|Our Mission||News||Opportunities||Politics/Rights||Alumni||Environment||Immigration||Useful Links|
"How easily we prescribe for others a cure for their difficulties, while we cannot cure our own."
Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1821
Acrobat 3.0 or 4.0 is required to access this document
Maputo Declaration on the Use of Children as Soldiers
POST-BRETTON WOODS DISORDER
The US has written off almost US $30 million in debt for drought-stricken Ethiopia, which is strapped with a massive US $6 billion debt burden.
Out of 74 countries with per capita incomes under $1,435, only 11 nations would qualify for US aid under the new Bush Millennium Challenge criteria. Each country is judged on 16 criteria that measure whether its government is "ruling justly," "investing in people," and providing "economic freedom." If a country fails the corruption test, but passes the other 15 categories, it will not get US aid.
The Ethiopian Diaspora salutes you for your sincere efforts in making President Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” mantra a reality by championing the cause of 65 million Ethiopians. You are a leader to whom the attribute “A friend in need is a friend indeed” is most apropos. At a time when international terrorism has marginalized the domestic terrorism inflicted by Meles Zenawi’s regime in Ethiopia, we salute you for bringing our cause to the front burner
Stop Nestlé demanding $6 million from Ethiopia where 6 million people face starvation. 35,000 people have already joined our call. Add your voice now!
Jonathan Dimbleby in his recent article (12/11/02) about the Ethiopian famine, for example, started by talking about hearing one morning “the familiar tones of Bob Geldof’s appeal and the voices of the victims”, and then described Ethiopia as “nation which is synonymous through out the world with misery and suffering on a biblical scale”. This is a typical example of patronizing, de-contextualizing and stereotyping.
A Nestle spokesman on Tuesday told the BBC the company would invest any compensation back into Ethiopia. And he said Nestle might accept less than the $6m it says it is owed.
A company that made $5.5bn profit last year is trying to force the government of one of the poorest nations on earth to cough up $6m, and is refusing to accept a $1.5m compromise settlement that the cash-strapped regime has offered.
Global coffee giant Nestle are demanding millions of dollars from famine stricken Ethiopia –one of the poorest countries in the world with an average income of less than $2 a day.
The world's biggest food company, Nestle, has become caught up in a row with the Ethiopian government over compensation for a nationalised local subsidiary.
To mark Human Rights Day the organisation CREDO, which is an International human rights organisation based in Senegal and London, has written an extraordinary open letter to the recently formed African Union, whose President is South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, cataloguing the human rights abuses sustained in 26 out of the Union's 53 member states. It alleges that despite subscribing to a seemingly democratic charter many African states still do not understand that good governance is essential to development. '
Multi-lateral institutions and various donor countries have pledged USD 3.6 billion help finance [Ethiopia] the country Sustainable Development And Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP) in the years 2002/03 to 2004/05.
Alarmingly, based on the self assessment of the statistically valid sample, the number of people living in destitution [in Amhara region] has increased from 5.5% ten years ago to 14.6% today, and the prediction is that this will rise to 21.8% in ten years time. Perhaps even more worrying is the rise in ‘vulnerable’ people from 17.4% ten years ago to 54.9% today, and the decline in people with ‘viable’ or ‘sustainable’ livelihoods from 77.1% ten years ago to 30.6% today.
Study papers presented to the "Rural Development" workshop held last week at the Prime Minister's Office revealed that the value-added in agriculture in the early 1990s was less than one quarter that of Nigeria. That figure alone illustrates Ethiopia's poverty starkly. "Average incomes for those engaged in agriculture are only one-sixth as high as for those in non-farm employment."
Once again this year, most of the countries in the greatest need are on the continent of Africa, where the impact of poverty and conflict has been aggravated by the world's highest infection rates of Aids.
Stiglitz displays a soft corner for his own alma mater, the World Bank, while lambasting the IMF. He is hopeful that the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will allow individual countries to be "in the driving seat" in the future, unlike the colonial IMF. But one would have liked him to take a more critical look at the bank, too, and ask why exactly it allows its development assistance to be linked to IMF structural adjustment stipulations.
Efforts to highlight human development needs in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers for the Africa region was the focus of an Addis Ababa workshop that included government officials, civil society, donors and Bank staff from 13 African countries. The four-day workshop worked to strengthen and deepen the role of the human development agenda in the PRSP process to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Ethiopians are as poor now as they were 20 years ago, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Despite the continuing burden of poverty, "aid to developing countries fell; for Africa it was halved in real terms over the decade from $39 to $19 per capita," Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, the report's lead author, says.
The communications media can assure their independence from government and business if they heed strict ethical and professional principles, thus contributing to the deepening of democracy around the world, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Wednesday.
