መንግስት ”ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ምክንያቱ እድገቱ ነው” በሚል አዲስ የማምለጫ ምክንያት እየደረደረ ነው; እውን እድገት የውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ያመጣል?

ዶ/ር አብርሃም ተከስተ

  • ”ወደ አስር አመት ለሚጠጋ አመታት በውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ስንሰቃይ ነበር” የገንዘብ እና ኢኮኖሚ ልማት ሚኒስትሩ ዶ/ር  አብርሃም ተከስተ የተናገሩትን ዛሬ የኬንያ ብሮድካስቲንግ ኮርፖሬሽን እንደዘገበው።
  • ”በዕድገታችን ሳቢያ የውጭ ምንዛሪ ክምችታችን አስተማማኝ ነው” ቀድሞ አቶ መለስ በመቀጠል አቶ ሃይለማርያም ለምክር ቤት አባላት ባለፉት 10 አመታት ሲነግሩን የነበረው።
መንግስት ”ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ምክንያቱ እድገቱ  ነው” በሚል አዲስ የማምለጫ ምክንያት እየደረደረ ነው።የገንዘብ እና ኢኮኖሚ ልማት ሚኒስትሩ ዶ/ር አብርሃም ተከስተ ”የውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረቱ ምክንያት እድገታችን ነው” ብለዋል።ቀጥለው ”ችግሩ (የውጭ ምንዛሪ ችግር) በርካታ የመንግስት እና የግል ፕሮጀክቶች ከመኖራቸው ጋር ይያያዛል” አሉ ይለናል  የኬንያ ብሮድካስቲንግ ኮርፖሬሽን ዛሬ የለቀቀው ዜና።
ጉዳዩ ከእውነታው ጋር ይቃረናል።የገንዘብ እና ኢኮኖሚ ልማት ሚኒስትሩ ዶ/ር አብርሃም ተከስተ ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ምክንያቱ የመንግሥታችን የተሳሳተ ፖሊሲ እና አሳታፊ አለመሆኑ ነው ከማለት ይልቅ በድፍኑ ”እድገቱ”ነው ካሉ በኃላ በማስከተል የፕሮጀክቶች መብዛት ነው ብለዋል።እዚህ ላይ ሁለት ነገሮችን ቀላቅለዋል።እድገትን እንደ አንድ ተጠያቂ ማድረግ እና የፕሮጀክቶች መለጠጥን ምክንያት ማድረግ የተለያየ ነው።ፕሮጀክቶች ስለተደረደሩ እና ሥራ ስለጀመሩ ብቻ እድገት አለ ማለት አይደለም።ፕሮጀክቶቹ አዋጪነት፣ለአገር የሚያመጡት ስልታዊ ጥቅም እና የእርሻውንም ሆነ የኢንዱስትሪውን ክፍል የማንቀሳቀስ አቅማቸው ሁሉ መፈተሽ አለበት።አቶ አብርሃም ግን በድፍኑ እድገቱ ነው በሚል ሊያልፉት ሞከሩ።
ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረቱ ምክንያት የፕሮጀክቶች መብዛት ብቻ ሊሆን አይችልም።እርግጥ ነው የፕሮጀክቶች መብዛት የውጭ ምንዛሪ ጥያቄን ያንረዋል።ሆኖም ግን  የፕሮጀክት መብዛት ነው ብለን ብንነሳ ይህ በእራሱ የስርዓቱን ስህተት የሚያሳይ ነው።ምክንያቱም የአለም ባንክን ጨምሮ ፕሮጀክቶች በአገሪቱ አቅም እና ቅድምያ የሚሰጣቸው አንገብጋቢ ፕሮጀክቶች ላይ ብቻ መሆን አለበት እንጂ ለምርጫ ፕሮፓጋንዳ ተብሎ ”አስር ወጥ አትጣዱ አንዱንም ሳታማስሉት እንዳያር” የሚል መሰል ምክር ሲሰጥ ነበር።ይህንኑ የተሳሳተ ተግባር በውጭ የሚኖሩ ምሁራንም በተለያየ ጊዜ ደግመውታል።በመሆኑም የፕሮጀክት መብዛት ነው ቢባልም አሁንም ስህተቱ ወደ እራሱ የስርዓቱ የተሳሳተ ፖሊሲን አመላካች መሆኑ  አይቀርም።
ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረቱ የዓለም አቀፉ ኦርቢት ኩባንያ ሥራ አስኪያጅ አቶ አለማየሁ ሲሳይ አሁንም ለኬንያ ብሮድካስቲንግ ኮርፖሬሽን የሰጡት መልስ ግን እውነቱም አንዱ ምክንያት ሊሆን ይችላል።”የአገሪቱ ወደ ውጭ ሸቀጦችን የመላክ አቅም (ኤክስፖርት ሴክተር) ደካማ መሆን ነው ለውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ዋናው ምክንያት” ነበር ያሉት አቶ አለማየሁ።
የአቶ አለማየሁ ምክንያት እንዳለ ሆኖ ሌሎች የተረሱ ግን ዋነኛ የውጭ ምንዛሪ እጥረት ምክንያቶች አሉ። ከአገሪቱ በሕገ ወጥ መንገድ በሙስና በተዘፈቁ ባለስልጣናት እና አቀባባይ ነጋዴዎችየሚሸሸው ገንዘብ ጉዳይ ምነው ተረሳ? ከአራት አመታት በፊት ከኢትዮጵያ ‘ግሎባል ፋይናንስ ኢንተግሪቲ” የተሰኘው ዓለም አቀፍ የገንዘብ ተቋም ባወጣው ዘገባ ከኢትዮጵያ በአስር ዓመታት ውስጥ ብቻ በሕገ ወጥ መንገድ 16.5 ቢልዮን ዶላር ከአገር መውጣቱን መገለፁ ይታወቃል።
ከእዚህ በተጨማሪ ስርዓቱ ስልጣኑን ለመጠበቅ የሚያወጣው ወጪ ለምሳሌ የተቃዋሚዎችን የመረጃ መረብ ለመስበር በሚልዮን የሚቆጠር ዶላር ለአንድ የጣልያን ኩባንያ መከፈሉን ከሰማን ገና ወራት ማስቆጠራችን ይታወሳል።ከእዚህ በተጨማሪ ለጎጥ ድርጅቶች አመታዊ በዓል እየተባለ የሚደገሰው ድግስ በሚልዮን የሚቆጠር የውጭ ምንዛሪ የሚያወጣ ውስኪ እና ሌሎች የቅንጦት እቃዎች ግዥዎች መፈፀማቸውን አንርሳ።ከእዚህ በፊት ለህወሃት፣ለኦሕደድ ሰሞኑን ደግሞ ለብአዴን ተብሎ የወጣው ገንዘብ በእራሱ ስንት ሆስፒታሎችን፣ለስንት ዜጎቻችንን የስራ ዕድል በፈጠረ እና ይልቁንስ በአሁኑ ጊዜ በረሃብ የሚሰቃዩትን ስንት ወገኖቻችንን በታደገ ነበር።
ስለሆነም ለውጭ ምንዛሪው እጥረት ዋነኛ ምክንያቱ ዶ/ር አብርሃም ተከስተ እንደሚሉት አይደለም።የዶ/ር አብርሀምን ንግግር ነገ አቶ ሃይለማርያም ሲደግሙት ለመስማት ተዘጋጅተናል።እውነታውን ግን ከመናገር እና ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብም ከመግለፅ ወደኃላ ማለት የለብንም።ምክንያት ያለፈ ስህተትን አይሸፍንምና።

