First-hand Observations from Within Ethiopia

Engineer Ghirma
March 28 2010

I recently visited Ethiopia, and the transformation I observed both in Addis Ababa, my hometown, and throughout the country at large is staggering! You have to see it to believe it.

Yes, corruption and other typical ills such as government inefficiencies do remain. However, as they say, Rome was not built in one day. To undo centuries of feudalism and dictatorship within a span of eighteen years is virtually untenable. It will take persistence, and yes, patience on the part of Ethiopians, to attain set goals of poverty alleviation in a democratic form of government. Corruption is a part of Democracy. It certainly is a part of the democratic systems of the United States and Europe! I would add Russia, India, Japan, China (where they execute corrupt members of government), and South America. Add Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. Did I leave any one?

The main enemies of the EPRDF government reside within itself. The government has a great deal of house cleaning to do. Folks, it is tough! Currently, EPRDF government has very little room for maneuvering, because it fears backlash from its own supporters. The enemies of EPRDF operate very much like the Mafia; and like the Mafia they operate under strict rules of personal conduct. Would you believe that Ethiopian brokers, commonly known as “ደላሎች” are part and parcel of the Mafia-like allegiance among corrupt government officials? Believe it, because I have taken a glimpse of it myself.

I have restrained myself from mentioning opposition members who have had a history of corruption during their tenures in the Emperor’s and Derg’s era. Also some of them were convicted felons while they were members of EPRDF! And these people would alleviate the Ethiopian people of corruption in government, and end poverty as we know it, if they are elected? Give me a break!