The Human Development Report, an annual measurement of global poverty issued by the United Nations Development Programme, once again provides an indicator of Africa's economic woes. Twenty-seven African nations head a list of 173 of the world's least developed countries. Fifty-two African nations are on the list.
The government plans to spend 3 billion birr (dlrs 350 million) on defense, the same as last year. About 1.2 billion birr (dlrs 140 million) was set aside for education, health and other social services. The total budget for all social services was 334 million birr (dlrs 40 million) last year.
G8 Team rating: 3/10 This was a summit that promised much but failed to rise to expectations. A team of strong individuals that should play together well failed to deliver the goods. Some did better than others, but no team member comes away with much credit from a summit that leaves Africa still on the sidelines.
A great moment is at hand: a chance for developed countries to make a sound investment while helping to break the cycle of African underdevelopment. This prospect now seems as obvious as it was previously elusive.
The "peoples of the developing world would…be bitterly disappointed if your [G8] meeting confined itself to offering them good advice and solemn exhortations, rather than firm pledges of action in areas where your own contributions can be decisive," the Secretary-General writes.
Member countries will focus on 'strengthening global economic growth, building a new partnership for Africa’s development, and fighting terrorism.'
"Give us market access; give us a level playing field for our products and goods; give us a trade partnership that is more than just in name," said Mr Wolfensohn, the World Bank president. "That is what [African] leaders are saying. Is anyone listening?"
U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Irish rock star Bono on Thursday visited an Ethiopian hospice and orphanage run by missionaries, one of the last stops of their African tour...Bono cajoled O'Neill into making the tour to see for himself how important debt relief, fair trade and effective aid are to Africa.
“It is just not acceptable that Ethiopia, where 62 percent of adults cannot read, where one million children are orphans, is paying $100 million a year to us," Bono said in a speech punctuated by applause and cheers from delegates at the African Development Bank's (ADB) annual conference
As rock star Bono and U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill arrived in Ethiopia on the last leg of their ten-day, four-nation tour of Africa, an Austin, Texas-based family foundation, focused on Ethiopia, believes it can supply many of the answers both men are looking for.
Bono called for rich nations to stop imposing massive trade barriers and offering huge subsidies for farmers, as this had a crippling effect on impoverished African countries. But the treasury secretary said that huge subsidies for US farmers were here to stay - at least in the short term...Bono...said: "I think it was really wrong-headed of the United States to demand for others what it won't accept for itself. You are telling countries like Ethiopia and Ghana and Uganda that they can't have trade subsidies, but at the same time putting US $85 billion in trade subsidies in the farming sector of the United States - that is not really a level playing field."
Removing subsidies and tariffs is far more important to Africa's development than aid, Meles said. The problem, he said, is that wealthy nations extend "enormous subsidies" to their own agribusinesses while placing taxes on the very products Africans have the comparative advantage in, such as grain and cotton. "This is clearly and blatantly hypocritical," Meles said.
On Monday, Bono - the pop supremo turned Third World campaigner - pitches up in Africa for a four-country, 10-day tour. Beside him in the passenger seat will be the stern-faced figure of Paul O'Neill, the silver-maned United States Secretary of the Treasury, also known as world's most powerful finance minister.
Amid signs that the funds are deploying their considerable financial resources to bring test cases against developing countries in courts around the world, Mr Brown believes a number of heavily indebted poor countries - or HIPCs - such as Nicaragua and Ethiopia might decide to pay commercial creditors rather than become embroiled in costly legal battles...
...Beyond the criticism of the IMF, Stiglitz has trouble hiding his political sympathy for Meles Zenawi, whom he showers with a plethora of qualities, from "honesty" to "personal integrity" through "intellectual attributes", and even rebukes the PM's democratic critics by saying pointedly that the hard-working man "was not an old-fashioned autocrat."
Oxfam is taking part in the Global Campaign for Education’s Week of Action this month, to speak out for the 125 million children worldwide who are still excluded from school. But time is running out!
...The whole banking system of Ethiopia (measured, for example, in the size of its assets) is a little lower than that of Bethesaida, Maryland; small suburb of Washington which has 55 277 inhabitants. The IMF wanted not only that Ethiopia open its financial markets to western competition, but also that it splits its main bank in to several fragments. In a world where certain financial American mega institutions like Citibank and Travelers, or Manufacture Hanover and Chemical, declare that they merged so as to be able to participate effectively in the competition, a bank of the size of the North East Bethesaida National had obviously no means to compete with a global giant like Citibank. (...)
Après avoir démissionné de la Banque mondiale dont il était vice-président, Joseph E. Stiglitz raconte, dans son dernier livre, les obstacles rencontrés face au Fonds monétaire international (FMI). Nous en publions des bonnes feuilles, consacrées notamment à l'Ethiopie.
