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Uncovering the Truth: Abiy Ahmed’s Corridor Development in Addis Ababa

June 10, 2024

Mr. Abiy Ahmed’s project for “corridor development” in Addis Ababa is deceptive, as it conceals poverty instead of tackling it. To begin with, the terminology used is incorrect; the appropriate term should be “development corridor.” This error in naming lays the foundation for a project with questionable objectives and considerable adverse consequences

The initiative seems to have three main goals: firstly, to improve the path towards Abiy’s envisioned $15 billion palace; secondly, to deceitfully assert Addis Ababa as the domain of the OPDO/OLF regime; and thirdly, to relocate specific populations in order to change the city’s demographic makeup. However, in truth, the primary objective of the project is to extend and enhance the road that leads to Abiy’s opulent forthcoming palace. This entails optimizing and adorning the buildings along the route by adding electric strips and giving them a fresh coat of paint.

The aim of these superficial alterations is to create an illusion of progress and affluence, concealing the underlying socio-economic challenges. Additionally, this initiative serves a political agenda: to strengthen the regime’s assertion that Addis Ababa, established by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taytu, rightfully belongs to the OPDO/OLF faction and its supporters. This revised narrative promotes the displacement of specific communities in order to manipulate demographic changes that benefit those aligned with Abiy. Furthermore, this undertaking is being executed in an autocratic and exclusive manner. As part of his gentrification endeavors, Abiy has compelled tenants to finance the refurbishment of buildings themselves.

From my perspective, I found myself obligated to contribute 1,200 birr towards the painting of the visible areas within our communal compound, which encompassed the front and back walls as well as the gate. This circumstance arose when the decision to demolish our rented residences was put on hold temporarily due to the unavailability of alternative accommodations. This particular instance highlights the adverse economic and social consequences of Abiy’s poorly timed and poorly planned initiative. Numerous individuals without proper documentation have been left without a place to call home, while those who were forcefully evicted have been relocated to substandard housing lacking essential amenities such as water and electricity.

. The surface-level strategy emphasizes a strong unwillingness to tackle the underlying reasons behind poverty, including malnutrition during early childhood, inadequate healthcare, substandard education, ineffective governance, and corruption. For example, the money squandered on luxurious items for officials, such as Adanech Abebe’s high-end clothing or Abiy’s costly makeup and Botox treatments, could be better utilized to enhance education and infrastructure. Genuine poverty alleviation necessitates confronting these core challenges.

Corruption and mismanagement result in the diversion of resources from essential services and development projects. In order to effectively address poverty, Ethiopia requires a comprehensive set of policy measures. These measures should involve utilizing land for economic development rather than personal gain, eliminating favoritism such as the unjust allocation of 10,000 square meters of prime land to Berhanu Jula. Additionally, the government should prioritize providing special education and skill training for impoverished adults, granting land titles to farmers, and ensuring affordable access to land. It is also imperative to establish and strengthen agricultural, industrial, and mortgage banks, as well as establish competent project study and analysis institutes.

It is crucial to promote both domestic and foreign investment collaborations, as well as to enhance the national budget allocations for quality education and training. Abiy Ahmed’s approach of isolating and disguising poverty is ineffective in the long run. True poverty alleviation demands a thorough examination and resolution of its underlying factors.

Girma Berhanu, Professor
Department of Education and Special Education (Professor)
University of Gothenburg

1 Comment

  1. Yesterday the teen ager ABIY after riding Bicycle on the street of ADDIS ABABA he apologize the Residents of ADDIS ABABA. On the other hand the adult ABIY on his watch million people killed, starved, displaced but he never apologize the PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA

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