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Ethiopia: Apocalypse Now or in 40 Years?

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

In October, 2009, I wrote a weekly commentary titled, “Famine and the Noisome Beast in Ethiopia”:

It is hard to talk about Ethiopia these days in non-apocalyptic terms. Millions of Ethiopians are facing their old enemy again for the third time in nearly forty years. The Black Horseman of famine is stalking that ancient land. A year ago, Meles Zenawi’s regime denied there was any famine. Only ‘minor problems’ of spot shortages of food which will ‘be soon brought under control,’ it said dismissively. The regime boldly predicted a 7-10 percent increase in the annual harvest over 2007. Simon Mechale, head of the country’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency, proudly declared: ‘Ethiopia will soon fully ensure its food security.’… Zenawi’s regime has been downplaying and double-talking the famine situation. It is too embarrassed to admit the astronomical number of people facing starvation in a country which, by the regime’s own accounts, is bursting at the seams from runaway economic development.

I concluded with a rhetorical question:

Images of the human wreckage of Ethiopia’s rampaging famine will soon begin to make dramatic appearances on television in Western living rooms. The Ethiopian government will be out in full force panhandling the international community for food aid. Compassion fatigued donors may or may not come to the rescue. Ethiopians, squeezed between the Black Horseman [Scriptural metaphor for famine] and the Noisome Beast [Scriptural metaphor for evil beasts that terrify the land], will once again cry out to the heavens in pain and humiliation as they await for handouts from a charitable world. Isn’t that a low down dirty shame for a proud people to bear?

In January 2010, I followed up with another commentary titled Ethiopia’s “Silently” Creeping Famine challenging the “famine deniers.”  At the time, Mitiku Kassa, a top official of Zenawi’s regime had declared: ‘In the Ethiopian context, there is no hunger, no famine… It is baseless [to claim hunger or famine], it is contrary to the situation on the ground. It is not evidence-based. The government is taking action to mitigate the problems.’ Kassa issued assurances that his regime had launched a food security program to ‘enable chronic food insecure households attain sufficient assets and income level to get out of food insecurity and improve their resilience to shocks…and halve extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.’ Zenawi was entirely dismissive: “Famine has wreaked havoc in Ethiopia for so long, it would be stupid not to be sensitive to the risk of such things occurring. But there has not been a famine on our watch — emergencies, but no famines.”

It is now July 2011 and the Black Horseman is standing at the gate. No more “emergencies”, just plain old-fashioned famine. This time it is the international aid agencies that are frantically sounding the 5-alarm famine. They warn that if donors do not provide substantial emergency food aid to 12 million people now, there will be famine of Biblical-proportions in Ethiopia and other neighboring countries unseen in the last 60 years. UNICEF warns that “millions of children and women are at risk from death and disease unless a rapid and speedy response is put into action.”

The silently creeping famine was visible to anyone who bothered to study the periodic reports of the aid agencies (and read between the lines) and regularly monitored the “famine early warning systems” over the past few years. But until now, no aid agency or donor country could force itself to use the “F” word. Political correctness had trumped the truth and the welfare of millions. The very aid agencies that are now frothing at the mouth sounding the alarm of a doomsday famine were describing the problem for the last few years in terms of “severe malnutrition”, “food shortages”, “acute food security phases” “food insecurity, scarcity, insufficiency and deprivation”, “chronic dietary deficiency”, “endemic malnutrition” and other clever phrases. They simply could not call a spade a spade. But famine by any other name is still famine. The “severe malnutrition” of yesterday has become today’s famine silently spreading to consume 12 million people.

Apocalypse in 40 Years?

