Bill Gates vows to defeat hunger & diseases in Ethiopia: Could entrenched political interests allow him? –PART I BY KEFFYALEW GEBREMEDHIN

April 14th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has finally come full circle. Over the decades, he has thrived on controversies, some of which he fostered, and stil does, with unmatched skills and perfect timing. They have served his purpose of staying in power as long to contentedly observe from above his allies and opponents bogged down in endless battles he has masterminded.

The prime minister is better known for his habitual invectives and combativeness — attributes occasionally polished by the intellect of a shrewd politician, whose eyes are on the ball at all times. Fortunately, in the end reality has reigned supreme. For a man with a cat’s life and skills to outsmart others, besides democracy, Ethiopia’s agriculture, whose productivity growth has failed to keep pace with the significant increases in Ethiopia’s population, has proved the fiercest of his challenges.

It took the prime minister two decades to recognize and act, that Ethiopia’s economic woes would worsen the longer the question of food production remained unanswered. Nevertheless, since winning the 2010 election by 99.6 percent, following which he has emerged sole power and his will the law of the empire, the prime minister has finally read right the writing on the wall that he could no longer be able to keep steady the ship of state so long as: (a) agricultural productivity growth refuses to look up, and, (b) the population grows by 3.17 percent annually (CIA, 2012).

This does not mean that the regime has not tried its hand with a few measures. Unfortunately, some of its responses have only been those of statist schools. They only worsened the situation, against the backdrop of poverty, ignorance and uncertainty, bringing upon the rural population vitiations of more sufferings on account of land grabbing and massive dislocations, by now part of national policy and official action.

Since the 2008 global food crisis, those in power in Ethiopia have turned as solution to speculators in commercial agriculture. These are people behind whom are major investment banks, sovereign funds and unregulated finances, grappling toward controlling the global food markets of tomorrow with foods produced on lands in developing countries. This arrangement has reduced our country to booty for aspiring international investors, an action that cannot be justified beneficial economically and strategically i.e., from perspective of Ethiopia’s own long-term interests.

As a matter of fact, the quest for improved productivity and increased agricultural production under these programs only became cause for lost opportunities and waste of resources. The varying polices the prime minister has imposed are mostly recognizable as motley of acronyms, instead of their contributions to the agricultural problems Ethiopia has been confronted with for decades. Some of these policies are:

• ADLI for agricultural development-led industrialization,

• PASDEP for generations of the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty,

• DRMFS for Disaster Risk Management and Food Security,

• PIF for Policy and Investment Framework (2010-2020) for agricultural sector, and,

• FYGTP 2010/11 – 2014/15 for the Growth and Transformation Plan, and etc.

Bill Gates accepts the challenge

Clearly, the watershed in Ethiopia and Bill Gates relations is Meles Zenawi’s serious request for help. Repeating words of the prime minister, Mr. Gates said: “Ok what should we be doing different?” What we now have learned is that, Meles Zenawi has been secretly in contact with Bill Gates, possibly since early 2010 to give him a hand, with small concessions on the table.

Bear in mind that, not long ago the prime minister was making good fist in bravado, the latest one in parliament in February 2012, insulting and harassing ‘the usual suspects’, given once again to insinuations that he has done miracle with Ethiopia’s economy, including its agricultural development.

However, the reality is that for over a year now Meles Zenawi has quietly entrusted the diagnosis and treatment of Ethiopian agriculture to the watchful graces of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who has assembled in Addis Abeba his own team funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

On 4 April, in the Q & A session following his informative presentation at Stanford University, Mr. Gates said, “Fortunately, their leader, President Meles, decided that he needed to raise agricultural productivity. ” He added, “And he [Zenawi] was very nice and turned to our Foundation.”

