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Tag Archives: Meles Zenawi

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

Cry the Beloved Country: Ethiopians criticize Columbia for hosting Meles

UPDATE Sept 19, 8:30am (see end of post)

I have been getting a lot of email from Ethiopian-Americans who are very upset that Columbia University has invited Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to speak this coming Wednesday, like this one:

Most of the professors who come across him, in most cases are neutralized or transformed as his advocates. So far, you are the only one standing clear, so the Ethiopian people need one intellectual friend like

Posted in Democracy and freedom | Also tagged 50 Comments

How to respond to a bad government in someone else’s country?

The question in the title is one of the hardest in our field.

I just wrote a Wall Street Journal book review critical of the Meles’ government in Ethiopia. I got some supportive letters from Ethiopians, but a Political Science Ph.D. student named Hamere wrote me as follows:

Hello William,
It is a pity that you produced such a hate and politics charged article against my country, Ethiopia and its leadership… What we have is simply visionary,

Posted in Democracy and freedom | 25 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

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