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HomeNewsEthiopian Prime Minister’s Jungle Palace Project criticized by Canada’s news media

Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Jungle Palace Project criticized by Canada’s news media

Ethiopian PM Palace Project
Kibret Getahun, a farmer – Source The Globe and Mail

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Globe and Mail, Canada’s news media, said that Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed “is facing criticism” for a multibillion-dollar construction project that would reportedly include a national palace and luxury villas for him and his top officials.

The news media reported on its December 08, 2023 issue quoting residents where the new Jungle Palace Project of the Premier is being executed that citizens residing in the project site  “are already being evicted to make room” for the new palace project being undertaken on a forested hill overlooking the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa”. Some told The Globe and Mail that “they are being forced to give up their ancestral farms without adequate compensation”.

The Globe and Mail quoted Ethiopian journalists who reported on the  cost of the new Jungle Palace project, which is said to cost USD 10 to 15 billion. This is a huge amount of money being spent while the country is in need of billions of dollars in foreign loans to rebuild and rehabilitate its war-shattered economy, The Globe and Mail said.

The Globe and Mail recalled the government’s need of US$20-billion in funding for postwar reconstruction, including at least US$2-billion from the International Monetary Fund. The government has also received billions of dollars in humanitarian aid from the United Nations and other relief agencies in recent years as conflicts mounted, according to The Globe and Mail.

The construction work of the Jungle Palace Project will cover 500 hectares and include three artificial lakes, a luxury hotel, conference halls, a waterfall, a zoo, a cable car and imported palm trees, The Globe and Mail said.

The project will be funded by international and domestic donors. The close ally of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the United Arab Emirates, is expected to be a key contributor. But the funding is shrouded in secrecy, and parliamentary scrutiny has not been allowed, the Globe and Mail indicated.

According to the news source, the private sector in Ethiopia is compelled to finance various projects that are reportedly carried out to beautify the city, including the Jungle Palace Project. One businessman told The Globe that he was heavily pressured by government officials to contribute to a fund for “beautification” of the capital, which could include the Palace project. He said he received endless phone calls, threats and warnings that he could be banned from receiving official contracts if he failed to donate. The Globe is not naming the businessman because he fears retribution from the government.

To execute the palace project, government workers are bulldozing land, chopping down trees, destroying older homes and evicting hundreds of residents to make room for new roads.

“We lived in this land for over a century and it was passed to us by our ancestors, but all of a sudden I was told I did not have a title deed to my own home and was forced to vacate it with no compensation,” said Alemayehu Tadesse, a 74-year-old farmer whose home is near the palace site.

He was devastated when he realized he was losing his ancestral land. “I have not just lost my home but also my livelihood as a farmer,” he told The Globe.

Another farmer, Kibret Getahun, said he was forced to abandon a large portion of his land, with little compensation. He is now a security guard at a church.

“Our farms have now been replaced with paved roads. We are becoming strangers in our own home,” Kibret told The Globe and Mail.  

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Kibret Getahun, a farmer – Source The Globe and Mail

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I am not for or against this ambitious project just because I have no details of the source of the funding. But I find the way is reported by this Canadian outfit not proper. It is outright racist. It calls it ‘jungle Palace project’. If it was being built in Canada it would call it a park. This is the usual ‘them niggers and their jungle’ same ole narrative. The Globe and Mail! You should be ashamed of yourself!!! Hey guys! What happened to those children of the indigenous people in your neck of wood? What had you done to them? What? Assimilation? That was a textbook genocide.

    • Dear Ittu
      But the name of the project is: የ ጫካ ፕሮጀክት
      The Canadians just translated it.
      The only forest close to Addis is destroyed by this project.
      Environmentalists called this forest „the lung of Addis „. Well most of the forest is destroyed.
      Even though there will be much green area later, the natural forest is gone.
      How this project is financed is not clear. How much is Ethiopian government spending for this project, no information.
      On what terms and conditions is the UAE funding this project, this is unknown too.
      The PM did not answer when asked during the parlament.
      The timing of this project is very controversial to the urgent needs in the country.

  2. “The Globe and Mail, Canada’s news media” please leave this decision to our leader who is not really looking for a luxury place for politicians like some local journalists think, but to stimulate the Ethiopian economy itself. I know our local guys never understand such moves to recover an economy that has been abused and unable to support its citizens for very long time, but Ethiopian population is now over 120 Million. Unemployment at its highest…

    How the western Economy shows larger numbers in their GDP every year? Is it really clean number? It is all because of such moves to curb unemployment, to expand an economy that is stuck and to find a reason to print more money to compete with China indirectly in the name of national debit which will never be paid since it is a scum to borrow money from yourself. We promise we will not print Dollar, EUR CAD, and GBP we will just use what we have and what we can borrow…. So chill out.

    Last thing Ethiopia needs from the West is taking advise from them since they donate a few bags of wheat to our citizens while they want us to fall. I see this report as Negative for Ethiopia and Ethiopians which really undermines Ethiopians by Canadians which are 156 years old since it was found. Slavery and colonization helped a lot in short period of time and now they are advising 3500 years young Ethiopia in her internal affair….. BELEWWWWW

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