Of his response to this SOS request for his help, Mr.Gates intimated:

We went in and looked at it [agriculture] and recommended the creation of a group called the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). One of our people happened to be originally from Ethiopia, [and he] moved to run that. And now we have a team of people, mostly expats from Ethiopia that are over there on an ongoing basis.
The diagnosis by the experts at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has established, in the words of the philanthropist:

And the way their system worked in terms of getting seeds introduced, how those seeds are priced, how you would buy fertilizers, how you would educate farmers — their agriculture system was not working.

It is understood that the first phase of this exercise would last three to five years, by which time, Bill Gates, who has wholly based his philanthropic work on sciences, has boldly confirmed staking his reputation on agricultural production in Ethiopia doubling, at least by 2015. This is in conformity with the country’s five-year plan, evidently that pronouncement coming as indicator that the Bill Gates’ team must have already been involved in secret already during the formulation stages of the five-year growth and transformation plan (FYGTP).

In hinting on the rationale for accepting the CHALLENGE ETHIOPIA, he spelt out during his presentation stating, “Ethiopia is a very interesting case, because it has more food insecure people who need food aid than any country in the world…If agricultural productivity would go up faster in Ethiopia from a very low-level, then in almost any country over the next three, four years, as they fix these key bottlenecks.”

Through his presentation, one cannot help being convinced that this might eventually be for the good of Ethiopia, its smallholder agriculture, with 15 million holders (CSA, 2011). They would benefit both from latest sciences and reforms following in their track. By all indications, Gates and Zenawi have had a number of encounters for the former to be able to remark about the latter ‘being always open-minded…’

It goes without saying that the billionaire and our time’s leading standard-bearer of international philanthropy must have accepted to work with Ethiopia, firmly convinced about his capacity to make a difference in the sad conditions of a huge portion of humanity across the planet. He has armed himself with the latest data about what is possible on a global level, which he has learned to apply to specific country situations.

His view is informed by the realization that we live in a world, where 135 million people are born every year, of which 60-65 million die within the same year. Obviously, this is because of diseases and hunger. Therefore, his conviction is directed to conquering these problems. He said in so many words, once that is achieved, everything else would fall in place — education, jobs, better future for everyone, etc. All that is needed is governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and philanthropists like himself working together to get ahead of diseases and hunger.

Scientifically based determination as this is, he has no worries about the implications of these victories, say for instance, in the form of longer life for everyone. He is persuaded that population growth for the next 25 years would level off. This, he said, is because when parents realize that offspring would live longer, there would be no need for them to beat death and deprivation with more children. It means that, everyone would become a winner, with society’s increased abilities to produce more food and other amenities.

But, why has Ethiopian agriculture become failure to date?

The straightforward explanation is that the agricultural problem has been caused by smallholder agriculture lacking investments and improved technologies. It is important that Ethiopia began developing its infrastructure, from which also agriculture would benefit. Nevertheless, much as these are essential to the country, they are being built with endless borrowings, without agriculture developing sufficiently to cover the costs. Because of that there now is the danger of the country falling from the debt burden, being accumulated without comprehensive studies to satisfy one man’s hunt for grandeur political Ethiopia has denied him through the years because of the manner he has been treating the country.

At the same time, all these difficulties cannot be seen in isolation from the way the mix of command politics is running the economy, ranked as 134th in the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, its sore sides being inadequate respect for property rights and poor score on freedom from corruption.

In addition, there is also the politics of the uninformed, corrupt and arrogant strongmen, who in their own right, in an environment of misguided and stillborn decentralization, have killed institutional development, because of which they now enjoy a free hand in fiefdoms they run. The future would certainly reveal the horrendous level of human neglects, the degree to which there has been utter disregard for human dignity and the dire needs of the population.

In essence, hence the problem is that of unpreparedness on the part of the political class to allow citizens to have voice, inputs, and direct and transparent participation in national development and in their own future.

The resultant situation was rightly described last November by IFPRI, which observed that in many Sub-Saharan African countries that have experienced historically rapid economic growth and notable social changes, by equal measures poverty, hunger and malnutrition have remained widespread problems.