Lately, everybody has been talking about facts and figures. It’s been all about percentages. Meles Zenawi says between now and 2015 Ethiopia’s economy will be growing at 12-15 percent a year. Recently, he told his party members: “We have devised a plan which will enable us to produce surplus and be able to feed ourselves by 2015 without the need for food aid.”  That plan is anchored in what Zenawi calls “agricultural development–led industrialization”  (ADLI), which purports to focus intensively on agriculture by technologically boosting the low level of productivity of small scale farmers and commercially linking them to the non-agricultural (industrial) sector. Zenawi says by 2015 extreme poverty in Ethiopia will be cut by 50 percent along with hunger (“severe malnutrition”) consistent with the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. The Ethiopian currency has been devalued by 20 percent over the past year. The annual inflation rate is galloping at 34.7 percent according to official reports (likely much higher).  The International Monetary Fund predicts Ethiopia will likely have economic growth of 7.5 percent in 2011. On the political side, Zenawi said he won the May 2010 election by 99.6 percent. But lost in the stacks of fantasy percentages is a little big 3 percent that will ultimately determine the survivability of the Ethiopia people.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau had frightening predictions for Ethiopia, Nigeria and India. By 2050, India will be the most populous nation in the world, bypassing China sometime in the mid-2020s. Nigeria’s current population of 166 million will explode to 402 million. In just four decades, Ethiopia’s population will more than triple to 278 million, placing that country in the top 10 most populous countries in the world.

Ethiopia’s population growth has been spiraling upwards for decades. In 1967, the population was 23.5 million. It increased to 51 million in 1990 and by 2003, it had reached 68 million. In 2008, that number increased to 80 million. The Census Bureau estimates Ethiopia’s population today at 91 million. Since 1995, the average annual rate of population growth has remained at over 3 percent.

Every government and regime in Ethiopia over the past one-half century has blamed famine on “acts of God.” For the last two decades, the current regime has blamed “food shortages”, “chronic or severe malnutrition”, “food insecurity”, etc., on “poor and erratic rains,” “drought conditions,” “deforestation and soil erosion,” “overgrazing,” and other “natural factors”. Zenawi’s regime even had the brazen audacity to blame “Western indifference” and “apathy” in not providing timely food aid for the suffering of starving Ethiopians. There is not a single instance in which any Ethiopian government or regime has ever taken even partial responsibility for food shortages, extreme malnutriion or failure to act and prevent starvation and famine.

The issue of “food security” aside, the central question is: Does Zenawi have a policy to deal with the little big 3 percent problem?

In 1993, Zenawi’s “Transitional Government of Ethiopia” in its “National Population Policy of Ethiopia” (NPPE) declared that “its major goal [was] the harmonization of the rate of population growth and the capacity of the country for the development and rational utilization of natural resources thereby creating conditions conductive to the improvement of the level of welfare of the population.”

Among the major objectives of the NPPE included “closing the gap between high population growth and low economic productivity through planned reduction of population growth…, reducing the rate to urban migration, reducing the current total fertility rate of 7.7 children per woman to approximately 4.0 by the year 2015… mounting an effective country wide population information and education programme addressing issues pertaining to small family size and its relationship with human welfare and environmental security.”

Among the strategies to be used in achieving these objectives included “expanding clinical and community based contraceptive distribution services, raising the minimum age at marriage for girls from the current lower age limit of 15 to, at least, 18 years, making population and family life related education and information widely available via formal and informal media”, facilitating delivery of population and family planning related services by non-governmental  organizations  and changing the law “to remove unnecessary restrictions pertaining to the advertisement, propagation and popularization of diverse conception control methods.”

Given the fact that the average annual rate of population growth in Ethiopia has remained at over 3 percent since 1995,commenting on the NPPE is belaboring the obvious.

Will There Be Ethiopia in 2050?

Whether Ethiopia survives as a viable nation in 2050 free of war, disease, pestilence and famine will not depend on an imaginary 15 percent economic growth or a ludicrous 99.6 percent election victory. It will depend on what is done to deal with the little big 3 percent problem. In other words, overpopulation poses the single most critical problem and decisve issue  in Ethiopia today and the years to come.