የአቶ አብርሃም ተከስተን ገለጣ ኬንያ ብሮድካስቲንግ ኮርፖሬሽን ድረ-ገፅ ላይ ለማንበብ ይህንንበመጫን ይመልከቱ።

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ቤተክህነት በታሰሩት መምህር ግርማ ላይ ተጨማሪ ክስ ደረበች * ፖሊስ ቤታቸው የተገኘውን 8 ሲምካርዶች እያጣራሁ ነው አለ

Memeher Girma

(ዘ-ሐበሻ) ፖሊስ በማታለል ወንጀል ጠጥርሬ አስሬያቸዋለሁ ያላቸው መምህር ግርማ ላይ ተጨማሪ ክሶች እየተደራረቡ ይገኛሉ:: ፖሊስ ከሰው ሕይወት መጥፋት ጋር በተያያዘ ወንጀል ተጠርጥረዋል በሚል ክስ ለመመሥረት እየተዘጋጀ እንደሆነ በተነገረበት በዚህ ወቅት ቤተክህነት ዛሬ ተጨማሪ ክስ ደርባባቸዋለች::

ዛሬ ፍርድ ቤት የቀረቡት መምህር ግርማ ከዚህ ቀደም ዘ-ሐበሻ እንደዘገበችው ተጨማሪ 14 ቀናት የጠየቀ ቢሆንም ፍርድ ቤቱ ግን 5 ቀን ብቻ ፈቅዷል:: ፖሊስ 14 ቀን የጠየቀበትን ምክንያት ለፍርድ ቤቱ ሲያስረዳ ያልተያዙ ተጠርጣሪዎች አሉ፤ ከቤት ሽያጭ ጋር በተያያዘ ተጠርጣሪው ከሚኖሩበት ወረዳ የሰነድ ማስረጃ አልቀረበልኝም፤ ቤታቸው ላይ በተደረገው ብርበራ ስምንት ሲም ካርዶች የተገኙ በመሆኑ ሲም ካርዶቹ በማን ስም የወጡ ናቸው? እና በስልኩ ውስጥ የሚገኙ መረጃዎችን ኢትዮ ቴሌኮም አጥርቶ እንዲልክልን ደብዳቤ ጽፈን ውጤቱን እየተጠባበቅን ነው የሚሉት ይገኙበታል።

