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Is Ethiopia a Failed State?

Ethiopia Failed State

 Girma Berhanu

As it stands, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ethiopian state are both severely compromised. Constitutionally, the ethnic states constituting the Ethiopian Federation behave as if they were sovereign and in some cases vehemently contest the political arrangement that allows them to exist: that is to say, the federal state itself. In such circumstance, it is fair to say that the Ethiopian state in itself has become tattered (if you’re feeling optimistic) or even perhaps a fully failed state (if you’re pessimistic). Moreover, under the pretext of a state-of-emergency law, the Abiy regime is waging a war of extermination in Amhara regional state.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian economy is in shambles. Internal wars have destroyed at least 500 of the country’s 5000 industrial units. No more than five foreign investment projects were registered in the financial year 23/24. Over 20 million Ethiopians are in critical need of humanitarian assistance. People are dying of hunger in Tigray and Amhara Kilils. Youth unemployment is over 60% (60 per cent). The annual inflation is over 60%. Cumulative inflation has been so high that the poverty level in urban areas is nearly 80%; the birr/dollar exchange rate is over 120 birr to one dollar on the more realistic parallel market. At the same time, frantic currency printing is the order of the day, systematically debasing the national currency! Accordingly, the value of money has become so skewed that even kids are reluctant to stop to pick up a dropped one-birr coin in Addis Ababa!

Indeed, housing, electricity, water and transport shortages are so acute that life in Addis Ababa is, for many Ethiopians, a diabolically unending struggle. Yet Abiy’s mercenary pseudo-economist Fitsum Adale, Head of the Economic Development and Planning Commission, unashamedly speaks of a 7.9 GDP growth rate in real terms, not realising that this would require trillions of birr of investment! Fitsum has no credible economic growth and development model and has idly stood by― while Abiy, Shimeles, and Adanech squander public money on useless white-elephant projects and thereby steal money in the process. The most flattering thing that can be said about her is that she sits in front of a garbage-in-garbage-out personal computer screen to regurgitate fantastical figures unrelated to the harsh realities of a failed economy.

Ethiopia’s government has failed to govern the country. The Ethiopian parliament is full of zombies who can hardly read prepared texts. The Ethiopian criminal justice system is undisputably an instrument of political oppression to incarcerate such brilliant Intellectuals as Meskerem Abera for no other reason than their shining intellectually more brilliantly than the seventh-grade dropout Abiy Ahmed. The civil justice system―particularly the Cassation Bench of the Federal Supreme Court, where cases fully adjudicated by lower courts languish for years―is hamstrung by the “abode of justice delayed is justice denied.”  The Cassation Bench does not know the difference between errors of fact and those of law. A truly appalling state of affairs.

What better proof do you require to believe that, indeed, Ethiopia is a failed state? What is more, Ethiopia is sinking more deeply into the abyss of political and economic failure every day Abiy Ahmed stays in power!

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of


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  1. A litany of complaints and condemnations is all you write. Just because the nation is not run on your orders does not make it a “failed state!” It is more likely that you are operating on a failed assumptions or on a wish list of failures. I don’t think for a moment that Abiy is a faultless leader. I don’t doubt however that our country, like every other country, has been struggling in the past three decades. Please tone down your silly, narrow, and toxic ideas and show concern for ALL Ethiopians!

  2. Today, I listened to a debate between the respected Dr. Girma Berhau and Dr. Yonas Biru, moderated by Moges Teshome. I am wondering whether Dr. Girma Berhau should engage in a debate with Dr. Yonas Biru, who still holds the belief that Abiy Ahmed is a visionary leader. When questioned about his stance, Dr. Yonas Biru cites the Chaka project as his primary example, claiming it benefits millions of Ethiopians. It wouldn’t be surprising if Dr. Yonas Biru views actions such as blocking Amhara access to Addis Ababa, demolishing Amhara residential properties in various parts of the city, and displacing Amharas from Oromia as visionary ideas, as they result in a stronger and monoethnic Oromia. According to Dr. Yonas Biru, these actions align with Abiy’s vision to marginalize Amharas from Ethiopia’s political landscape and deny them their rightful place in the country. Is this a grand vision? Should Dr. Girma present the Fao document to Dr. Yonas Biru? What does he aim to achieve by doing so, especially when Yonas does not even acknowledge the genocidal atrocities committed against Amharas by Abiy Ahmed?

    Dr. Yonas Biru consistently brings up political programs and manifestos in discussions about Fao, emphasizing its political nature. However, the reality is that Fao is not a political entity but a freedom fighter. Reflect on historical examples like Russia, Vietnam, and the Taliban, where political manifestos were not the driving force behind their struggles for freedom. Yonas seems determined to undermine Amhara leaders like Eskider Nega, who bravely fight and sacrifice for the Amhara cause, while Dr. Yonas himself remains comfortably in the USA. Engaging in political discussions with someone like Yonas may not lead to positive outcomes. Despite being invited by Abebe Belew (in an interview with Addis Dimits media outlet) to join Amhara organizations and contribute to the struggle, Yonas declined. Is it really worthwhile to engage in discussions with such an individual?


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