Snippets of Ethiopia’s triumphs under Woyanes’ tutelage
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, Feb. 11, 2018
Let it be crystal clear beyond any shadow of doubt to friend and foe. Our fate is determined solely by ourselves. The people of Tigrai will not allow anyone to vilify us because we are on the side of justice and God!
Snippets of Ethiopia’s triumphs under Woyanes’ tutelage Snippets of Ethiopia’s triumphs under Woyanes’ tutelage At this juncture, Ethiopia is passing through a rough patch but there is no doubt the nation will emerge from its current predicament as it did previously. But if the underlying causes including violation of the constitution are not resolved as a matter of utmost urgency, repeats of the destructive ethnicity-spiked disorders witnessed lately would be an absolute certainty. And this would be a God send opportunity for foreign adversaries to exacerbate the situation further and plunge the country into an irretrievable crisis inflicting serious damages to its social cohesion and the economic triumphs of the last quarter of a century.
What is amazing is that, despite the re-curing snags, Ethiopia is succeeding in clocking significant socio-economic strides resulting in the Horn nation assuming the label of ‘African tiger.’ No other nation in our continent including petroleum producers have done as well as the East African hub. Foreign owned businesses have not been daunted by the temporary glitch and only recently two large companies, US-Icelandic and Israeli Gigawat Global have pledged to invest on renewable energies to the tune of $4 billion and $500 million USD respectively.
The purpose of this article is to highlight portions of the milestones that have been realised since the extremists’ nemesis Woyane came to power. As a result of Ethiopia’s economic muscle, the persistent famine that was synonymous with Horn nation has been made a thing of the past. During the recent El Nino induced drought that affected 10.2 million people, Ethiopia utilised its own grain reserves in addition to $300 million to help those that faced food shortages. On 9 April 2014, World Bulletin/News Desk reported that Ethiopia was mobilising its resources to increase its national grain reserves from the current 460,000 metric tons to 3 million which it said was enough to feed seven million people for six months.
Furthermore, the Ethiopian Strategic National Food Reserve Agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Gizaw Abute, disclosed in the same year that the government had set aside 13 billion birr to construct additional silos as part of the plan to swell the country’s reserves. Dearth due to dry spell is unavoidable but the possibility of famine in today’s Ethiopia is simply unthinkable. The days where nearly 1 million people died due to the 1984 famine and 300,000 in 1973 whilst the King was celebrating his 80th birthday with an expenditure of $35 million, are definitely behind us. And this monumental milestone has been made possible for the first time in the history of the country notwithstanding the population increase from 51 million in 1992 to 107, 534, 882 in 2017. Additional 50,534,882 mouths to feed which is equivalent to the populations of Mauritania, Libya, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Togo, Burundi, Benin and Guinea put together. No more emaciated children on our television screens and the days where we walked with our heads down in utter shame have vanished. The global image of Ethiopia has completely been altered and is now considered as the most successfully economy in the world, not a famine stricken nation begging for foreign aid hand-outs.
The second milestone that has secured a unique position in the history of Ethiopia is the development of social housing which the World Bank report of 2016 says is a radical departure from previous approaches to housing in the country. On 4 December 2017, the Guardian newspaper reported that the Integrated Housing Development Plan (IHDP) which was launched in 2006 has so far delivered 250,000 condominiums exclusively financed from public coffers.
The UK’s broad sheet newspaper also described the vast construction currently underway in Koye Feche which is on the edge of Addis Ababa as ‘’sub-Saharan Africa’s largest housing project.’’ Once this project is completed, 200,000 people will be proud owners brandy new self-contained homes. This has eclipsed the Jomo site where 10,000 apartments were built in 2010 accommodating 50,000 people. The Ministry of Urban Development announced its plans to build 700,000 condominiums within the life time of GTP II creating 8.5 million jobs. Furthermore, the Addis Ababa Savings & Housing Development Enterprise (AASHDE) has set aside 10 billion birr to construct 10,000 condominiums under the 40/60 and 20/80 schemes (capitalethiopia.com September 14, 2017)
September 2017, edition of The Economist also pointed out that ‘Ethiopia’s flagship social-housing programme is probably the most ambitious in Africa.’ The oil rich West African nation, Nigeria, with a GDP of 405.1 billion USD (2016), can only manage to build 100,000 new houses annually which is well short of the annual demand of 700,000. In Kenya the demand is 200,000 while supply of new homes is only 50,000 (Constructionrevewonline.com). Another petroleum producing nation, Ghana, has not fared any better in comparison to Ethiopia. In the same edition, the Economist stated’ the largest housing-building firm in Ghana finished a mere 3,500 units in the past decade.’
Ethiopia is clearly in a league of its own, with the rest of Africa trailing far behind. Many African countries are flocking to the Horn nation to learn from its social housing development projects, among them being Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania (Reuters October 25, 2016). Affordable homes scheme which is in high demand at the present time has refuted the claim made by politicians affiliated to diaspora extremists that ‘’ no one would want to live in them.’’ In any case, the programme has secured worldwide plaudits and whatever the distractors say, the ‘Woyane’ government would not be dissuaded from pursuing its commitments to social housing which is rarely seen in Africa.
The Tigrian people endured tremendous hardship to make it possible for fellow citizens to own decent homes, and to transform the socio-economic status of their nation. A federal mode of governance designed to respect the rights of nations, nationalities and peoples’ has been put in place for the first time in the history of Ethiopia. Oromo people who used to be treated with utter disdain and identified as ‘’galas’’ have now re-gained their dignity and freely managing their own affairs. History has also been made as a result of the elimination of famine and the courageous decision to build a huge dam, GERD, disregarding the 1959 Nile Waters Treaty and Article III of the 1902 accord which Menelik signed with the United Kingdom acquiescing not to utilise the Blue Nile. All these feats would not have been possible without the chivalrous Tigrians struggle for 17 horrific years. Whether the ‘game is over’ or not, no-one will be able to delete our exceptional legacy that is certain to be reminisced for many generations to come.
Happy 43rd anniversary of the TPLF
Eternal glory to our martyrs
You destroy the federal system and that would be the end of Ethiopia!