ሌላው እና ዛሬ በፍርድ ቤት የተሰማው ክስ ቤተክህነት ያቀረበችው ክስ ነው:: በዚህም መሠረት መምህር ግርማ ወንድሙ በሐሰተኛ ሰነድ ቤተክህነት እንደፈቀደችላቸው በማስመሰል ቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ስም በሃገር ውስጥም ሆነ በውጭ ሃገር ሲያስተምሩና ሲያጠምቁ ቆይተዋል የሚል ክስ ነው:: የአዲስ አበባ ሀገረ ስብከት ለመምህር ግርማ ወንድሙ የተፃፉ ያላቸውን ባለ ሰባት ቅፅ ደብዳቤዎችን ጠቅላይ ቤተክህነት ለፖሊስ እንደማስረጃ ልኳል:: ፖሊስ ይህንን ምርመራ ለማከናወን 14 ቀን የጊዜ ቀጠሮ ቢጠይቅም በዚህኛው ክስ 7 ቀን ብቻ ተፈቅዶለታል::

በ እስር ላይ የሚገኙት ተጠርጣሪው መምህር ግርማ ወንድሙ በበኩላቸው ደቡብ ወሎን ጨምሮ በሀገር ውስጥ እና በውጭ ቤተክህነት ደብዳቤ እየፃፈልኝ ነው ሳገለግል የሰነበትኩት የሚል መከራከሪያ አቅርበዋል:: ጠበቆቻቸውም እሳቸው በቋሚነት በሚያገለግሉባቸው የረር ስላሴ እና ጀሞ ሚካኤል እንኳን ህገ ወጥ ናቸው የሚል በቤተክህነት የተላከ አንዳችም ደብዳቤ ያለመኖሩን እንዲሁም መንፈሳዊ አገልግሎት መስጠት ወንጀል ስላልሆነ ፍርድ ቤቱ የተጠየቀውን የጊዜ ቀጠሮ አቤቱታ ውድቅ አድርጎ ደንበኛችን የዋስትና መብታቸው ይከበርላቸው ሲል ጠይቋል። ፖሊስም መምህር ግርማ የተከሰሱት በሃሰተኛ ሰነድ መገልገል ከፍተኛ ወንጀል በመሆኑ ዋስትና እንዳይፈቅድ ተከራክሯል::

ፍርድ ቤቱ ፖሊስ አቶ ግርማ ቤት ስበረብር አገኘኋቸው ያላቸውን 8ሲምካርዶች ለመመርመርና ከኢትዮ ቴሌኮም መረጃ ለማግኘት 14 ቀን ይሰጠኝ ላለው ጥያቄ የ5 ቀን ብቻ ቀነ ቀጠሮ ሰጥቷል::

በዚህም መሠረት መምህር ግርማ በመጀመሪያውና አሁን የተጨመረው ክስ ጉዳይ ጥቅምት 30 እና ህዳር 3 ቀን 2008 እንዲታይ ተለዋጭ ቀጠሮ ይዟል።

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ ከዘ-ሐበሻ ምንጮች መረዳት እንደተቻለው መምህር ግርማን አስሮ ለረጅም ጊዜ ለማቆየት ተጠርጥረው የታሰሩበትን ጉዳይ ከሰው ሕይወት መጥፋት ጋር ለማያያዝ ፖሊስ ምስክሮችን እያፈላለገ ይገኛል::

– See more at: http://www.zehabesha.com/amharic/archives/48011#sthash.JsvVePeG.dpuf

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Ethiopia: Activists Heading for Food Workshop Charged With Terrorism

September 22, 2015

World Bank Translator, Activists Face Trial

Human Rights Watch

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian authorities should immediately drop all charges and release a former World Bank translator and two other local activists charged under Ethiopia’s repressive counterterrorism law after trying to attend a workshop on food security in Nairobi, six international development and human rights groups said today.

Pastor Omot Agwa was charged by Ethiopian authorities

On September 7, 2015, the authorities charged Pastor Omot Agwa, Ashinie Astin, and Jamal Oumar Hojele under the counterterrorism law after detaining them for nearly six months. The charge sheet refers to the food security workshop, which was organized by an indigenous rights group and two international organizations, as a “terrorist group meeting.” The three were arrested on March 15 with four others while en route to the workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Three were released without charge on April 24, and a fourth on June 26.

“Ethiopia should be encouraging debate about its development and food security challenges, not charging people with terrorism for attending a workshop organized by respected international organizations,” said Miges Baumann, deputy director at Bread for All. “These absurd charges should be dropped immediately.”

Omot, of the evangelical Mekane Yesus church in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, was an interpreter for the World Bank Inspection Panel’s 2014 investigation of a complaint by the Anuak indigenous people alleging widespread forced displacement and other serious human rights violations in relation to a World Bank project in Gambella. He had raised concerns with workshop organizers about increasing threats from Ethiopian security officials in the weeks before his arrest.

The food security workshop in Nairobi was organized by Bread for All, with the support of the Anywaa Survival Organisation (ASO) and GRAIN. Bread for All is the Development Service of the Protestant Churches in Switzerland. ASO is a London-based registered charity that seeks to support the rights of indigenous peoples in southwest Ethiopia. GRAIN is a small international nonprofit organization based in Barcelona, Spain that received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award at the Swedish Parliament for its “worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities.”