Thomas Malthus, the 18th Century British economist argued that human population, if unchecked, tends to grow much faster than the capacity of the land to produce food.  He explained that population can be controlled through “preventive checks” (such as family planning, wide use of contraceptives to slow growth, marriage at later age) or “positive checks” (mortality caused by war, disease, plague, disaster). The bottom line is that if Ethiopia cannot adequately feed, clothe and shelter 90 million of its people today, there is no way on earth she can do so for 278 million in just 40 years. If the “Malthusian catastrophe” is what is looming on the Ethiopian horizon, the outcome is predictable and certain: massive starvation and famine, extreme overcrowding, endemic poverty, total depletion of natural resources and massive environmental degradation. Widespread and extreme civil strife, conflict over scarce resources and epidemics will complete the grim picture.

What needs to be done is pretty clear. As the Indian economics Nobel laureate Amartya Sen  has convincingly argued, the best way to avert famines (and simultaneously deal with the underlying problem of overpopulation) is by institutionalizing multiparty democracy and strengthening human rights: “No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy” because democratic governments “have to win elections and face public criticism, and have strong incentive to undertake measures to avert famines and other catastrophes.”

Ethiopia’s famine today is a famine borne of “food scarcity” as much as it is a famine borne of a scarcity of democracy and good governance. Ethiopians are famished for democracy, starved of human rights, thirst for the rule of law, ache for accountability of those in power and yearn to breathe free from the chokehold of dictatorship.  But after two decades of one-man, one-party rule, we do not even see the ghost of democracy on Ethiopia’s parched landscape. We can only see a malignant and entrenched dictatorship that continues to cling to power like ticks on a milk cow; and in the dark and gloomy 40-year Ethiopian horizon, we see the specter of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse aiming their swords, spears and arrows against a defenseless population of 278 million. Our only shield is a genuine multiparty democracy that functions under the rule of law!

Previous commentaries by the author are available at: and

16 thoughts on “Ethiopia: Apocalypse Now or in 40 Years?

  1. [[..What needs to be done is pretty clear. As the Indian economics Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has convincingly argued, the best way to avert famines (and simultaneously deal with the underlying problem of overpopulation) is by institutionalizing multiparty democracy and strengthening human rights..]]

    What needs to be done IS NOT CLEAR to me.

    Let us compare similar states that took different path:INDIA and CHINA

    India gained independence in 1947 and China in 1949. By 1951, India had a population of about 4 million and China of about 6 million. By 2007 India had 1.2 billion and China 1.3 billion.

    Per Prof. Al by 2050 India will become the most populous nation in the world.

    Both have experienced a lot of growth and are highly competitive in today’s global economy.

    The main difference is that India took the democratic (election) route and China established a one party dictatorship of the CCP. Over the last thirty years, the Chinese state has successfully created physical infrastructure and delivered essential services. On the other side India despite rapid economic growth has deteriorated over time.

    The result has been that the growth in India has relied more on the private sector as state capacity deteriorates, while China has a much better state infrastructure.

    The Meles dictatorship is trying to emulate China. What makes you think “Democratic” India where Caste system (hidden apartheid)is practiced today a better system to emulate?

    “The most rapidly growing country in the 1970’s was the military-ruled Brazil. The economic tigers of the 1980 were the dictatorships of South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. In the 1990’s the leader was China. And those spectacular successes repeatedly sowed the minds of even committed democrats.”

  2. The good Professor concluded his article by telling us our only protection from disastrous famine, injustice, and bad leadership is a sound “multiparty democracy that functions under the rule of law!”

    China is not a democratic country, and yet China is able to feed its 3.3+ billion people. China is an old country, so is Ethiopia. At this time, no one knows what kind of government system is able to summon the clouds to go to the Indian Ocean, pick up some water from there, go up to the Ethiopian sky, and pour the rain over the dry lands of Ethiopia. In other words, it is not the system of government that brings rain to the ground; it is nature. Most Ethiopians are farmers, and they depend on rain. When the rain doesn’t come on time, people have no other choice but to starve to death. Most of them do not know how to use irrigation, because no one taught them, and even if they know how irrigation works, if there is no enough rain, there will be no irrigation.

