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Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Lessons after the Meles speech at Columbia: Let Ethiopians debate Ethiopia

It’s sure was nice to see mainly Ethiopians vigorously participating in a debate about Ethiopia, in contrast to the usual Old White Men debating Africa. The Meles visit to Columbia had the unintentional effect of promoting this debate.  We were very happy at Aid Watch to have had the privilege of turning over our  little corner of the web to host some of this debate, and then just get out of the way.

Here’s more in the…

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news | Also tagged , , 16 Comments

Why the World Bank supports tyrants: the Gerund Defense

World Bank Ethiopia country director Ken Ohashi has a letter in the New York Review of Books responding to Helen Epstein’s charge that the Bank is supporting tyranny (which we also blogged). Ken’s letter defends World Bank aid to Ethiopia:

There are concerns about the overall governance of the country, efficiency and fairness of resource use, the risk of dependence on aid, and protection of basic human rights, as Ms. Epstein points out.

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Democracy and freedom, Language, Organizational behavior | Also tagged , , 35 Comments

The map history of an unhappy place, 1829-present

In the greater Horn of Africa, the talk is of civil war, genocide, tyranny, interstate war, failed states, fragile peace. Where did this all come from?

One perspective is given from Europeans’ maps of this area. The maps below are cropped so as to cover the exact same area from the Tropic of Cancer to the Equator, from 20 degrees longitude to the tip of the horn (approx. 50 degrees longitude). The maps are from early 1800s…

Posted in History, Maps | Also tagged , 5 Comments

Wax and Gold: Meles Zenawi’s Double Dealings with Aid Donors

Helen Epstein, author of The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing The Fight Against AIDS in Africa, has a stunning piece on aid to Ethiopia published in this month’s New York Review of Books.

Epstein argues that the main cause of fertile southern Ethiopia’s chronic food shortages—the so-called “green famine” —is Ethiopia’s toxic and repressive political system, presided over since 1991 by Meles Zenawi. While Meles placates donors and Western governments with speeches about fighting…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Democracy and freedom, Human rights, Language | Also tagged , 12 Comments

The War of the Causes in Aid

The development industry seems to be riddled with people whose main job is to divert money to their good cause. The advocates are united by a strong belief in the priority that should be given to their sector (education, water, AIDS etc). They convince themselves that they are speaking for real interests of the poor… Within many aid agencies there is a permanent state of low intensity bureaucratic warfare for resources…{staff} fight to defend and

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Global health | Also tagged , , , 15 Comments