The objective of the Nairobi workshop was to exchange “experience and information among different indigenous communities from Ethiopia and experts from international groups around food security challenges.” Participants from Ethiopia were selected by ASO based on their experience in supporting local communities to ensure their food security and access to land.

The charge sheet accuses Omot of being the co-founder and leader of the Gambella People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM) and communicating with its leaders abroad, including ASO Director Nyikaw Ochalla, who is described in the charge sheet as GPLM’s London-based “senior group terrorist leader.” Omot faces between 20 years and life in prison. Ashinie is accused of participating in the GPLM, including communicating with Nyikaw and preparing a research document entitled “Deforestation, dispossession and displacement of Gambela in general and Majang people in particular.” Jamal Oumar is accused of being a participant of a “terrorist group” and of organizing recruits to attend the Nairobi workshop.

The GPLM is not among the five organizations that the Ethiopian parliament has designated terrorist groups. It is an ethnic Anuak organization that fought alongside the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to oust the repressive Derg regime in the 1990s, and was folded into the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) power structure in 1998. Currently the GPLM has no public profile, no known leadership structure, and has not made any public statement of its goals.

“For the government to make criminal allegations against me because I assisted in coordinating a workshop about land and food issues in Ethiopia is simply incredible,” said Nyikaw Ochalla, ASO executive director. “Trying to give indigenous people a voice about their most precious resources – their land and their food – is not terrorism, it’s a critical part of any sustainable development strategy.”

All three detainees were recently moved to Kalinto prison, on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa, after spending more than five months in Maekelawi, the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector in the city. Human Rights Watch and other organizations have documented torture and other ill-treatment at Maekelawi. Omot, and possibly the other two, were held in solitary confinement for three weeks upon their arrest, and all have had limited access to family members. Jamal and Omot have reportedly been in poor health.

The detainees were held 161 days without charge, well beyond the four months allowed under Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, a period in violation of international human rights standards and among the longest permitted by law in the world. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for October 22, 2015.

Since 2011, Ethiopia’s counterterrorism law has been used to prosecute journalists, bloggers, opposition politicians, and peaceful protesters. Many have been accused without compelling evidence of association with banned opposition groups.

In August 2015, 18 leaders of protests by the country’s Muslim community were convicted and sentenced to between 7 and 22 years in prison. The ongoing trial of the members of a group called Zone 9 bloggers has been adjourned 36 times.

Human Rights Watch and other organizations have documented numerous incidents in which individuals critical of Ethiopia’s development programs have been detained and harassed, and often mistreated in detention. Journalists have been harassed for writing articles critical of the country’s development policy.

“These three men are the latest victims of the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on independent activists,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The arrests, lengthy detentions, and spurious terrorism charges bear all the hallmarks of Ethiopia’s effort to silence critical voices.”

The organizations seeking the release of Omot, Ashine, and Jamal are:

Human Rights Watch
Bread for All
GRAIN
Anywaa Survival Organization
Oakland Institute
Inclusive Development International

Case of Pastor Omot Agwa

In February 2014, Omot acted as interpreter and facilitator for the World Bank Inspection Panel during its visit to Gambella to investigate a complaint brought by former Gambella residents concerning the bank’s Protection of Basic Services (PBS) program. The program funded block grants to regional governments, including paying salaries of government officials.

The former residents alleged that the program was harming them by contributing to the government’s abusive “villagization” program. The program forcibly evicted indigenous and other marginalized peoples from their traditional lands and relocated them to new villages. In its report to the World Bank board of directors, which was leaked to the media in December 2014, the Inspection Panel concluded that the bank had violated some of its own policies in Ethiopia.

In February 2015, the World Bank board considered the Inspection Panel’s recommendations. Shortly thereafter, Omot reported that he was under increasing pressure from Ethiopian security personnel. While the Inspection Panel had not disclosed Omot’s identity in its report, it included a photograph of him with other community members, which was removed from subsequent versions. The week before his arrest, several people told Omot that a well-known federal security official from Gambella was looking for him.

On March 15, Omot texted an emergency contact that security officials at Addis Ababa’s international airport had detained him and the six others as they were heading for the workshop in Nairobi. Several days later, a witness saw four armed federal police officers and four plainclothes security officials take Omot, in chains, to his house in Addis Ababa, where they removed computers, cameras, and other documents.

The seizure of Omot’s computers and other materials raises concerns about the security of other Gambella community members the Inspection Panel interviewed. Given the severe restrictions on human rights investigation and reporting in Ethiopia, it is virtually impossible for rights groups to learn about reprisals in the villages the Inspection Panel visited.

Within days of Omot’s arrest, Human Rights Watch and other organizations alerted the World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim, and the European Union, United States, and Swiss missions in Addis Ababa. But on March 31, the World Bank board approved a new US$350 million agriculture project in Ethiopia. On September 15, the World Bank approved a $600 million Enhancing Shared Prosperity through Equitable Services project, which is replacing one of the subprograms of the PBS program.

