By Teshome Debalke
When some of the world Media and institutions take the Ethiopian ruling regime’s propaganda at face value to claim the country is one of the fastest growing economies, it makes you pause to say a new discipline in economics designed particularly to legitimize corruption as real must be invented.
Congratulation African tyrants, finally a new economic discipline that would cover up your notoriously corrupt rule to show growth and development is invented. If reshuffling numbers of foreign aid, Diaspora remittance and selling off national resources to foreign inventors for cheap are considered growth and development we are in the new era of modern day dictatorship. Unlike the previous era where dictators claim to protect the poor masses from the rich by nationalizing private property modern dictators are selling to the rich to help the poor.
More troubling is the international community going along with it simply because it vindicates them for century of failing to make any difference after billions of dollars wasted to help the poor. For modern day authoritarian regimes it is like wining a lottery. It helps them mask their corruptions and atrocities and legitimize their rule in the eyes of the world power brokers. It is indeed a win-win situation for both but a loss to the people of Ethiopia.
Never mind about democracy, good governance and rule of law for the people under brut and corrupt ruler. Ignore rampant corruption from top to the bottom of the totalitarian regime’s officials on the expense of the people. Forget the regime running racketeering and extortion centers-owning banks, export, transport and many businesses on the expenses of legitimate businesses. Disregard the regime is a sole landlord of the nation; dispensing it cheaper than the price of a hamburger and bribing to garner support on the expenses of the innocent.
The motto of for the new partnership between tyrants of Africa and international agencies in development became,’ if it is good for the ruling regime & cronies and acceptable for the international Aid agencies it must be good enough for everybody else’ and anything else is simply ‘collateral damage’? If that isn’t Crime Against Humanity what could it be.
Therefore the new Jungle Economics doesn’t have to measure economic growth or development but makes spinning numbers an acceptable economic measure in the world of ‘fit anything to the desire end’ cooked by none other than the usual suspects. Why grow and develop the economy when you can make it look like you do to keep the people guessing while you are ripping-off the economy clean and look good doing it?
What is behind all this growth propaganda the Woyane regime and its apologist want us to believe?
It all started after the 2005 election when Woyane took a ‘calculated risk’ to see if it can hoodwink the people of Ethiopia to claim it is in power legitimately and its ill gotten wealth is a legitimate earning. But, When Woyane got a wiping by popular vote never seen in the history of election it panicked and came up with a different strategy.
After it mow-down 100s of Ethiopians to death in cold blood and jailed 1000s more, it cleaned up the blood from the street and reinstates its ethnic dictatorship for good by 99.6% vote. From thereon, Woyane figured out it can only rule Ethiopians that unanimously rejected it by playing Jungle Economics.
The Jungle Economics that was at work behind closed doors for its cronies since Woyane set foot in Addis Ababa was activated for the mainstream. The regime front ethnic officials and cadres were instructed to pass on the rule of the Jungle Economics. Public Relation firms were hired to create an illusion to turn a mafia regime in to a development regime. International Aid Agencies were courted to put their money as they see fit to legitimize the regime as development regime. Local and international alibi from academia, and Aid Agencies with shaky credential were dispatched to reinforce the regime’s propaganda. Media campaign to mainstream the Jungle Economics filled the airwave; showing pictures of real and imagined projects in the pipeline-the Millennium Dam Project leading the propaganda campaign with a slogan Growth and Transformation Plan and the international community bought it.
As far as the international community is concerned Woyane is no longer a brutal and corrupt ethnic tyranny rejected by popular demand but, an elected regime by ‘overwhelming majority’ and growing and developing the economy by ‘double digit’. It was echoed by its stooges; feeding the international Media and Aid agencies and confusing the hell out of Ethiopians. Talk about how a good PR stunt can transform a criminal enterprise posed as government robbing a nation into a development regime.
The problem isn’t Woyane, a self declared criminal enterprise way before anybody called it as such. But, it is the oppositions and the rest of us that couldn’t figure out the jungle politics or economics from the real thing. Some see it as a good thing if they get a piece of the action. Others feel the economy is secondary, political come first. The rest are disgusted with anything Woyane and left the field of the struggle into their corners. No one yet challenged Woyane and its cronies on the ground of crime of corruption and racketeering in the world stage where it gets a blank check to do more of the same.