Similarly, especially in the past five years Ethiopia has been placed amongst the world’s leading fastest growing economies, while on account of failed agricultural productivity growth, a disinterested assessment indicated that, since 2008 not as many people have benefitted from the country’growth, and thus millions have continued to eke out existence in conditions of extreme poverty.

Perhaps to dampen the building national frustrations, we saw how, in an environment of longstanding double-digit inflation, the Meles regime recently engaged in manipulation of the Iinterim Report on 2010-2011 Poverty Analysis and slick media performances to disguise that reality.

Whichever way the reality is massaged and truth is diced, the unavoidable fact is Ethiopia is a country, where hunger and poverty has been widespread. This reality has been ably captured by the data in the simple table below.

To the vast majority of the population, this situation has been unacceptable. People driven by deprivation have begun showing their growing impatience, even boldly taunting the usually intemperate Meles Zenawi’s regime, better known for its heavy-handedness. Under different guises popular reactions have begun spilling over into the social and political realms.

The evolving ferment, unorganized responses as they are, involve farmers in many parts of the country, urban dwellers, businesses, teachers & students & parents, Christians & Moslems, unemployed and disenfranchised youth, defendants of human rights and justice, etc.—each raising its own issues. They have become cells of the burgeoning tissues of dissidence against an autocratic state that has failed to deliver more than form and empty promises.

Crossing the brook to cross the Rubicon

In the hearts of my heart I would want to believe that Bill Gates sees the need and realizes the importance of Ethiopia improving its governance. Without that, it makes no sense to leave in place the very obstacles to human quests and abilities that statist polices have stifled to date to satisfy the needs of a few individuals to remain in power till the ‘Second Coming.’

Besides, the lesson that we have learned from hungry societies is that, politics is the number one impediment in beating hunger and diseases. Therefore, in that respect, intelligent as he is, the philanthropist must have also given some thoughts to his own preference to see Ethiopia becoming open and transparent, primarily for its own sakes, as would also contribute to involvement of private businesses—both national and international—to give impetus to change.

For him, therefore, his eyes on a peaceful world that he possibly thinks he should contribute to by building block-by-block first with the basics, this his way of ensuring the long-term peace and stability of countries such as Ethiopia.

If what I read into his thoughts are correct, he seems to be of the state of mind that, if this were not done now at lower cost in poorer countries, the alternative would be to allow the squalor of poverty to feed undercurrents of instability, leading to conflicts amongst poor countries, entailing needless bloodshed, regional unrests and instabilities with global implications. That is not the world a man consistently on the upper apex of the billionaire’s list wishes, and to whom philanthropy has become a vocation 24/7.

In Ethiopia’s case, nevertheless, the intricacies are immense. At this stage of the journey to cross the Rubicon seems to be starting with a struggle to cross the brook before the Rubicon. Certainly, crossing the Rubicon would require untying several knots down the road to get meaningful agricultural reforms to take root in Ethiopia.

The paramount outcome in that direction is empowering smallholders, setting them free from statist controls. It has already sucked too much blood and their meager resources as tributes, as proof of their trustworthiness for those in power.

If not, the consequences have been clear, including denial of their so-called, improved seeds and other inputs, which on many instances have not only failed to deliver increased yields. But also have been found to diminish production, as farmers in Amhara, Oromia and Tigrai have learnt the hard way and now some of them have shunned the use of those products with preference to bio products.

There is a need for serious action to remove these archaic forms of feudal domination. It seems, with a sense of awareness, a smile on his face and wry laughter, in the course of his response to a comment/question relating to the obstacles to Ethiopia’s agricultural productivity, Bill Gates noted “that is kind of their next chapter.”

He amplified that in the following manner:

Now they have some regulatory things that have made people come in and do those things a little harder than they should. And so that is kind of their next chapter—allowing private seed companies in a more open way, and letting me post processing, investors to come in a better way — a few examples where it has worked … It is a very exciting thing …
I have come to understand that the two persons — Gates & Zenawi — had spent ‘a couple of hours’ on 28 March 2012. They must have been haggling over the extent of the roll back Meles Zenawi would be willing to concede to give teeth to the agricultural reform measures. In the two minutes Bill Gates spoke on Ethiopia as his subject, he dropped the phrase “it is exciting” a couple of times.