World Bank staff assert that they have privately raised the case with Ethiopian government officials, but the nature of any communications is unclear. In a May meeting with nongovernmental organizations in Washington, DC, World Bank staff said that the government had informed them that Omot’s arrest was in accordance with Ethiopian law and unrelated to the bank’s accountability process.

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Prof. Berhanu Nega ESAT’s person of the year by people’s choice

September 21, 2015

You can’t keep doing the same thing again and again and expect different results. Have a courage to try something different and enlighten people in the dark. That’s what true leaders does!

“We’ll leave no stone unturned to get our liberty” Prof. Berhanu Nega ESAT’s person of the year by people’s choice.

Prof. Berhanu Nega ESAT’s person of the year

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My Private Letter to Senator Ted Cruz (Alemayehu G. Mariam)

September 20, 2015

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

A CALL TO ACTION

Special note and request: I am asking my readers in the United States, particularly Ethiopian Americans in the great State of Texas and in the Washington metropolitan area, to join me in advocating against confirmation of Gayle Smith who has been nominated to head the USAID.Gayle-Smith-nomination

The United States Senate has independent and full authority to confirm or reject Gayle Smith’s nomination.

I specifically urge Ethiopian American constituents of Senator Ted Cruz to contact one of his district offices or Senate office in Washington, D.C. and register their strong opposition to Smith’s confirmation.

For a list of Senator Cruz’s district offices in Texas and Washington, D.C., CLICK HERE.

I also call upon all Ethiopian Americans who believe in freedom, democracy and human rights to phone, write, email and fax their Senators’ local or Washington offices and register their strong opposition to Ms. Smith confirmation.

To contact your United States Senators, CLICK HERE.

“The President…shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law….” United States Constitution, Article II, section 2, Clause 2.

As I have set forth below in my letter to Senator Ted Cruz, Ms. Smith’s confirmation to head USAID will be a disaster for Africa and an unmitigated catastrophe for Ethiopia.

Let us use the U.S. Constitution and petition our Government to do the right thing:  REJECT THE NOMINATION OF GAYLE SMITH!

“You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.”

― Marian Wright Edelman

======================================

September 18, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz
U.S. Senate
Suite SR-404
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Cruz:

I refer to your Letter to President Barack Obama dated July 16, 2015.

In that Letter, you indicated your intention “to block all nominees for the Department of State” until the President provided you certain assurances.

The President has failed to provide you the assurances you requested.

As you pledged in your Letter, I am writing to seek your support in blocking the confirmation of Gayle Smith as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

On June 17, 2015, Ms. Smith’s confirmation was held before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate has yet to act on her nomination.

I am opposed to Ms. Smith’s nomination.

On May 12, 2015, I registered my objection to Ms. Smith’s confirmation in The Hill in my op-ed piece, “The Senate should not confirm Gayle Smith”.

I believe Ms. Smith is the wrong choice for the job.

I specifically object to Ms. Smith’s confirmation because of 1) her poor record in promoting and supporting democracy, freedom and human rights in Africa, and 2) for her unwavering support for African dictators for the past three decades and 3) for her foreign policy approach which treats Africans as welfare aid recipients who must be perpetually tethered to the pockets of hard working American tax payers.

Ms. Smith subscribes to a foreign policy of welfare, aid handouts and alms-giving to Africa generously supported by American taxpayers. In 2014, American tax payers through USAID spent over $5 billion in Africa on various health and development programs.

What have American tax payers received for the billions of dollars they have spent in Africa through USAID?

What have American tax payers received for the billions of dollars they have spent in Ethiopia through USAID?

No one really knows. Not even USAID!

In 2010, the U.S. State Department Office of the Inspector General (OIG)  concluded  its “audit was unable to determine whether the results reported in USAID/Ethiopia’s Performance Plan and Report were valid because mission staff could neither explain how the results were derived nor provide support for those reported results.” (“Audit of USAID/Ethiopia’s Agricultural Sector Productivity Activities (Audit Report No. 4-6663-10-003-P (March 30, 2010, p. 1″).

In 2014, the OIG concluded that the USAID HIV project in Ethiopia experienced significant and undue delays and was plagued by poor planning, lack of oversight and monitoring and complete absence of quality control.  (AUDIT OF USAID/ETHIOPIA’S HIV CARE AND TREATMENT ACTIVITIES, AUDIT REPORT NO. 4-663-14-006-P (MAY 23, 2014.)  In one USAID-funded hospital,  the OIG (with photographs)  “discovered several cartons of food supplements that mice had also chewed on. There were mouse droppings in both rooms where food was stored. The rooms were damp and dirty; one had no windows or lighting, and the other had a leaky ceiling (p.12.))

According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI),  “Ethiopia, which has a per-capita GDP of just US$365, lost US$11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2009.”

A good chunk of the nearly $12 billion lost in illicit transfer is American tax payer dollars given through USAID and laundered by the leaders of the ruling regime in Ethiopia and their cronies in off shore banks.