Before Woyane and its ethnic stooges scream genocide and label me terrorist and, growl extremist Diaspora as their usual line of defense when caught with their hand in the cookie jar let me explain how the Jungle Economics works to put them in their place.
First let’s declare there is no a single Woyane stooge alive today that really believes the regime ruling Ethiopia is legitimate. If there is, s/he must be dumb to understand legitimacy or a willing criminal benefactor. In either case there is no need for him/her to read any further but scream foul as the usual.
Likewise, there is no a single Woyane stooge alive today that really believe the Ethiopia economy is growing and developing but a wasteland for Woyane cronies. If there is one that believes otherwise, s/he must be chronically corrupt to cash-in in the robbing of Ethiopians or dumb enough to believe the Jungle Economy is real. In either case there is no need for her/him to read any further but enjoy the party while it lasts.
In the real world, credible economy is measured by those that have no interest in the outcome either way. If there is any conflict of interest in the data generated it is considered useless junk or propaganda to be taken seriously. Not in the jungle economics where the measurement must fit the desired outcome. Thus, the stooges that are spewing rubbish are noting more than conspirators in crime against the people and the nation.
What we see out of the desperate Woyane regime is selling off natural resources and land to foreign entities and cronies and calls it growth and development to legitimize its rule and corruption, noting more. If one can’t understand the crime of Woyane s/he might as well claim s/he is foreigner care less as long as s/he gots what is offered.
Surprisingly, many individuals and some international institutions and personality are willing to put their reputation and creditability online on behalf of defending the Jungle Economics in public. Closer scrutiny reviles most of the sorry apologist have economic interest to prop up the Jungle Economy and turn it in to mainstream economy. Therefore, they already lost creditability when they join the criminal enterprise of Woyane.
Fully aware of involving with criminal enterprise can have serious legal implications, they always hide behind humanitarian excuses; to help the poor, feed the hungry and tend to the sick being the safest cover up. Lately, job creation, helping the ‘poor farmers’, ‘empowering women…farmers’…and many more catch words are being thrown around as an excuse to justify the Jungle Economy. In reality, they know all along it is all about empowering Woyane robbing the nation in the name of…
Among the stanch conspirators and apologist of the Jungle Economy are Ethiopians with their hand in ‘the cookie jar’ along foreigners with an interest of their own. These sorry bunches are usually cronies of the regime, hired hands by the regime favorite investors, or international development agencies to fit the Jungle Economy into something that is acceptable in the real world.
To understand the Jungle Economy one need to look into some of the top characters that profess it is the best thing since…, starting with Newai Gebre-ab, the guru of the Jungle Economics and the official ‘Economic Advisor’ to the ruling regime (the late Prime Minster) for two decades. A TPLF operative, he is considered an Economist by profession. No one knows what kind of economic advice is needed to robe a nation by his TPLF cronies that have been ransacking the nation at will and running to the bank laughing.
Therefore, his advice can only be considered to put TPLF criminal cartel on the top and the rest of Ethiopians on the bottom to finance the legitimacy of Woyane. The zero-sum-game the regime’s economic adviser came up with is at work; creating corrupt class of TPLF cronies that guard their economic interest by army of tugs across the world.
Another fellow Woyane parade to earn international legitimacy is Zemebdenh Negatu. A native of Ethiopia and the East Africa Managing Partner/Consultant of the prestigious Consulting Firm, Ernest Young based in New York. With all international credential around his belt he is reduced as a parrot of the regime propaganda when he made a u-turn from his professional duty to legitimize the Jungle Economics as real when it comes to his native country of Ethiopia.
Not once he, as a Professional Consultant raised the political and economic risk of investing in a Jungle Economy where the regime and its cronies dominate all sector political institutions and the economy as business operators. Essentially, he is misleading investors by withholding critical information to the extent of investment risks competing with the ruling regime itself.
Not only he violated his oath to tell the truth to his clients but sold the nation on a hand basket as if he is an Agent of the regime than a professional Consultant to investors. His interview with an Indian Television (ITNM) an example of his tune and speaks volume when he skirt important question the interviewer raises in favor of the Jungle Economy of Woyane.