    To avoid a catastrophic famine, we Ethiopians need a person like the Biblical Joseph, who saved the Egyptians from starving to death. Joseph did not advise the pharaoh of Egypt to let many Egyptians die by the famine in order to save few other Egyptians as the disciples of Thomas Malthus today would suggest that people must go to war or must be famished in order to reduce the population growth in a given country.

    It is true population explosion is going on in Ethiopia without enough resources to match with the new born children: the population growth in Ethiopia has gone faster than the economic growth. Before we apply family planning into the Ethiopian societies, we must first identify which groups of people in Ethiopia are producing more children than the others: the Tegaru, the Amharas, the Oromos, the Gurages, or the other groups of the Ethiopian people? In Ethiopia, there are certain people who are competing with the other Ethiopians to outnumber these other Ethiopians so that they can dominate theme. And these people who produce so many children and who have become the main factors for the Ethiopian population growth are the over 40 million Ethiopian Muslims. Islam allows a Muslim man can marry four wives and can have as many children from each one of his four wives. The main goal of Muhammad when he allowed his followers to marry many wives and have many concubines is to dominate the entire world, but we cannot allow this to happen in Ethiopia because of what their religion says. We don’t have enough resources to feed children born to outnumber the other tribes; therefore, family planning should not apply to all Ethiopians; it must be applied to the over-40 million Ethiopian Muslims. Or the Woyanne government must prohibit an Ethiopian Muslim from marrying four wives and more concubines; therefore, contraceptive must be given to a Muslim woman, not to a Christian woman.

    Countries like Japan, China, America, and others have a device that predicts the coming of an earthquake. The device is seismograph. Is it possible for Ethiopia to have a device called faminegraph that tells the coming of famine ahead of time so that the people can save money, cut the money they spend for teskar, serg, mahiber, senibetie, and be ready for that great catastrophe? The international aid agencies’ famine alarming system is just for the donors to persuade them to give more money to the Ethiopian famine victims. They don’t tell the Ethiopians that there will be no rain next time so that the Ethiopian farmers could prepare themselves instead of the foreign food agencies preparing them to be ready for the first and second handouts.

    Ethiopia is now well known not for its ancient history but for its famine, for its skinny people, for its malnourished children, and for its draught. Any person I meet in the United States for the first time asks where I am from, and when I tell him I am from Ethiopia, and then he says to me: “How come you are not skinny!” Perhaps such stigma may go away when Ethiopia is democratized and when Ethiopia has a person who cares about all the Ethiopians, not just about the few. I assume at this difficult time, the only people who can have bread on their tables are the Meles crime families.

  3. Famine

    In David’s declining years, several serious national calamities occurred that made the people aware of God’s anger, and the necessity of seeking His forgiveness. At the height of David’s reign, a famine broke out that lasted for three years. Realizing that it was a punishment from God, David caused a thorough investigation to be made to find out whether some people were guilty of idolatry, or other secret evils; when no evil was discovered, David consulted the Prophet and learned that the famine was a punishment for two national mistakes: the lack of respect for the first anointed King Saul, and the persecution of the Gibeonites, who had been promised by Joshua that no evil would befall them.

    David set out to correct the mistakes. It was too late to do anything about the first, but the second could be redeemed. He summoned the elders of the Gibeonites and promised them he would do anything to make amends for the bad treatment they had received. The Gibeonites demanded that Saul’s grandchildren be put to death publicly to atone for the acts of Saul, who, suspecting them of disloyalty, had encouraged an unfriendly attitude towards the Gibeonites, causing the death of many of them.

    Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, alone was spared. Seven other princes of Saul’s family were publicly hanged by the Gibeonites. To the surrounding tribes this was an act of great justice which inspired them with awe and admiration for Israel. For after all, were not the Gibeonites a subdued tribe, who had obtained Joshua’s oath by trickery? The result was that one hundred and fifty thousand neighboring tribesmen came and, professing the Jewish faith, begged to be accepted as members of the Jewish nation.