The World Bank in a new study has warned many developing countries are at risk of not achieving poverty goals established by the United Nations (UN).April 19, BBC: World Bank calls for more trade
World Bank President James Wolfensohn has said boosting trade among poorer nations is the only guaranteed way to ensure their long-term prosperity.
We have the potential to end poverty for millions. Only your voice is missing. World trade could end poverty for millions of people, but instead it's actually widening the gap between rich and poor. Oxfam has launched an international campaign to Make Trade Fair. If we can make the biggest noise in history - with voices from every part of the world - we can change the unfair rules of world trade. Find out more, and join the campaign by visiting:Make Trade Fair
The "economic therapy" imposed under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction is in large part responsible for triggering famine and social devastation in Ethiopia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, wreaking the peasant economy and impoverishing millions of people. With the complicity of branches of the US government, it has also opened the door for the appropriation of traditional seeds and landraces by US biotech corporations, which behind the scenes have been peddling the adoption of their own genetically modified seeds under the disguise of emergency aid and famine relief.April 11, World Bank: Making Monterrey Work For Africa
Africa urgently needs rich nations to deliver on their promises of more generous aid and wider trade opportunities to reverse the cruel effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, civil wars, and persistent low growth rates, the World Bank said ...
Shrinking aid and investment flows means that African nations are facing increasingly dire prospects, the World Bank has warned.
...By contrast, in the current process of globalization we have a system of what I call global governance without global government. International institutions like the World Trade Organization, the IMF, the World Bank, and others provide an ad hoc system of global governance, but it is a far cry from global government and lacks democratic accountability. Although it is perhaps better than not having any system of global governance, the system is structured not to serve general interests or assure equitable results. This not only raises issues of whether broader values are given short shrift; it does not even promote growth as much as an alternative might.March 30, Deki Alula, Anonymous: World Bank and Meles Zenawi defend each other's interests
In an attempt to divert attention from the serious problems facing his administration, Mr. Meles Zenawi wrote a hollow piece of paper sometime ago called "a renewal something" and ordered his employees and party cadres to discuss it for months. Although I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of both the paper and discussions, Ethiopians finally got a temporary relief from the nauseating media coverage of the drama, until now. The new drama these days is entitled "Poverty Reduction Strategy", which this time is written, choreographed, and directed by the world bank and played by the same actors headed by Mr.Zenawi...
The countries that have managed globalization on their own, such as those in East Asia, have, by and large, ensured that they reaped huge benefits and that those benefits were equitably shared; they were able substantially to control the terms on which they engaged with the global economy. By contrast, the countries that have, by and large, had globalization managed for them by the International Monetary Fund and other international economic institutions have not done so well. The problem is thus not with globalization but with how it has been managed...
...launching and executing a poverty-alleviation strategy postulates a multi-sectoral approach. This is because it is vastly complex and embraces diversified issues of immediate and long-term interest to the poor. These issues must be properly analyzed digested and understood as a basis for formulating well-thought-out, all-encompassing poverty-alleviation programmes and projects designed to address realistically the most urgent and pressing problems of the poor...
Since the great famine of 1984–85 Ethiopia has received hundreds of thousands of tons of food aid per year. Even Ethiopian administration officials now speak of a dependency syndrome, a recipient mentality, among the people. Much less aid would be needed if the country’s agricultural potential was better used and more attention was paid to the aid actually reaching those that need it. But the current food aid system is bound up with strong political and economic interests in Ethiopia and the donor countries...
The conclusion -- from Mr. Kolbe and from America's allies -- is that both the quantity of aid and its effectiveness should be bolstered. But Mr. O'Neill's Treasury seems to hear only half this message...
In many developing countries education has become a privilege, rather than a basic human right. Children are denied an education because their parents don’t earn enough to pay education charges. Not just school fees, but the cost of books, pencils, and uniforms too.
Ethiopia's creditors have agreed to write off 1.3 billion dollars of the country's external debt so long as Addis Abba toes the line on economic restructuring laid down by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The World Bank's and the IMF announced today that Ethiopia has taken the steps necessary to reach its decision point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)Initiative, becoming the 24th country to qualify for debt relief under the Initiative's enhanced framework.
A big thank you to everyone who signed the Health before wealth petition and helped us to gather over 30,000 signatures from 169 countries. The petition will be presented at the World Trade Organisation summit in Doha, Qatar, 9 - 13 November. Check out the site for regular updates and reports from Oxfam campaigners.
On Saturday 3 November, eightthousand people joined the Trade Justice Parade in London, to call for fairer rules governing international trade
...Judging by results, then, the IMF should have given Ethiopia an A+. And there were other positive indicators, such as direct evidence of the competence and commitment of the government. For instance, it had cut back dramatically on military spending-a remarkable feat for a government that had come to power by military means-in favor of spending to fight poverty. This was precisely the kind of government to which the international community should have been directing assistance. Yet the IMF had suspended its aid. Why?