GFI concluded, “The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry.  No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage.”

If Ms. Smith is confirmed, the capital leakage will be capital hemorrhage, a capital tsunami out of Ethiopia! Ethiopians will be paddling up that famous creek without a paddle if Ms. Smith is  confirmed.

Simply stated, the OIG’s conclusions point to the incontrovertible fact that USAID in Ethiopia has been working hand in glove with the corrupt regime in Ethiopia and asleep at the switch, or shall I say the spigot, as American tax dollars flowed directly out of American pockets and into the pockets of regime officials and their crony contractors.

Confirmation of Ms. Smith to head the USAID will be an endorsement of USAID’s  business-as-usual modus operandi in Ethiopia.

Confirmation of Ms. Smith to head the USAID will mean a “beggar’s feast” for the regime in Ethiopia.

You see Senator Cruz, Ms. Smith  has been bosom buddies with Africa’s worst dictators for decades.

Ms. Smith has been and remains a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of some of the most ruthless dictatorships in Africa.

Ms. Smith was a staunch supporter and spin doctor of the late Meles Zenawi, the late bloodthirsty  and ruthless dictator in Ethiopia,  whose crimes against humanity have been certified by an Inquiry Commission he personally established.

It is a little known fact that Ms. Smith was an employee of Mr. Zenawi’s rebel organization the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the mid-1980s.

According to a May 1991 Christian Science Monitor report, “One of the few Westerners who speaks the Tigre language and has had many contacts with Zenawi over a nine-year period, is Gayle Smith, an American who worked for Tigre’s relief agency, REST, during the 1985-6 drought.”

Ms. Smith had long “gone native” with the brutal rebel group that is today ruling Ethiopia.

Smith was a staunch defender and spin-doctor of Meles Zenawi. She is today a protector and guardian of the TPLF.

It is ironic that the TPLF, which employed Ms. Smith decades ago is today is the official regime in Ethiopia, is today  listed in the Global Terrorism Database.

The fact of the matter is that Ms. Smith has tried to humanize the late cut-throat Marxist Meles Zenawi and his TPLF as  harmless ideologues.

Ms. Smith has tried to justify many of Zenawi’s outrageously radical statements as “language that goes along with being a left-of-center guerrilla organization”.

Ms. Smith has even tried to paint Zenawi as a reasonable liberal democrat who “realizes only a broad-based coalition can govern Ethiopia’s diverse ethnic population.”

Ms. Smith has long been a bulwark for a regime with a frightening human rights record.

The facts speak for themselves.

In 2003, Ms. Smith’s old comrade, Meles Zenawi, massacred over 400 innocent villagers in Gambella, in Western Ethiopia.

Ms. Smith was silent and turned a blind eye to the crimes against humanity committed by her old comrade-in-arms.

In 2005, Meles Zenawi ordered the massacre and shooting of hundreds of unarmed protesters following the election that year. In the Meles Massacres, nearly 200 unarmed protesters were killed and some 800 wounded.

Ms. Smith remained dead silent as the very graves the innocent protesters were buried in.

The Meles Massacres of 2005 were a defining moment for me, Senator Cruz.

Overnight, I was transformed from an armchair academic and pugnacious defense lawyer into an indefatigable human rights advocate for Ethiopia and Africa.

For the past nine years, I have written long weekly commentaries (without missing a single week!) exposing the crimes against humanity committed by the late Zenawi and the crimes against humanity that continue to be committed by the TPLF today.  (My commentaries are available at almariam.com  and   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam )

In 2007, Meles Zenawi ordered the indiscriminate bombing of the Ogaden region of Ethiopia results in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent villagers. The massacres in the Ogaden have been described as “genocide”.

Ms. Smith remained silent, deaf and mute in the face crimes against humanity committed by her dear friend Meles Zenawi.

As I am sure you are aware, the TPLF, the party for whom Ms. Smith worked decades ago, this past May declared one hundred percent (100%) victory in the parliamentary election.

In 2010, the same party declared victory by 99.6 percent.

To the shock and horror of the world, President Obama in July 2015 said, “the government of Ethiopia [which “won” the 2015 election by 100 percent] has been democratically elected.”

Ms. Smith was at the side of the President in Addis Ababa when he made the absurd declaration.

Over the past few months, a few of Ms. Smith’s personal friends and associates have written op-ed pieces lionizing her and trying to reinvent her a new public image as a defender of human rights. The latest one appeared in The Hill on September 18  declaring it is “Time for the Senate to confirm Gayle Smith.”

It is time to send back Gayle Smith’s nomination to the White house  stamped, “REJECTED”.

In another forum, I have presented ample evidence to support my opposition to Ms. Smith.

Let me restate my deep concerns that if the Senate confirms Ms. Smith, it will be a holiday for African dictators on the American tax payers’ dime.

I have no doubts that with news of Gayle Smith at the helm of USAID, African dictators will be rubbing their palms and drooling on their jackets at the very prospect of bleeding the American tax payer. They will be like slobbering  hyenas snorting a whiff of carrion.

