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Friday, 30 October 2009

Sales men for China and Ethiopia on World Focus Radio !!!

Tedla Asfaw

World Focus Radio host Martin Savidge  talked with Professor Philip LeBel and Ato Ermyas Amelga a"businessman" from Addis Ababa yesterday on his weekly radio program about "Entrepreneurship in Ethiopia" which was aired on blogtalkradio live (Oct. 29)

I had commented earlier on his blog and requested if I can participate on the program. Since the program was not  listeners call  I had not a chance to question his guests how can entrepreneurship develops where the unelected regime in power is controlling all the resources, land and all cash generating crops and minerals.

"  We can't discuss about one cash crop, coffee, without                                                       seeing the big picture of farming in Ethiopia. Land is owned
  by the unelected government, Ethiopian farmers are now
  tenants of the ruling regime TPLF led by Meles Zenawi and
  his company EFFORT established by stolen aid money twenty
  five years ago.

  Large tracts of land have been also leased for foreign
  countries or are converted to crops that produce bio energy.
  When it comes to the small farms of coffee the regime wants
  to discourage farmers to abandon planting coffee to turn it
  into large scale coffee farms and it is amazing to see that
  USAID is part of this project at the expense of poor

  Some farmers switch to other crops like Kat a narcotic crop
  to support their families. Large areas of Teff farms
  surrounding Addis Ababa also turned by government to flower
  farm for European markets by those connected with the

  No wonder we are now where we were twenty five years ago
  and famine is threatening millions of lives again.

  In general Ethiopia is run by unaccountable regime who
  cares less for its people and profit at their expenses. The
  crisis we witnessed in coffee farms just a tiny fraction of
  our overall land policy crisis in Ethiopia.

  The least we Ethiopians in the diaspora do is to stop the
  Starbucks and others exploit our people with collaboration
  with unelected regime in Ethiopia. Those like your guest
  from Ethiopia today are only interested in making money at
  the poor farmers expense. We saw on Market Makers program
  recently that Eleni Gebremedhin working hard on behalf of
  the regime to collect each sack of coffee to the government
  stores to be shipped to profit her company called GUNA.

  The Bonga and Harar I see on your program has not changed a
  bit since I saw it more than twenty years ago. Where does
  the tax revenue go ? Surely used on the race of our rich
  tyrants to catch up with the world rich and famous. Ethiopia
  needs real change, democratic and accountable government,
  until then we say no to Starbucks, no to flower farm and no
  to misguided USAID ".

  I appreciate the host for reading the first paragraph of my comment on the program for which the professor replied by accusing Dr. Birhanu for his "harsh" call for overthrowing the Ethiopian regime similar to my "harsh" comment.

The Professor also looks like the spokes person for Chinese companies and I am not surprised for ignoring the question of accountability and the rule of law in Ethiopia raised by the host. The Professor is promoting development at the expense of everything , set to establish a New China in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian"businessman" from Addis, Ato Ermias, is also acting like  sales man for TPLF and he was careful choosing his words. Overall, both the Professor ant the TPLF cadre in Ethiopia should be ashamed of themselves for ignoring the real issue of millions of our people struggling  to get a piece of bread daily and tell us about rosy economic opportunity for those connected with the regime, the TPLF cadres and the Chinese accomplishment in Ethiopia.