A meeting of African leaders called to promote trade and sound economic management has ended in Nigeria with a call to double thecontinent's economic output.
The World Bank has warned that Africa may become one of the worst economic casualties of the war against terrorism and the global economic slowdown
World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern has praised Ethiopia for its efforts towards poverty reduction, a concept that now underlies much of the Bretton Woods institutions' lending, a World Bank statement said.
For more than 20 years, people from Argentina to Zambia have conducted mass protests against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Because those demonstrations have occurred in developing countries, to which the IMF and World Bank are not accountable, the institutions have largely ignored them. Americans knew little of the protests and little about the policies of the institutions...
Backed by big business, the US is blocking proposed changes to the World Trade Organisation's rules on drug patents in advance of the vital WTO summit in November. Changes that would mean cheaper medicines for poor people....
The threat of ugly street protests wherever they gather in mass is suddenly forcing the world's most powerful bankers, financiers and politicians to regroup and, it must be hoped, reassess some fundamental assumptions about wealth and power in the age of globalization...
Every day, infectious diseases kill 30,000 in the developing world. Poor countries need cheaper medicine now.
The full report is available online at HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000- HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
links to Summit:
Poverty and misery for coffee growers, massive profits for the big coffee companies. Don't swallow it... There is a crisis in the world coffee industry... massive overproduction has pushed prices down to an all-time low... 25 million coffee producers face ruin. Families are unable to buy medicines, enough food, or to send their children to school. The four giant coffee companies make huge profits while paying coffee farmers less than it costs to grow it.
Politics matter for human development. Reducing poverty depends as much on whether poor people have political power as on their opportunities for economic progress. Democracy has proven to be the system of governance most capable of mediating and preventing conflict and of securing and sustaining well-being. By expanding people's choices about how and by whom they are governed, democracy brings principles of participation and accountability to the process of human development.
The recent G-8 conference in Canada, included an " African Day" devoted to discussions between G-8 leaders and select African leaders on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). The G-8 leaders at the end of this interaction presented a " G-8 Africa Action Plan." However, the "Action Plan" has come under relentless criticisms from Western and African media, civil society organizations and professional bodies for being too vague in terms of resources and commitments. It is important to ponder what's next for the triangular relationship between African leaders, NEPAD and G-8.
People in Africa face poverty and suffering on a scale which is unimaginable to most of us. To take just one statistic: 300 million Africans live on less than $1 a day
Debate on the Role of the Third Sector in Ethiopia
Even though CRDA is an umbrella organization of NGOs in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian people have no information whatsoever on what its role is and today's achievement in making NGOs more nearer to the public and warning or correcting NGOs with wrong doings. Otherwise, wrong accusations against NGOs and blank defense by CRDA or senior elites in NGOs will also continue at any time in the future for no good purpose.
The population of Ethiopia is estimated to be a little over 65 million. It is an open secret today that 45% of the population live in abject poverty. On the other hand, there are only around 350 registered NGOs operational in Ethiopia (the least number of NGOs to be found in one country as compared to other African countries, where, for instance, in South Africa, there are about 54,000, serving less than half the population in Ethiopia). We tried to raise this comparison only to indicate the disparity in the figures, in light of the declared ideals of NGOs, which is to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihood of the marginalized sectors of society.
...Ethiopia probably has the fewest NGO’s per capita of any African country. Let’s start with the facts, something our friend Sereke is not troubled with. There are only 172 NGOs in the CRDA, the umbrella group of NGOs, which represents almost all of the significant NGOs in the country. Including other, mostly tiny organizations, there are 453 DPPC registered NGOs operating in the country as a whole. In Kenya, with half the population of Ethiopia, there are over 5000 NGOs registered. By any measure, the number of NGOs in the country is extremely small.
The conventional wisdom about Non Governmental Organizations, commonly known as NGOs, is that they play an important role in the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment. Their direct involvement in relief, rehabilitation and development efforts is presumably expected to bring about incremental change, which leads towards sustainable growth. However, in many areas around the country, NGO intervention is not yielding the desired ffects. Development has become an illusive, utopian proposition. Living conditions are showing continuous signs of deterioration and there is little or no hope in sight. Misery, apathy, stagnation, corruption and abject poverty have become permanent features of our ailing nation.
Debt, Poverty and Corruption
Jeffrey Sachs (Harvard Center for International Development): Helping the World's Poorest
Jesse Jackson Jr. HOPE for Africa
|Archives||Home||Our Mission||Top||Useful Links|