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BBC’s George Alagiah Show at African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa

by Tedla Asfaw

GMT BBC World News of this morning, May 20, 2013, from 7am to 8am ET devoted 15 minutes of its time on George Alagiah or George, one of its correspondents on mission to cover the 50th anniversary of OAU/AU in Addis Ababa. The Headlines News on BBC tells its listeners that Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economy in the world. The small shoe factory, the coffee bean exporter who promised to bring British financed machinery to export the finished coffee product to the world market was the success story to support the claim.

George was honored by ringing the bell on the floor of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, the first of its kind in Africa according to BBC. These “economic miracles” and similar “owned” by the very few minority ethnicity are what the BBC Headlines declared the fastest growing economy of Ethiopia. Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn who was interviewed on the program was boasting of converting Ethiopia to manufacturing or industrialized country in the coming decade.However, China will not be happy mentioning Taiwan as one of the models for Ethiopia. Hailemariam is not as sharp as the late Meles Zenawi. Is Ethiopia doing business with both Taiwan and China ?

George’s AU Show in the coming day or days will cover the roads and buildings in Addis Ababa to support the march to industrialization. If he travels to the outskirts of Addis Ababa flower farms which is bringing in hard currency for the ruling mafia are replacing food producing farm lands. If he goes far he will see the mechanized farm of Sheik Al Amoudi and similar huge tracts of land under the control of the foreign landlords and the government. All these “growth” are at the expense of small farmers and indigenous people. The British development agency and USAID are financing the land grab. Europe has its flower and America has its security, period !!!!

George invited two students from university, two street dancers and one female architect to his show at AU Studio this morning. The street was very quiet looked like the Green Zone of America in Baghdad. We did not see the security forces but I can assure you that George Show was well protected not from ” terrorists” but from the wider public.If George wants to talk to the young people he could have gone to schools and colleges, why did he ask the school and college to come to him ? He went to Ethiopian Commodity Exchange floor why not go to the universities ? The truth is this. He is in total control by his hosts, the government cadres, because Ethiopia is run by armed group of minority clique which bans free assembly and speech throughout the country. Speech and Assembly are only allowed under the eye of security thugs or government picked paid agents.

The women Architect who informed us that she wants to stay in Ethiopia because construction is booming. If George goes around freely which he might not will find hundreds if not thousands of doctors leaving hospitals not because of lack of job but because of lack of basic freedom in Ethiopia. I challenge George to take his show to the people not bringing selected people to his studio at AU and feeding us tons of propaganda which the Ethiopian people are tired of.

The one minute talk about human rights with Hailemariam Desalegn is very shameful. For BBC what matters is “Food/growth” not Freedom. I want to give tip to George before he finished his AU Show most likely at the end of this week to Visit the Anwar Mosque and Kaliti Jail in Addis. If you are Muslim you can pray if not wait and follow the prayer. Talk to the young female and male and ask them what “growth” means to them. The journalists and political leaders locked up at Kaliti will not be allowed to talk, some were shipped out not to spoil the AU Show, but why not try to talk to family members, mothers,fathers, wives,husbands and children, who are coming daily for year or years to see their loved ones

Last but not least I want George to cover the peaceful rally of May 25 organized by the newly formed Blue Party/Semayawi of Ethiopia (Blue). They will try to come out right where George is , BBC AU studio. I do not want to give you their Web address because it is blocked. One thing George should not forget to report in few days he enjoys life in Addis is the “growth” in Internet blocking. Ethiopia is the worst abuser of all but BBC does not matter much because its correspondents are blocking themselves. Go Blue Go !!!!!

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