USAID has long been a candy store for African dictators.

When Gayle Smith takes over, USAID will be a chocolate factory for African dictators.

In 2016, USAID will have some 22 billion in greenbacks to spread around the globe. A good 25 percent plus of it will  go out of the pockets of American tax payers to line the pockets of African dictators.

Gayle Smith’s confirmation will mean one thing for sure: One small insignificant event for the impoverished people of Africa, one giant money-making opportunity for African dictators.

Let me also underscore my deep disappointment over the fact that Ms. Smith believes Africa can develop and sustain itself hooked to the life-support system bleeding American tax payers.

Ms. Smith is wrong on her views on American tax dollars in Africa.

As Dambissa Moyo, one of the most respected African policy analyst has convincingly demonstrated, the “insidious aid culture has left African countries more debt-laden, more inflation-prone, more vulnerable to the vagaries of the currency markets and more unattractive to higher-quality investment.”

No one has ever escaped poverty by receiving alms or welfare payments disguised as “aid”.

What the USAID needs today is not a coddler of dictators or someone who caters to the whims and fancy of Africa’s strongmen.

The USAID needs the steady hand on the tiller.

Gayle Smith is not a steady hand on the tiller, though her confirmation will certainly mean African dictators will have their hands and fingers in the American tax payers’ till.

On the other hand, you are no doubt aware that USAID development programs have been plagued by widespread allegations of fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.

A Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that a significant amount of the nearly $10 billion spent by the U.S. in Africa between 2002 and 2012  on various health projects, including malaria and HIV control, “has been partly hijacked by organized networks that steal large quantities of donated malaria drugs and ship them from East to West Africa, where they end up for sale at street markets.”

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in 2013 found  that USAID’s of lack of effective oversight and monitoring placed hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars “at risk of waste, fraud and abuse.”

USAID does not need a namby-pamby leader at the helm.

USAID needs a strong consensus builder with the proven ability to resolve serious internal administrative issues.

USAID needs a visionary leader who could envision Africa holding a plough and sickle, not an Africa with outstretched arms holding a begging bowl for American tax payer dole out.

USAID needs a leader who can clean house, not house sit.

USAID does not need a leader who will sweep out the dirt, not hide it under the rug.

USAID does not need an administrator of welfare programs for African dictators.

USAID needs a leader with the ability and commitment to root out fraud, waste and abuse in the USAID.

If confirmed, Ms. Smith will oversee the administration of billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Africa.

Ms. Smith’s long and chummy relationship with Africa’s dictators make it impossible for her to become a strong advocate of human rights, the rule of law and good governance on the continent.

Ms. Smith will be a god-send for African beggar-dictators.

President Obama often invokes the metaphor of being “on the right side of history”.

Ms. Smith is on the wrong side of history; she has always been on the side of Africa’s dictators and strongmen.

President Obama is requesting the Senate’s advice and consent for Ms. Smith to become USAID Administrator.

It is time for the Senate to withhold consent on Smith’s confirmation and advise the President to send a nominee who is on the right side of history, on the right side of the rule of law, on the right side of democracy and on the right side of human rights.

It is time to reject a nominee who is on the side of dictators, strongmen and thugs who cling to power by the barrel of the gun.

For Africa, Senate confirmation of Ms. Smith at this moment will be the equivalent of moving the clock of history backwards for freedom, democracy and human rights.

I trust you will remain true to your promise in your July 16 Letter to President Obama and block Ms. Smith’s confirmation.

Regards,

Alemayehu (Al) Mariam, Ph.D., J.D.
Professor of Political Science &
Attorney at Law
Department of Political Science
California State University, San Bernardino
San Bernardino, CA 92402

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The Future of Ethiopian-Eritrean Relations

September 20, 2015

Third and Final Call for Abstracts and Papers

As the relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea continues to be agonizing, episodic and eventful, examining the relations from diverse and contemporary domains of knowledge and practical-institutional experience has increasingly become imperative. Vision Ethiopia, an independent team of Ethiopian scholars and professionals based in the United States, in cooperation with the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), is pleased to once again announce that it will be holding a one day public conference on Sunday October 18, 2015 at Washington Marriott Hotel, Georgetown. We are also happy to report that the responses that we got from the First and Second calls have been encouraging. Respected analysts, former diplomats and members of civil societies have shown interest. To broaden the participation further, this Third and Final call for abstracts, papers and suggestions is issued.Map of Ethiopia and Eritrea

The theme of the conference is the identification of the similarities and differences between the state and non-state actors in Ethiopia and Eritrea, narrowing the gaps, and building healthy future relations in the context of regional and international relations. The context in which the relation is examined is also important as the Horn of Africa is one of the trouble spots of the world and there are a number of competing global and regional powers with various interests in the region. Independent analysts, scholars and public intellectuals, community and religious leaders, diplomats, former civil servants and government officials and politicians have different, often competing and opposing perspectives about the causes and consequences of past and present actions/inactions of state and non-state actors.

