Touts Phony Democracy in Africa
What is the reality in Ethiopia? Or how do you define
the Ethiopian People Revolution Democratic Front (EPRDF) government? And
who will win the 5th national election?
In doing so, one needs to distinguish between facts and
speculations, as well as extracts theories from propaganda.
Modern nation-states are classified as liberal
democratic and totalitarian, which further partitioned by shadow forms of
states, namely, autocratic and welfare states. The former is a half-clone
of totalitarian, while the latter is a hybrid of liberal democracy and a
totalitarian of the communism type.
Totalitarian states take various forms like Bonapartism in France,
Fascism in Italy, Nazism
in Germany and Communism
They gain their legitimacy by means of force and fraud (Carl J. Friedrich: Constitutional Government and Democracy).
Totalitarians shall not recognize individual rights, obsessed with
ideology, jealous of multi-party system, allergic to freedom of speech. Odd
enough, they whim to control what you think, what you do and what you pray.
Their ultimate objective is to mold you like a product of a certain
Coming to the case in Ethiopia,
EPRDF government is swinging between autocratic and totalitarian form of states
while cruising with a host ideological vehicles ranging from China Marxism
to Stalin Socialism, from Albanian Communism to Revolutionary Democracy to Developmental State. It seems that EPRDF is
floating with no ideology. Judging from its action, it is pragmatist,
neutral to principle. It is an opportunist striving for mere survival.
This, somewhat qualifies EPRDF government as an autocratic state as
characterized by the absence of ideology according to A.R. Ball, Modern Politics and Government.
Ethiopian Leather Industry
Ethiopian leather industry is regarded as a strategic
sector; however, its performance is very poor, laced with high-profile
corruption. Rather, it becomes a hemorrhage for the Ethiopian economy.
The leather industry had been ranked next to coffee in
export earning until 1980s, fetching about 60 million dollar while
operating with only a dozen of tanneries. In deed, since then the tanneries
number is expanded to about 34; but for nothing, except sharing the
Welcome to a dying lake!
is dying, although the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is boasting that it
is the country’s sanctuary for a colony of exciting birds. However, Abijata Soda Ash Enterprise (ASAE) is diligently
harvesting sodium carbonate (soda ash), destroying plants, chasing away
birds and depleting the volume of water.
The Politics of BPR
Is business process re-engineering (BPR) affordable? Is
it a panacea?
The rate of BPR success was terrible. Its proponents were
ladled as corporation killers. “Doing business from scratch “is its brutal
method that demolished several thousand firms, scraped scores of gigantic
operations and traumatized countless employees. Now, BPR has crossed the
Mediterranean Sea, at its 15th birth date, to galvanize the
ancient and poor land
The diseconomics of “chat”: Is it a cash
crop or is it crashing the
fragile Ethiopian economy?
There is a raging controversy among historians in
which some argue that ‘chat’ was initially grown in Ethiopia and
then introduced into Yemen.
Others argue the other way round. Nonetheless, as far as Ethiopian is
concerned, chat used
to mainly grown in the south- eastern part of the country. Its consumption
was also limited to this area as par t of religious rituals.
Kids’ Ordeal in Addis
is chained by unprecedented rate of marginalization of its poor. If you
have nothing you may be back to the bush. Street dwelling is another
alternative. But the kids I have discovered in the dark, sitting on the
tree branches, have suffered from both modes of survival.
The tragedy is happing in front f the Spanish Embassy
and at the junction where the US Embassy is within view. A colorfully
painted advertisement is installed adjacent to the three exhorting: “Stop
The kids have nothing: no home, no custodian and no
family. What they have in common is not only a miserable life, but also the
language of their origin, Wolayta Sosdo/ Dorze Hizo.
Quality Assurance Free From Politics
One of the most important discoveries of the last
century is the concept of “quality”, an area where a lot had been done in
managing it, and yet much remains to be done because establishing standards
is dynamic. Not surprising, the quality movement has changed since then and
reoriented the popular and traditional management under the concept of
Total Quality Management (TQM).
In the aftermath of the Second World War, various types
of national and international infrastructures were established to spur the
quality movement, including the emergence of standard qualification and
accreditation bodies. Ethiopia
joined the club much latter: The Quality and Standard Authority of Ethiopia
(QSAE) was established 35 years ago. It is good to
learn the leaps and bounds move by the Authority has begun, with the
ambition to kick-start a certification scheme for the ISO-9000.
Hopefully, it will not take us too long to witness the
inauguration of its name that may be dubbed as “Quality and Standard
Institute of Ethiopia”. As it appears now, the QSAE could probably be the
only agency left in the world with its name qualified by the word
Blinds Beneficiaries from Hazards
harvesting in Ethiopia is booming with no barriers to reaping its rewards.
Technically it is simple to extract and demands very little capital with
handy equipment such as pick axe, spade, bowl and cheap mercury.
Gold is now
used for jewelleries, medicine, electronics etc and was a medium of
exchanging starting around 3000 BC until it backed paper notes around 1700
AD. Following the ups and downs during World War II, its power waned as the
international monetary system shifted towards floating exchange rates in
Leather: the Dwindling Sector
A decade ago the Ethiopian leather sector was losing about
14 million dollars annually due to poor quality hide and skins (HS). The
same figure was echoed a few weeks ago despite accelerated deterioration of
the same resources of late. The statistics continue to plague the industry
and policy makers, defying attempt to capitalize on a promising sector.
Leather production in the country has great potential in
terms of input supply. Ethiopia
ranks first in Africa and 10th
in the world in terms of livestock population, even amidst rampant disease,
smuggling and poor productivity in the sector.
The industry standard of establishing rank by counting
horns reveals that the productivity of the livestock is low in Ethiopia by
any standard. For instance, the country‘s share of the world leather trade
is less than 0.5%, which accounts for about 40 billion dollars a year.
From Wastage to Usage
An Account of Chrome
Recovery in Ethiopian Tanning Industry
the leather industry is the second biggest export earner. However tanning
processes are characterized by lack of waste treatment or recycling
procedures. Roughly, Ethiopian tanning industry discharges to the environment
every year, at least 56 tonnes of chromium in
solution form, and mixed with other organic and inorganic compounds. While
chrome recovery has been proven as viable, both economically and
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