    When the Gibeonites displayed such cruelty, David knew that they must not be allowed to mix freely with the Jewish people. So, although forbidding any acts of persecution against the Gibeonites, he banned their intermarriage with the Jews.

    David ordered a state funeral for the seven princes, as well as for the remains of Saul and Jonathan, which were exhumed and transferred from Jobeah in Gilead, to be interred in the family grave of his father Kish. Wherever the funeral procession passed, the people came out en masse to pay homage to their fallen king and princes, and national mourning was observed throughout the twelve tribes of Israel.

    A State Census

    Another calamity befell Israel in the wake of a census which David had conducted. The recent revolts of Absalom and Sheba had moved David to a desire to introduce national conscription in order to raise the strength of his army. Joab advised him to abstain from it. But the king persisted in his resolution, and the census was taken from Dan to Beersheba.

    The census lasted nine months and twenty days. It revealed that the tribe of Judah alone could muster half a million men of military age, the tribes of Levi and Benjamin–three hundred thousand, and the rest of the tribes’ eight hundred thousand men.

    Now according to the Torah, a national census was permitted only in special circumstances, and in a certain way, namely, by each inhabitant’s contributing a coin or other object, after which the objects were counted and the number of the people thus ascertained. When Saul conducted a mobilization before the battle with Amalek, he had ordered each soldier to bring a lamb, and the lambs were then counted. David, however, overlooked this law and counted the people as the neighboring nations counted theirs. The results of the census brought a sense of pride and vainglory to many Jews, who were now inclined to rely more on their own strength than on Divine protection. Thus, the census greatly displeased G-d.

    David soon realized that he had sinned, and he prayed to the Lord for forgiveness. However, a pestilence broke out among the people, causing fearful destruction, but sparing Jerusalem. It carried off seventy thousand men. The angel of the L-rd was stayed in his fatal progress at the threshing-floor of Araunah, the Jebusite; and it was there, in accordance with the word of the prophet Gad, that David built an altar and offered up sacrifices. This place was Mount Moriah, where the “Binding of Isaac” had taken place, where the Holy Temple was to be erected by Solomon, David’s son. Here G-d’s mercies were roused and the plague was stayed.

  4. Wuroye #5,

    I am telling the truth a Muslim man in Ethiopia should not be allowed to marry four wives because of his religion Islam that allows him to do so. My country Ethiopia is getting crowded because of such polygamous marriages in the Ethiopian Muslim community. Tell your father to keep your mother and drive out the rest of his wives; then life will be a little bit easier for you and for the rest of us all.

  5. There will be more pain and suffering to come as a result of our evil ways like greed,selfishness, cruelty and so on.only when we respect god we will be forgiven from our punishment. Everyone look deep inside your dark heart.

  6. Scary times are ahead of us, unless we act now; having a good governance and investing heavily for the feature is a matter of urgency for Ethiopia, otherwise our kids and future generations will curse us for not doing the right thing. I don’t think the world community will continue to aid Ethipia year in year out.

    We need a responsible and visionar government free of corruption. We need leaders who can lead us to self reliance and freedom fom Aid. We don’t need a puppet leaders who serve western interests and make us go to war with neighbouring countries for their interest.

  7. Getu,

    Before you spite your unscientific analysis on muslims in ethiopia, have you ever thought about what effort the govn’t put in place to teach those muslims in family palnnig and how over making babies impact both the parent and children ?. I see you here writting about the negatives about muslims (the victims). I also would like to tell you that islam does not encourage to mary as many women that muslim men should mary. I teaches that if a person can afford to treat all his wives equally, it is ok to do so. Today in ethiopia, every maried man regardless of his religion does make more babies. It is lake of education and resources that allowed populaion explosion. The goven’t and religious bodies should take a leading role to teach and provide the necessary education and resources if this uncontrolable population explosion needs to be halted. Some times we need to think before we say things b/c we tend to miss the important points that needs to be said.

