"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Friday, 8 November 2013

Aiding and Abetting: UK and US Complicity in Ethiopia’s Mass Displacement

November 5, 2013

eviction of thousands of people from their land in Ethiopia
Members of the Nyangatom, one of the communities affected
by the project,
 loading donkeys by the river. Photograph by William Davison.

In the face of evidence, the UK and US continue to deny systematic human rights abuses are occurring in the Lower Omo as thousands are displaced for an irrigation scheme.

The US-based think tank, the Oakland Institute, recently accused the UK and US governments of aiding and abetting the eviction of thousands of people from their land in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley.
The accusation was not new – it had been made before by Survival International and Human Rights Watch amongst others. What was new about this report was that it made use of transcripts of interviews conducted by officials from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), during a field visit to the lower Omo in January 2012.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mining Corruption in Ethiopia By Prof. Al Mariam

corruption ethThe Shame of a Nation
In my seventh commentary on corruption in Ethiopia this year, I focus on the mining sector. For other commentaries on the subject, visit my blog site at “Al Mariam’s Commentaries”.
I continue to offer commentaries on corruption in Ethiopia to keep public attention sharply focused on the structural nature of the issue. In the past few months, the ruling regime has been grandstanding its “anti-corruption” efforts by corralling a few officials of the “Revenue and Custom’s Authority” and businessmen on charges of corruption. The kangaroo court corruption drama for those suspects is an amusing political theater staged for the entertainment of international loaners and donors who have recently intensified their pressure on the regime to show greater transparency and public accountability. For the domestic crowd, the regime’s grandstanding has been a cynical ploy to underplay, trivialize and cleverly mask the deep-rooted nature of official corruption with high profile prosecutions.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Growth In Addis Ababa Paints The Urban Poor Into A Desperate Corner

Construction in Addis AbabaBy , November 01 2013 (International Business Times)
Traffic flows down a main street in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, where the city government aims to clear 200 hectares of slums and informally inhabited areas each year in order to make way for new construction.  Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — For urban areas across the African continent, rapid development has become a double-edged sword.

As economies grow — the IMF projected this week that sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output will expand by five percent this year and six percent in 2014 — urban areas are developing at a breakneck pace. That means plenty of new construction, which creates employment opportunities and raises standards of living. But to make room for luxury hotels, sparkling shopping centers and towering residential centers in already-crowded urban areas, something has to give. And despite governmental efforts to make development work for everyone, the urban poor are increasingly paying the highest price for economic expansion.