There are quite a few ‘professionals’ like him that took the lower road by defying their professional ethics and empowering the lawless regime ruling Ethiopia.
Another individual heavily involved in the Jungle Economy is the infamous Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, an Ethiopian born Foreign Investor from the Kingdom of Saudi and a stanch supporter of the regime.
His close association to the ruling regime is unprecedented for a foreign investor even by African standard. He openly endorses the regime and bribes government officials and brag about it in public with impunity. His collusion with the regime in business and the political affair of the nation would be considered crime of corruption and treason that would have a major civil and criminal liability in any self-respecting nation. Yet, in the Jungle Economy it is an open season for him and his entourage-courtesy of the ruling regime where the law and their pocket book are one and the same.
His staged interview on Ethiopian Television tells how far he is willing to go to keep his favorite regime alive to protect his investment while he is faking his love for ‘his country’ of birth. No one knows what LOVE has to do with crime of corruption, breaking the law, stifling the freedom and democratic rights of the people and crony capitalism in partnership with authoritarian regime. Short of explanation his bizarre behavior for a major ‘investor’, it seems the man believes Ethiopia is the private property of Woyane and he is an invited guest to do whatever he feels like it on the expenses of the regime.
Another interesting personality is the famous Bill Gate of Microsoft Corporation. An American Philanthropist and development financier is new for the mess of Jungle Economics of Woyane. But, his activities tell the story of how Western do-gooders are being played by savvy tyrants to turn into an apologist of authoritarian regimes with far more implication for the future development finance and the Gate & Malinda Foundation itself. Essentially they turn in to financiers of the regimes’ corruption. Failing to do due diligence before involving in nations where ruling regimes are corporate cartels that channel development Aid by playing on all side of the economy and politics he like many fall victim of the jungle economy they have no idea how it works.
Sadly, the man that made history in the Information Revolution became the victim of misinformation of Woyane to validate the regime’s land-grab policy by financing the Agriculture Development Transformation Agency. The new Agency is noting more than a front of the regime in robbing a nation with a brand Agriculture Development Transformation with a selling point of ‘helping the poor by developing the agriculture sector’, the new slogan of the Jungle Economics.
With land under the ruling regime, production and marketing input run by the regime cronies, and investment and economic policy making the domain of the ruling regime no one knows what Agriculture Transformation means? The Woyane regime couldn’t ask for a better partner than Bill Gate to legitimize its robbery of a nation.
Gates pitch video on ‘Exciting Innovations in Agri and Health’ in Ethiopia speaks volume how the savvy Woyane played him as a fool to garner his endorsement. Who would argue when Gate says it is good for the people except he have no idea how the jungle economics works. Someone need educate him to understand the jungle economics better so that he can put his resources for better use where he can bring about ‘Exciting Innovation’ in the real economy.
By the way, what does Agriculture Development have to do with producing primary cash commodity by foreign investors besides making a nation a banana republic and the people daily laborers? Where are the real economists when we needed them?
The intellectuals in academia are also reduced as parrots of the regime’s Jungle Economics. The Department of Economics in Addis Ababa University is a good example of academia going wild in mainstreaming the Jungle Economics of Woyane. True, higher education institutions are under the Woyane regime control infested with cadres. True, the best minds of the nation are thrown out; replaced by cadres to sing the regime song, But, to come out in public claiming the Jungle Economy is real isn’t only professional suicide but a crime that will hunt them the rest of their lives.
All of the above individuals are considered educated enough to understand elementary economic development that reviles an economy under an authoritarian regime in business for itself is dead end. But yet, they coddle with the regime in prolonging the suffering of the people and delay the necessary reforms that would set the people free to do real development just because they are corrupted to sustain a corrupt regime. How do they sleep in good conscious knowing they are the instrument of keeping millions of people in chronic poverty and under development and a charity case of the world while they enjoy the blood money out of the jungle economy?
Once again another generation is lost when learned men decided to cater for corrupt tyrants of Africa and come up with all kinds of hiding places while the rest of us wonder what to do. How long are we going to tolerate these good-for-noting apologists of the regime that continued to skirt the issue on the expenses of the millions of people held hostage by the Jungle Economics and politics of Woyane?
There are lots of works ahead to clean up house to bring about a government by the people, to the people and for the people.