(To be continued)

  1. Alem
    | #1

    A great observation and analysis. Without political reform, transparency, property rights, etc.. Bill Gates’ good intentions will come to nothing and the project may be just a waste of another billions of dollars.

  2. Fana
    | #2

    I am scik and tired to hear this kind of story. Since Truman’s presidency, Ethiopia has been the major beneficiary of US generocity. Now Bill Gate is joing those throwing money at Ethiopia’s problem. It is worrying to hear that more than 65% of Ethiopia’s national budget is financed through foreign aid. When is this dangerous dependence on foreign aid going to stop? When is Ethiopia going to be a real independent state?

  3. Dawi
    | #3

    It is very nice/important Meles/Bill are working in improving the quality of life of small farmers etc. however, what is proven in China and other places, that moved 100′s of MILLIONS people out of poverty to middle income is actually getting out of the agricultural sector altogether.

    And Meles knows that.

  4. Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A
    | #4

    Knowing the situation of our beloved country, Ethiopia, the visit by the ultimate philanthropist Bill Gates provides exposure to the hunger that has been as part of the country. We should welcome this kind of international attention given to the country. As I understood, there are Ethiopians who facilitate and coordinate the proposed agricultural development of the country funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These individuals know very well what Meles’s regime is doing on the people of Ethiopia. We should absolutely be naive to expect these professionals to play a political role in challenging the government to reprimand itself from tyrannical and undemocratic governance. We should applaud whatever food or agricultural aid we get in order to feed some people among the millions on verge of dying from hunger. Bill Gates does not know what a cruel dictator Meles is, and his Ethiopian advisers might not be willing enough to expose Meles’s true color as dictator. This is because these individuals think of their very good compensation, and do not want to jeopardize their profession by going against Meles.

  5. koster
    | #5

    The answer is simple. Fascist Meles is systematically starving Ethiopians particularly the Amharas. To his credit fascist Meles moved famine from rocky TIGRAI to the main grain producing areas of Gojjam,Shoa,Arsi etc. Tigreans are making fertile their rocky land and expanding their territory by annexing parts of Wollo and Gondar and hoarding grains produced in other regions. Because all the fertilizer and grain trade like all other businesses is controlled by EFFORT a holding company of more than 70 companies established from money looted from Ethiopians and Ethiopian banks. Ethiopia had 4% of forest and fascist Meles is deforesting this because of his greed for money and selling the land for Arabs, Indians, Chinese etc who do less care for the land but only for their short term gains.

    MELES is starving systematically the Amharas by classifying as feudals, Dergists etc and denying them arable land. If there is justice in this world, this is a crime against humanity. Due to this measure of surrogate Addis Legesse thousands of Amhara families are starving to death. This is Meles weapon to kill what he consider as his enemies mainly Amharas. Meles is not only killing bullets to kill but also biological weapons like AIDS to eliminate his enemies that is what he did when he put thousands in concentration camps after loosing the election in 2005. Killing with Malaria, Sleeping Sickness, AIDS are all tools for fascist Meles to eliminate his enemies.

    If there is a will there is a way. If we want to end famine, we should follow what engineer Tadesse Haile Selassie of BERTA construction told us 20 years ago i.e. not rely on rainfed agriculture and have good governance (the article is to be found in the internet)

    Ethiopians need not only bread but also individual freedom. If we really care for Ethiopians say no to fascist Meles and his reign of terror.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Well, here is one good case for Ethiopians to inform and alert Bill Gates about the true nature of Meles about his crimes and the hate he has for Ethiopians before the money goes in Meles’s, Azeb’s and the rest of Woyanes’ pockets. Bill Gates need to be informed the atrocities going on in Ethiopia and how dictator Meles and his associates have become millionaires and billionaires by looting the country and stashing their money in foreign banks while leading one of the poorest country in the world and where millions of Ethiopians go hungry everyday and millions of Ethiopians expected to die of starvation.

