Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Dr. Aklog Birara interview with the Voice of America on Ethiopia’s Opaque Budget

Aklog Birara

In this VOA interview I argue with another Ethiopian, that Ethiopia’s Prime Minister is elected to serve all of the Ethiopian people and Ethiopia as a country. He is bound by his country’s constitution to ensure that:

a) The sources of funding for intended projects –Chinese, UAA or other are gained or granted or borrowed on behalf of Ethiopia, must be disclosed to the public and the country’s parliament and audited. Accountability is critical in this and other cases. 

b) In all budgetary situations, there must be openness, transparency, socioeconomic purpose, responsibility not to squander resources and accountability for end use. The PM cannot operate above the law and expect the rest of the population to adhere to the rule of law.  

c) As far as I know the parallel budgetary allocation process–one for Ethiopia and the other for Abiy Ahmed’s monumental  projects (some say delusional)  that cost hundreds of billions of Birr is extremely dangerous, unwise and unprecedented in the annals of development in Ethiopia.  

d) Donors must be deeply concerned this two track approach diminishes Ethiopia’s capacity to generate at least two million jobs per year; produce goods that 126 million people need; feed the 20 million Ethopians  who need humanitarian aid, create economic resilience, and resettle the millions of Ehiopans who have been displaced. 

I thank VOA for asking me to express my views on this hot and timely topic. 

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