  8. Assta Gettu: Ethiopia’s major problem is resource distribution, not over-population or shortage of resources as many claim. If that was the case Taiwan and the Netherlands, two of the most densely populated countries in the world, would have been as impoverished as our own nation. I am ashamed of your bias and ignorance. Polygamy is not only practiced among Muslim families, there are many regions in Ethiopia where a man gets married to more than one woman. I would back you up, if you talk about family planning and reproductive health programs. It is, however, inconceivable and barbaric to pick on one particular religious group and try to impose your own world view. Jesus didn’t forcefully cleanse the temple and convert his followers. Instead, he scarified his life to cover up our sins. If you are a die-hard christian, I applaud your dedication but remind you that there are many lost souls out there that need your help and prayer. Use your energy to rescue and shore up other lives, not to ruin them. It is cowardly and insane to collectively blame half of the Ethiopian people and try to purge them.

  9. Hikaa #9,

    Common sense tells me Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey were Christian countries. What happened to those indigenous Christians? They were outnumbered by the Muslims who used the formula: One Muslim man for four wives, but the Christians who used one man for one woman were wiped out. There are only few Christians left now in those countries, and what kind of life those minority Christians are living under the majority Muslims? It is Hell on earth! This is a warning for non Muslim Ethiopians.

    Any Muslim who doesn’t follow Muhammad’s example is not considered a good Muslim. In Quran 33:50, Muhammad allows himself to marry a number of wives (may be 200 or more), but in Quran 4:3, Muhammad allows a Muslim man to marry 4 wives only without counting the captive slave girls.

    As Jihad is a religious duty, marrying 4 wives is also a religious duty; burning Churches is also a religious duty for all Arab Muslims, and the purpose of such a religious duty is simply, as I said before, to convert the whole world to Islam and to make our world by force a Muslim world.

    For the non Muslim Ethiopians, not to marry 4 wives is not just a religious duty; it is rather an economic duty. If the Woyanne government has put a plan to curve the Muslim population in Ethiopia, let me know what kind of plan it is. Is it a plan based on one Muslim man for one Muslim woman? If it is, it is a good plan!

  10. Wuroye #10,

    Ethiopia’s problem, as you believe, is not distribution of resources but discovering the resources using modern technology; then comes allocations of resources and to how many people. One cannot compare Ethiopia with over 85 million people with Taiwan and The Netherlands with 22 and 16 million people respectively. Taiwan and The Netherlands are more industrialized and more advanced in modern technology, and they can feed their people with the resources they have. We Ethiopians are more advanced in producing babies, thanks to the Arab Muslim population in Ethiopia that believes in Muhammad’s teaching: “You may have whomever you desire (one wife, two wives, three wives, four wives or more) there is no blame” (Quran 33:51).

    You stated: “Jesus didn’t forcefully cleanse the temple….” But Scripture says: “Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables” (John 2:15). He did this to fulfill the Scripture: “…for zeal for your house consumes me…” (Psalm 69:9).

    I am not picking up on the 40 or 50 million Ethiopian Muslims; I am just telling them to abide by one wife for one man rule in this economically backward country, Ethiopia. I predict South Sudan will pass Ethiopia in economic development after few years unless Ethiopia changes the Woyanne embarrassing regime.

  11. Assta Gettu: Here we go again. Ethiopia has abundant resources but is always barebone poor, even when the population was below 40 Million That is because those resources are being used to enrich the elites, spread corruption and divert mass movements. Sure, who would not want to see the extraction of more resources, but it is the political elite who will always collect the lion shares. It is like putting a bandage on a bandage, which never heals the pain but worsen it instead. For example, we all know that the so called “private sector” is not actually private. It is either run by the leaders and their cronies or constantly monitored by the same because they understand that economic boldness will result in political boldness.