  7. በጎ አድራጊ ወይስ ኢንቨስተር
    | #7

    1. የዛሬ አስር ዓመት ገዳማ ይመስለኛል አንድ አሜሪካው ኤክስፐርት Genetically Modified Food ያስፈለገበትን ምክንያት ሲያስረዳ የአፍሪካን ሕዝብ ከረሃብ ለማዳን በማለቱ በፌዙና ንቀቱ አዝኜ ነበር ምክንያቱም ስንትና ስንት ቢልየንስ ዶላር የሚያወጣ ረሰርች አፍሪካን ለመመገብ ማለቱ
    በአፍሪካ ጉዳይ ማንም የፈለገውን ቢል ማን ይገተዋል ነው?
    እሳቸውም ረሃብ ለማጥፋት መጡ አልመጡምን ወደሁዋላ ትተን

    2. Bill Gateም ቢሆን የደረሱባትን መሬት ቢቀራመቱ የኢንቨስተር ጸባያቸው ነውና ምን ይደረጋል
    ለማንኛውም እናቴን ያገባ ሁሉ እንጀራ አባቴ ነው ብል አልሳሳትም!!!

    3. ጥሩ ኢንቨስተር ወይስ አባ ጠቅልል?
    እኚህ ሰውኮ ገበያ ውድድር አጠፉ ተብለው ተክሰው ተሸነፍዋልኮ
    ይተርፈኛል ብሎ ለሚያስብ ትንሽ እንዲያስብ መጠቆሜ ነው

    4. ርሳቸው የአሜሪካን ወዳጅ አገር መሪዎች ሳይጠራችው በፊት ፍላጎታቸ አያውቁም ብላችሁ አፋችሁ በከንቱ አይድረቅ
    ርሳቸውኮ አቻ የሌላቸው የ IT ዳኛ ሹፌሩ መዘውሩኮ ናቸውና

    ወደ ዋና ነጥቤ ልመለስና በእኔ ዕይታ
    5. ኢንቨስተር ከበጎ አድራጊ መለየት የሚቻለው
    የግለሰቦቹን ስራቸውን በህግ መነጥር መዛኝና መስመር ሲያልፉ ለመገሰጽ የሚያስችል አቅም ያለው
    የሕዝብ ወገን የሆነ መንግስትና ጠንካራ ብዙሃን መገናኛ የመሳሰሉት ያስፈልጋሉ ባይ ነኝ

  8. በጎ አድራጊ ወይስ ኢንቨስተር
    | #8

    1. የዛሬ አስር ዓመት ገዳማ ይመስለኛል አንድ አሜሪካው ኤክስፐርት Genetically Modified Food ያስፈለገበትን ምክንያት ሲያስረዳ የአፍሪካን ሕዝብ ከረሃብ ለማዳን በማለቱ በፌዙና ንቀቱ አዝኜ ነበር ምክንያቱም ስንትና ስንት ቢልየንስ ዶላር የሚያወጣ ረሰርች አፍሪካን ለመመገብ ማለቱ
    በአፍሪካ ጉዳይ ማንም የፈለገውን ቢል ማን ይገተዋል ነው?
    እሳቸውም ረሃብ ለማጥፋት መጡ አልመጡምን ወደሁዋላ ትተን

    2. Bill Gateም ቢሆን የደረሱባትን መሬት ቢቀራመቱ የኢንቨስተር ጸባያቸው ነውና ምን ይደረጋል
    ለማንኛውም እናቴን ያገባ ሁሉ እንጀራ አባቴ ነው ብል አልሳሳትም!!!

    3. ጥሩ ኢንቨስተር ወይስ አባ ጠቅልል?
    እኚህ ሰውኮ ገበያ ውድድር አጠፉ ተብለው ተክሰው ተሸነፍዋልኮ
    ይተርፈኛል ብሎ ለሚያስብ ትንሽ እንዲያስብ መጠቆሜ ነው

