Zenawi’s Myth of Economic Transformation & Double Digit Growth in Ethiopia

August 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

On its August 9, 2010 issue, the Financial Times, a prestigious international newspaper, run an article authored by Mr. William Willis, the newspaper’s Africa Editor. (more…)

On its August 9, 2010 issue, the Financial Times, a prestigious international newspaper, run an article authored by Mr. William Willis, the newspaper’s Africa Editor. In his article entitled “Perfidious Donors Betray African Democrats”, Mr. Willis wrote “…in Ethiopia, the same is almost true but with a disturbing caveat. It is an open secret that the double-digit growth of recent years is supported by dubious statistics. Yet the same figures are bandied around by development experts arguing that a trade-off between growth and civil liberties is inevitable…”. Another study, which was released by Oxford University and the UN on multi-poverty index (MPI) around the same time, has ranked Ethiopia as the second poorest among the poorest 10 countries in Africa, only preceding Niger as the poorest of the poor.

What then are the basis to claims about a “double digit growth” in Ethiopia and all the pop and fanfare surrounding the so-called “economic transformation” and “Development” of Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi’s regime?

Such persistent and glaring contradictions between the regime’s claims of economic growth and development on one hand and study of other international organizations on the other have prompted a Council of Ethiopian economists and experts to look into the matter even deeper. It is expected that they will make their finding public with regard to Meles Zenawi’ claims to an unparalleled “Double digit economic growth”.

The Voice of America (VOA) has a two part interview with Dr. Getachew Begashaw, professor of economics and head of the economics department at William Ray Harper College in Chicago, IL and Dr. Aklog Birara, a person who has served at the World Bank as a senior advisor for over thirty years.


German Radio has a similar discussion with Professors Seid Hassan and Minga Negash. Click below to listen:


  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    Ethiopians’ big problem is laying unable to speak the truth from generation to generation. False speaking is a generational issue in Ethiopia. For instance H.Silase and Minilik started, Mengistu continued and Meles increase the falsehood by billion fold.No one in Ethiopia provides true data for research or for other things. Go to rural Ethiopia and ask a farmer how many kids he has. He will answer two or three in reality he has at least 5 kids. Meles cadires always double or triple crop production data to get promotion. So it is hard to get a solid data to estimate economic growth of Ethiopia. Meles tells the parliament what his cadires told him he doesn’t even understand demand and supply laws. So we cannot blame him. However, as a state leader he has to know the country and the people he is leading.

  2. Andinet
    | #2

    The problem with this “article” is that it does not seem to understand that growth statistics do not represent wealth. They represent growth, that’s it. To say Ethiopia has had double digit growth for 5 years does not mean it is wealthy. It only means that it is growing. China had double digit growth for some two decades. Only recently has it become an economic power, and still remains poor. The idea is to progress. What you people want is for Ethiopia to become rich overnight. What you seem to forget is how poor and rural and large Ethiopia is. I travelled by bus from Addis to Lalibela, Gondar and Axum in 2000. There were no roads. No roads means no trade, which means little economic growth and lots of poverty. In 2006 I did the same trip. Roads were built and those crazy Isuzu trucks were everywhere, transferring goods and economy. Your article is propoganda and does not look at facts.

  3. ይገርማል
    | #3

    ኤርትራዊው ወንድማችን ሃሃሃ አሁን ምናለበት በማያገባህ ገብተህ ከምትዘባርቅ ቢቀርብህ ዐዲስ አበባ ላይ ካጎትህ ጋር ከቁጭራ ሰፈር ዶሮ ማነቂያ-ሰባተና-እሪ በከንቱ ወዘተ ስትዞር ከርመህ ስለተመለስክ ኢትዮፕያን ታውቃታለህ ማለት አይደለምና አፍህን ሰብስብ እሺ!ደህባ በል አደራ ደግመህ እንዳትቀል!!!!!

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    I guess all leaders need to learn the aiga jungle economic and democratic processes led by Abebe/Legesse/Mathza/Meles and his boss Membrahtu G/hiwot (aka Bereket Simon). Ethiopia had never been as a laughing stock under these gangs and they must face the Ethiopian people justices before they run away like their predecessors.

  5. Siraj Mohammed
    | #5

    The Ethiopian economy is not growing. It is in fact shrinking but the wealth of the TPLF ethnical fascists is growing and expanding at the speed of a jet. The ethnical fascists are really on the pillage spree and nothing seems to stop them.
    Release Birtukan and all other prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia.

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