Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeOpinionA Malthusian Interpretation of the Political Crisis in Ethiopia !

A Malthusian Interpretation of the Political Crisis in Ethiopia !

Girma _ Ethiopia _ Malthusian
The author (file)


Over the last fifty years Ethiopia’s population grew from about 30 million to over 120 million !   The price of the staple food crop teff shot up from 30 birr per quintal to about 15000 birr per quintal ,indicating its relative shortage vis a vis the population growth ! A significant increase in the price of the staple food crop is due to currency printing to finance the increasing price of land arising from the monetisation of land ,which ,as everybody knows, is a gift of nature and not a product of labour ! As a result, land itself has become a major source of income and wealth more prominently than the food produced on it ! Constitutionally ,land belongs to ” the government and the people” but in actual fact land belongs only to the government ! Private individuals are entitled to own houses but not the land on which the houses are built ; yet they benefit more from the implicit price of the land than from the houses when they” sell the houses!”

As urbanisation encroaches on hitherto rural areas, land prices continue to rise prompting peasant farmers to sell their land plots via their  tukuls and migrate to cities in search of jobs other than farming, negatively affecting food production ! On the other hand, real estate developers turn previous farmlands into high-rise building sites ! The government evicts urban dwellers from prime land in Addis Ababa and other cities and towns and moves them to the outskirts of cities and makes a huge profit on location !

As mentioned above, the Abiy government is evicting urban dwellers from prime urban land and settling them on the outskirts of cities to make a huge profit on location ! The government sells the prime land so subtly confiscated to real estate developers and pockets a part of the sales proceeds before they find their way to the public coffers ! Peasant farmers on the outskirts of cities also sell their farm plots to real estate developers and migrate to the cities to swell the ranks of the unemployed ! In due course of time ,the new city outskirts become prime land and create their own outskirts making them a target for yet another round of land speculation ! The process leads to uncontrolled urban sprawl as Addis Ababa has been going through for over 125 years !

In all this ,we can observe that land has become a major source of income and wealth even more significantly than production and particularly than food production in general ! Abiy and Adanech gave Berhanu Jula ,their Chief-of-Staff ,10000 sqm of prime land in Addis Ababa so that he can monetize it and become a billionaire overnight ! He should have earned a special monetary reward and a rank upgrade by proving to be ,so to speak, the Paton of Ethiopia ! He has not thus succeeded so far !

The moral of this post is that land itself has become a major source of income and wealth in Ethiopia instead of the food, industrial and mining output produced on and from it ! Real estate and urban development should result from expanded commercial farming and industrial development and not the other way around ! What has resulted from the real estate and urban development over the past fifty years is a serious discrepancy between population growth on the one hand and food production, industrial output and foreign exchange -earning capacity on the other hand, in the process making land, a gift of nature, the major source of income and wealth !  The final outcome has been internal conflicts over land and a  Malthusian positive checks growth reduction by war  pestilence and famine !

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


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  1. Thank you!!! Your analysis was right on the target.

    The abiy, shimeles, adanech trio of oromumma musketeers and their gang of cadres announced the following “በሚቀጥሉት 10 እመታት 30,000 የኦሮሞ ቢሊየኔሮች ለመፍጠር አቅደን እየሰራን ነው”

    Should we just 🙂 🙂 🙂 or weep :- :- :- in agony and embarrassment at the fate Ethiopia and Ethiopians find themselves under such utter incompetence and ignoramus infestation at the helm.

    There were a total of about 3194 billionaires in the entire world in 2022.

    The USA with a GDP of 27,360,000,000,000 , had 756 billionaires in 2023.

    Let’s do some basic math.

    30,000 “oromo billionaires” x 1,000,000,000= 30,000,000,000,000 = 30 trillion dollars

    Let’s say the three oromumma musketeers actually meant የዶላር ሳይሆን የብር ቢሊየኔሮች ነው የሚያፈልቁት::

    That would mean 300,000,000,000 US. Roughly 3 times the current GDP of Ethiopia.

    At the current 115, 000,000, 000 GDP in 2024(and that is a generous estimate), and consecutive 10% per annum growth Ethiopia’s gdp may reach 230,000,000,000 in 2034!!!!! The three oromumma musketeers will still be $70,000,000,000, short.

    Ethiopia has these kind of utterly incompetent and unqualified people running their theater of the absurd.

    ድሃ በህልሙ ቅቤ ባይጠጣ ኖሮ: ንጣትይገለውነበር እንደተባለው!!!!!

    Ethiopia and Ethiopians have serious challenges and tribulations. Ethiopia can ill-afford this level of corruption, embezzlement and misuse of her meager resources.

    Incidentally, the government of Emperor Haile Selassie controlled less than 26% of the land, was labeled a feudal regime, despite the fact that neither one of the Sorbonne educated PM Akiliu Habtewold and the charismatic Oxford educated PM Endalkachew Mekonnen could even be remotely called “feudal”

    Today, 50 years after the useless “Land to the tiller” mumbo jumbo, the meles and abiy regime are the new Feudals of the 21 st century, the Ethiopian farmer is አሁን የመንግስት ገባር”,100% dependent on the new Feudalኦሮሙማ ባላባቶች for fertilizer and quality seed ownership.

    Meanwhile any modicum growth in the economy is gobbled up and eliminated by rampant population growth rate and uncontrollable, rampant inflation.

    In so called oromia zone alone, youth unemployment is over60%!!!!

    abiy and oromumma offer Ethiopia and Ethiopians nothing but bloodshed, theft, robbery, extrajudicial killings of perceived political enemies, displacement of tens of millions and massacre of hundreds of thousands.



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