGERD እና ለመሰል የልማት ፕሮጄክቶች የሚሆን ብድር እና እርዳታ ከለከላችዃት? Dr. Yonas – እርሶ ራሶ – የWB high ranking ሰራተኛ አልነበሩም? አዋራጅ ኖት!

    ምነው እርሶ እና መሰሎቾ – ኢትዮጵያ ሰሞኑን ትዝ አለቻችሁ? የግብፆች እና የምዕራባውያን ፀረ-ኢትዮጵያ Economic Warfare ፊታውራሪዎች ሆናችኋል:- “ኢትዮጵያ ያለ ምዕራባውያን ዕርዳታ አትኖርም፣ ለምዕራባውያን ካላጎበደደች ከምድረ-ገፅ ትጠፋለች፣ ወዘተ” ትሉናላችሁ! አሳፋሪዎች!

    እናንተው ናችሁ ያለ እነሱ ፍርፋሪ መኖር የማትችሉት! ኢትዮጵያ እማ – ያለ እነሱ ምፅዋት፣ ብድር እና ያለ እርሶ ‘Expert Economic Advice’ – በሕዝቧ ጥረት ብቻ ብልፅግናዋን እያሳየቻችሁ ነው!

  12. Excellent article. I wish we had such great thinkers AND bold among the Ethiopian parliament (just a few). VIVA Minas!

    One can observe among the opposing ideas to this article (of course it is their right) BUT they should have had Ethiopian traditional respect. When the Prime Minster said he would build Palace (satellite city, forest city, park. . . ) for half a trillion birr no one would ever raise his/her hand to challenge. The Road from AA—Jimma and beyond has been lingering for the last ten years so almost all roads in AA. Oh, for that matter everywhere (save the parks and palaces).

    The propaganda screaming “Hands Off” and “Stretch Your Hands to Our Starving People and Help Our Economy. . .” is self-contradictory. For that matter, their own BOSS has asked them to stop “Hands Off.” May I ask these opposing commentators; do you prefer to align Ethiopia with North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba or along the West (USA, EU, etc.)?!
    Socialist mentality diehard SHAME!

  13. Setting the record straight: Geopolitics/‘Squandered Opportunity’/GERD/Aid/EDI

    1). Ethiopia vis-à-vis Aid: The Worst Famine that put Ethiopia on the World’s Famished Map was during Haile-Selassie. Wasn’t his regime the recipient of Huge Western Aid?

    2). Geopolitics/Capitalist/Socialist: Why would Ethiopia choose either? Ethiopia must stand independent of them. Ethiopia must choose its allies on merit and its vital interests!

    3). Sileshi refused to sell GERD via Trump. Abiy refused to sell GERD & Ethiopia via Pompeo. America cancelled aid & imposed sanctions. Is that a squandered opportunity?

    4). Ethiopia vis-à-vis the White Supremacist West [WSW]: The WSW sided with Savage TPLF and imposed embargo & sanctions on Ethiopia. Is that a squandered opportunity?

    5). Abiy’s Ethiopia: Despite the WSW’s embargo/sanctions & TPLF-OLF/OLA’s Proxy Wars, Ethiopia is close to food self-sufficiency in Teff, wheat, rice, veggies, fruits, oil…

    6). Ethiopia vs. Ethiopian Diaspora ‘Intellectuals’ [EDI]: Most are scholarship recipients from past/present rulers. They short-changed Ethiopia for $₤€ & stayed abroad. Ingrates!

    7). Abiy vs. EDI: If Abiy wanted to rule Ethiopia carte-blanche, why would he refuse to short-change Ethiopia like the EDIs and sell Ethiopia to Egypt & Egypt’s WSW masters?

  14. As usual very well authored article by our dear countryman Obbo Dr. Yonas. The article brought back memories from the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Back then one of the most frequent slogans was ‘Down with American Imperialism’. So out of curiosity I asked one of those gullible young men to provide me a list of American companies that were dominating Ethiopia’s economy then. Nothing came up. I keep asking others but no to no avail. Those gullible young students were fed with lethal poison those commies in Moscow and Beijing were busy spewing around. How gullible were those young men(mostly college students), you may ask? I have an example for you. During one of my recess time I went back home to visit my parents and relatives. During one of those brief vacations I went to see my Warra Chercher(Cercer) friend who was studying at the university in the capital. He told me how the students’ organization was being led by resolute revolutionaries. He told me one of them was so committed to a revolution that he even wore a red tie every day. So one day after his breaks we were strolling toward a pastery shop and suddenly my friend started getting exited at a sight. Suddenly he started whispering to me with ‘there he is, there he is, still wearing his red tie’. Wearing red tie was the fire test to proof someone was a committed revolutionary. Folks that was how naive we were and those conniving hideous foreign professor commies knew about it to inject their poison into. That gem of the colored is still suffering from the effect of that poison.

  15. Abiy Ahmed, Tagesse Chafo and Majority of the Parliament members except for the very few once, represent scandal, shame, idiocy, ineptness and irresponsibility. Those collection of timid and discouraged ignoramus seat warmers do not serve the people they represent.

    Scandalous BIG MOUTH Abiy Ahmed ignorance, lies and arrogance has gone through the roofs where he is trapped in serving himself at the expense of 500000 victims of the so called New Palace. He impoverished Addis Ababans in the Name of Land belongs to Government Communist scheme and created over 75 millions homeless citizens without remedy and accommodation/compensation in Addis Ababa and other regions of Ethiopia.

    PM Abiy Ahmed behavior is a disturbing tyrant that has no responsibility to speak the truth and respect Ethiopians and the Parliament that elected him. The guy does not know that he cannot accept and keep to him self any BRIBE FROM any FOREIGN COUNTRY. If ignorantly takes any money or anything of VALUE must go to the Treasury and spent on improving Ethiopians homes and lives.
    He cannot take, keep to himself and spend it to improve his life style while SERVING ETHIOPIA AND ETHIOPIANS because it is dangerous for Ethiopia and that is not the reason he become the PM of Ethiopia.

    Such dangerous, and some consider treason and illegal act must be examined how, when, where and why he accepted that money.

    • Add individuals/groups like Lidetu Ayalew, that Shaleka, self appointed tribal extremists cum dreamer war lords, and similar to the company of Tigres characterized as above.

      • Have to focus on the current scandalous Abiy and his government who arrogantly claimed to have received more than 500 millions of dollars and thinks it is his money when he is representing Ethiopia.

        Just because TPLF looted does not mean Abiy has the right to be the worse looter. Those people have missed their purpose. The Power seat is not to serve themselves and to become PM beggars wannabe a King in the palace.

  16. The initial estimate to rebuild the regions destroyed by the stupid conflict is at $25 billion in US dollars. USA is said to have promised billions toward that effort. Ask those two bullies in Moscow and Beijing to top that. It was recently reported that the commies in Beijing have donated about $10,000 worth of hacked office equipment and that was headline news back at their joint.

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