    4. ርሳቸው የአሜሪካን ወዳጅ አገር መሪዎች ሳይጠራችው በፊት ፍላጎታቸ አያውቁም ብላችሁ አፋችሁ በከንቱ አይድረቅ
    ርሳቸውኮ አቻ የሌላቸው የ IT ዳኛ ሹፌሩ መዘውሩኮ ናቸውና

    ወደ ዋና ነጥቤ ልመለስና በእኔ ዕይታ
    5. ኢንቨስተር ከበጎ አድራጊ መለየት የሚቻለው
    የግለሰቦቹን ስራቸውን በህግ መነጥር መዛኝና መስመር ሲያልፉ ለመገሰጽ የሚያስችል አቅም ያለው
    የሕዝብ ወገን የሆነ መንግስትና ጠንካራ ብዙሃን መገናኛ የመሳሰሉት ያስፈልጋሉ ባይ ነኝ

    6. ቢል ጌትስ የመጨራሻውን ምስማር ይሆን የሚመቱት?
    ለምን ብትሉኝ?
    የሚሊኒየምስ ግቦች አንዱና የመጨረሻው ድሃ አገሮች በሮቻቸውን ለውጭ ኢንበስተር ማስከፈት ነው
    ይህ ግብ ስምንተኛው ነው

    ሰባቱን ግቦች በትንሹ ብንስትም ስምንተኛው ግብ ዋነኛው ነውና ግጥም አርጎ ቢከረችመውስ ብዬ ነው

    የመጀመሪያ ሰባቶቹ ግቦች አለሰልሰው አርሰው አመቻችተው የሄዱት ነገር አንዳንዱ የማይመለሰ ነው ልምሳሌ
    በነጻ ት/ቤት ግንባታው- ሽንት ቤት ሳይቀር መጽሀፉ ውጭ ቢታተምም አስተማሪውም ደመወዝ በርዳታ ቢከፈልም
    የነጻ ኪሊኒክ ግንባታው -ክኒን እንደልብ ባይኖርም ባናመርተውም
    ሪጂናል ኦቶኖሚው መስረዳድር ስርዓት- መሬት ከአዲስ አበባ ቢመራም

    ስለዚህም ለማንኛው ምን ይመጣ ይሆን ብዬ እጠባበቃለሁ

  9. yebbo
    | #9

    mr Gebremedhin,

    Bill gates or china would not make any difference. the main problem for Ethiopia is the fascist and ethnicist woyane junta.

    where in the world do you find hunger in a country where people live in freedom, democacy and justice. Until you answer the question of democracy and freedom you are wasting your time.

    Bill gates could be splashing out his billions whereever he wants to, but it would not cure the problem in Ethiopia as long as the cancerous woyane is around. when you have cancer like the woyane what you need is to treat the cancer, and as any good physician would tell you the cancer has to be removed first to make the patient healthy.

    YOU HAVE TO ASK WHY Contries like Bangladeshi, India with billions of people to look after do not go hungry, if you think population number is the problem.

    Even countries like sudan and Egypt of which 2/3rd of the land mass is barren desert, produce surplus crops for export.

    Therefore don’t fool yourself by saying that population number is the problem in Ethiopia.

    the main prblem in Ethiopia is a woyane fascist junta that is on the helm and does not want to see a country called Ethiopia to survive a s a united and strong entity.

    that is why the woyane are inciting inter ethinic violence, dividing the population on ethnic, relegious lines, gagging the people, evicting poor farmers from their lands in Gambella, Benashengul, southern Ethiopia to sell the land for cash to fill the pockets of TPlf politbureau. that is why the woyane are selling large tracks of land to arabs, chinese, indian, pakistanis by evicting the Ethiopian farmers from their family holdings and pastural land, to grow food for export.