How the actors attempt to bridge the gaps is of critical importance for the effective and enduring healthy relations between the two countries irrespective of who is in power in Addis Ababa and/or in Asmara. Discussions between Ethiopian, Eritrean and American scholars and public intellectuals, professionals, church and community leaders and broader society are therefore important and timely. Authors and speakers are expected to answer the following complex questions and related issues in the context of recent local, regional and international developments:-

• What should be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
• What should NOT be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
• What should be the roles of community, women, youth and faith organizations in leading the people-to-people relationship?
• What could men and women of the Arts and Sports do to resurrect the social and cultural relations between the two countries?
• What are some of the socio-economic–cultural considerations that leaders may have to take in to account to successfully get to the next height?
• What is/are the superpowers’ and regional powers’ interests in the region? etc.

The forthcoming conference, therefore, is a continuation of the various earlier initiatives to facilitate a proper forum for dialogue to better understand the issues that unite and divide the polities in the most recent global and regional order/disorder. It is also hoped that the conference will help to start developing workable ideas to build enduring healthy relationship between the nationals of the two countries to cooperate in their struggle to advance peace, prosperity, and democratize the region.

Therefore, we encourage and welcome considered and diverse ideas from all prospective participants.. We are also pleased to announce that ESAT’s management has promised to disseminate all presentations unedited and uncensored to the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Selection of abstracts, papers and panelists will be made on the merit, quality and fit of the thought to the three/four planned panel sessions. Please, send the abstract of your paper and suggestions to visionethiopia2015@gmail.com by September 30, 2015. Abstracts can be sent in Amharic or English. Accepted abstracts, papers, panelists and program details will be made on or before October 10, 2015. Speakers at the conference are required to be at the conference venue at least one hour before their schedule. For more information please call (703) 895-4551 or (202) 403-7025

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Third and Final Call for Abstracts and Papers

The Future of Ethiopian-Eritrean Relations

scansnap-papersAs the relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea continues to be agonizing, episodic and eventful, examining the relations from diverse and contemporary domains of knowledge and practical-institutional experience has increasingly become imperative.  Vision Ethiopia, an independent team of Ethiopian scholars and professionals based in the United States, in cooperation with the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), is pleased to once again announce that it will be holding a one day public conference on Sunday October 18, 2015 at Washington Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.  We are also happy to report that the responses that we got from the First and Second calls have been encouraging. Respected analysts, former diplomats and members of civil societies have shown interest.  To broaden the participation further, this Third and Final call for abstracts, papers and suggestions is issued.

The theme of the conference is the identification of the similarities and differences between the state and non-state actors in Ethiopia and Eritrea, narrowing the gaps, and building healthy future relations in the context of regional and international relations. The context in which the relation is examined is also important as the Horn of Africa is one of the trouble spots of the world and there are a number of competing global and regional powers with various interests in the region. Independent analysts, scholars and public intellectuals, community and religious leaders, diplomats, former civil servants and government officials and politicians have different, often competing and opposing perspectives about the causes and consequences of past and present actions/inactions of state and non-state actors.  How the actors attempt to bridge the gaps is of critical importance for the effective and enduring healthy relations between the two countries irrespective of who is in power in Addis Ababa and/or in Asmara.  Discussions between Ethiopian, Eritrean and American scholars and public intellectuals, professionals, church and community leaders and broader society are therefore important and timely.  Authors and speakers are expected to answer the following complex questions and related issues in the context of recent local, regional and international developments:-

  • What should be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
  • What should NOT be done to build good relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
  • What should be the roles of community, women, youth and faith organizations in leading the people-to-people relationship?
  • What could men and women of the Arts and Sports do to resurrect the social and cultural relations between the two countries?
  • What are some of the socio-economic–cultural considerations that leaders may have to take in to account to successfully get to the next height?
  • What is/are the superpowers’ and regional powers’ interests in the region?

The forthcoming conference, therefore, is a continuation of the various earlier initiatives to facilitate a proper forum for dialogue to better understand the issues that unite and divide the polities in the most recent global and regional order/disorder. It is also hoped that the conference will help to start developing workable ideas to build enduring healthy relationship between the nationals of the two countries to cooperate in their struggle to advance peace, prosperity, and democratize the region.

Therefore, we encourage and welcome considered and diverse ideas from all prospective participants.. We are also pleased to announce that ESAT’s management has promised to disseminate all presentations unedited and uncensored to the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Selection of abstracts, papers and panelists will be made on the merit, quality and fit of the thought to the three/four planned panel sessions. Please, send the abstract of your paper and suggestions to visionethiopia2015@gmail.com by September 30, 2015. Abstracts can be sent in Amharic or English.  Accepted abstracts, papers, panelists and program details will be made on or before October 10, 2015. Speakers at the conference are required to be at the conference venue at least one hour before their schedule.

For more information please call (703) 895-4551 or (202) 403-7025

– See more at: http://www.zehabesha.com/third-and-final-call-for-abstracts-and-papers/#sthash.rmGIYqWm.dpuf

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