    You are right as regards the two countries. They house smaller number of people, have educated themselves and mastered entrepreneurship so much that their livelihood today is no more restricted by the prevalent land shortage and geographic problems. The same can be said to the Egyptians who predominantly work and live in small areas and handful of mega-cities and yet continue to locally produce the majority of their consumer goods.

    As to the marital issue, would you also consider restricting household sizes of non-Muslim people? I am, namely, a christian and have nine brothers and sisters. It seems, we have already exceeded the quota. One more reminder: we all are from the same mom and dad.

    Again, please stop blaming the poor for their poverty. They are scarifying themselves by having more labor forces under their roof in order to sustain their livelihoods. It is the political elite that benefits from the status quo and became the obstacle to progress. Our leaders are the ones to blame for our underdevelopment. Without a dramatic institutional change, peoples productivity will remain low and only few will accumulate the resources regardless of population size or increase of resources.

  12. It is becoming clear that Meles and TPLF are tryng to emulate China and India, by deliberately allowing the explosion of population in Ethiopia instead of family planninng. One thing the TPLF ignorant is forgetting is one size does not fit all. Ethiopia does not have big mass land as China and India. Where are they going to allow to put the explosion of population? Ethiopia’s pop problme should be tackled in many ways, marriage to occur after 18, discouraging more-than-one-wife, family planning. If you are economically not well, to allow max 2 children should be allowed. It is very odd how under TPLF pop is exploding is one indication that is poverty. Families tend to have more kids in hopes when they grow they will support their family, also to help around the house, etc. the rate of pop growth has been faster now than before 1990, why is because over population will allow TPLF to get more aid, more money, more help from the West. Shameful, a leader who prepares a nation in trumoil and poverty for pure money, food aid and greed, it is more than shame. So much Meles’s boasting that under his leadership, Ethiopians will eat more than 3 times a day or something like that. Of course by now any message TPLF/Meles sends should be the opposite.

  13. Wuroye #13,

    Resources without modern technology are bodies without souls. Ethiopia may be rich in natural resources but very poor in how to. The most tangible and abundant resources Ethiopia has is man power equipped with theory, garrulity, and with the art of ቍጭ በል እናውጋ (let us sit and talk). Private sector works only in a democratic country, not in a country, like Ethiopia, whose leaders are swindlers, foreign-minded people who invest their money in foreign banks instead of in their own country’s bank. These are robbers robbing the peasants at gun point. They want to see the country to go down so that they can stay in power; if the country gets educated, they know that will be the end of their legacy in power.

    You didn’t tell me how many sisters you have, so that I could give you a full picture of the size of a household in the Ethiopian society. You have told me you are a Christian with nine brothers and sisters, and all of you are from the same father and the same mother. This is a great blessing! And I hope all of your brothers and sisters are alive and well.

    Let us do the simple math now: Let me assume, you have 9 sisters+9 brothers +1 (Wuroye), and nineteen of you are Christians. Your neighbor, a Muslim, has four wives, and each wife gave him 19 children: 19+19+19+19 = 76 lovely Muslim children. Now, let us say there is only one store in your area that sells some food items. The store carries not more than 76 food items. And these food items are very scarce in your area. The father of the 76 Muslim children goes early in the morning to this one store and buys all the 76 food items for his children. Your father goes on the same day to the same store to buy some food items for his children but finds no single item of food in the store. Equal distribution of resources comes here, but when resources are limited, the government must educate each household not to have more than four children, and each person must have only one wife. If your Muslim neighbor had only 19 children, there could be enough food in that small store for all of you. Unfortunately, the world is not fair for all of us unless we govern ourselves wisely.

  14. Assta Gettu: As I read through your first and second paragraphs, I thought, wow! we are finally converging to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, your last narrative jerked back to that same drumbeat of hateful criticism against the victims. ‘Wuha biwokitut Imboch’ ale yagere sew. I wish you applied your arithmetic to our land tenure, systemic or structural impasses, government ignorance, etc. Cheers!

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