    Bill gates money could be used to grow crops for EFFORT the woyane’s economic arm that is looting the country, and it will be a big cash in the bag for the woyane. It is another pay day for the woyane while the misery continues for the poor Ethiopian masses without end.

  10. aha!
    | #10

    First thing first, while Ethiopia continue to get non-humanitarian aid, grants for long term developments, without even the consideration by the western democractic countries to enable Ethiopian Government (TPLF/eprdf regime) to produce its own food crops to mitigate droughts and famine to combat shortfall of food production due to global warming; the silent majority of Ethiopians need to be engaged in a non-violent uprising to freedom from autocratic and ethnocratic rule to replace it with a democratic rule and a democratic government that rules by the consent of the governed.

    The second order of business is have a consortioum to ratify the constituion free of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism with individual freedom, liberty and equality as the central piece of the constitution and private ownership of land and availbility of capital (micro financing).

    The third order of business is not a budget support to a failed State with FYGTP, where the Agriculture Sector is underserfdom by the TPLF/eprdf regime under totaliarinism with State Capitalism economic model and subjected exploitation by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises in the tranansactions of seeds and fertilizers, leaving the farmers debt ridden to no economic adanatage in production increases to say the least about pollution of streams of drinking water due to fertilizer applications in the rolling topographies; but to have a consortioum outside of Ethiopia by Ethiopian Agricultural Experts in the Diaspora under sposorship of Bill Gates with Guests from the Institute and the Extension Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to come with a revitalization projects for the agricultal and range lands with little or no fertilzer taking into account an ecosytem management approach to farming, livestock and afforstation along ecological zones, not ethnic zones with funds for the projecets and micro finanancing of the farmers and the cottage industries for the farm products through Bill Gates Foundation with USAID overseeing the implementation of the projects and the progress report from the Institute of Agrictural Research and the Extension Deparment of the Ministry of Agriculture.

    The way it is intended looks like a budget support to FYGTP, under totalitarianism with State Capitalism, much like any other support in terms of non-humanitarian aid which it is already getting in abundance.

  11. GMO
    | #11

    Q=Some foreigner meeting with
    A=Some TPLF high authoritative Cadre
    Q=Where is the biggest live Laboratory in the world?

    Q=What is the cost of the laboratory?
    A=You only need to give some dollars to Meles and TPLF.

    Q=What types of laboratories can it be possible to make?
    A=Any thing you want Psychological, social, political, economical, agricultural etc….

    Q=What is the difference and advantage to chose here in Ethiopia?
    A=It is live and you can make it on the entire nation itself and on the peoples themselves like a rat.

    Q=So it is such a wonderful place in the world?
    A=Yes but do not forget to bring some ‘sugar’ with you.

    Q=Why sugar also?
    A=I mean the dollar. Dollar is the most tasty matter for Meles and we TPLFites.

    Q=Ok Is it also possible to buy up the entire nation?
    A=Why not. We have a plan to make such a BIG and unique auction for this final game.

    Q=Ok if that is the case then when can I buy the entire nation?
    A=If not including us(Meles and TPLFites) any time you want. But please arrange that Meles and we TPLFites have to leave immediately just after this “BIG” sale.

    Q=No we want Meles to be there.

    Q=Because he will help us how to handle the mass.
    A=No problem the sale can be including the mass.

    A=No problem as long as Meles is willing to sell off the peoples as well.

    Q=He does not want the peoples?

    A=He told me that he ‘loves’ them very much?

    Q=Amazing how comes such contradiction? It has to be hatred and disrespect.
    A=If you say so it can also be like that but I am a cadre and has to accept all that my big boss says or orders. Also he told me that if the peoples are abroad like a slave then first they will generate foreign currency and second they are far away and hence they do not create any problem here.

    Q=Any way keep that for you and does he still sell the peoples also?
    A=Yes he is selling off Ethiopian women to Arabs.

    Q=What i heard so far is the land grab by Arabs.
    A=If the peoples do not have a land to live for what purpose they stay locally?

    Q=Yes but they can also serve as a slave locally.
    A=To be a slave in home country you need additional permission and tax from Meles.

    A=Because he is afraid that one day they may revolt against him and demand freedom.

    Q=Ok now back to the main topic about Bill Gates. What do you know about him?
    A=He is such a mega-rich person.

    A=He is also such a famous philanthropist and he also helps us through his fpundation.

    Q=Are you fond of ‘free’ gifts or donations?

    A=Because it is free. And also Meles likes so and he is the one who make me fond of it also.

    Q=Do you love ‘free’ gifts?
    A=Why not?

    Q=Sometimes or always?
    A=Why not always?

    Q=Well I advise you not to become fond of them all the time and please make wise limit and discrimination on it..
    A=Why? I am fond of it for the last 20 years and can’t live without it?

    Q= Ok that is your problem and any thing other you know about Bill Gates?
    A=I said to you before that I do not know any more.

    Q=Ok I will tell you something and please refer you a website to know that ‘something’.
    A=Why do I need more than this?

    Q=For your additional knowledge.
    A=If I have authority and money I do not need additional knowledge beyond this.

    A=Our leader Meles has vowed that he gives money and authority to guys like me and even to an illiterate person as long as he/she is loyal servant of EPRDF’s party politics.


    Q=So that is how the nation is ‘progressing’?
    A=Yes why not. We get ample aid and loan money and also any foreign assistance from the West. So that is enough for us.

    Q=So you do not need any thing extra new skill and knowledge?
    A=Ok any way tell me and I will also show and consult my big boss Meles if I have to read your reference knowledge.
    A=It is a taboo to know such unfamiliar odd new things in our party politics.

    A=It is party discipline.
    Q=Ok [Some laughing….]

    Q= Any thing you know about GMO?
    A= What is GMO?

    Q=Genetically Modified Organisms.
    A=Ok I once heard something like that but unfortunately has forgotten it.

    Q=What did you hear about it?
    A=It gives more yield for farmers. And I believe that we will be able to achieve food-security in the near future if we persist on it.

    Q=Really good for farmers and for the nation?

    Q=Any other bad news about it.
    A=Why there exists after all any thing bad news about it?

    Q=Ok any way please read the following regarding GMO and Bill Gates foundation moves in Ethiopia as well as in Africa.

    A=What is this?
    Q=It is a website for you to refer about it.
    A=Ok dear sir we need you help and consultancy on such matters.
    Q=Ok but first please read the reference.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12


  13. aha!
    | #13

    At the outset the Consotium in the Diaspora need to unravel the distinction between the FYGTP of the TPLF/eprdf regime the philantropic aid program Agricultural Transformation program (ATP) through the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to fight hunger and disease, through an improvement in Agricultural productivity of existing farm holders, with having defined how to go about it, through the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) working in collaboration with the institute of Agriculture Research and Extension department as an independent but complementary projects to that handled by the government in terms of FYTGP, not knowing that it may contain projects to mitigate food shortages from droughts by producing food crops under irrigation through a long term development assistance to replace food aid of bulk and expensive food crops from the Western democractic countries, together with World Bank loans it receives to meet those and other objectives stipulated in FYTGP.

    The way I look at it the projects in the ATP, have/need to have I presume far broader objectives by way of stablizing the ecosystems of the alitude temperate highlands, the Rift valley lowland tropics and the mid-alitude tropical humid sutropics of the west and the south western Ethiopia, following the ecological zones, through a soil and water conservation program and tillage practices and simultaneous with adopting drought and frost resistant food and legume pasture crops to revitalize the alititude temperate high lands with high density of farming households and the lowlands with large number of livestock through a revitaliazation programs with droght resistant legume crops and water holes through solarpower electric generators for human and livestock source of water for drinking, and wind generated electricy to pull water from wells and provide electricity for growing vegitables, small cottage industries in the rural areas of the altitude temperate highlands of Ethiopia through FAO hiring experts from CSIRO Australia in terms reaserarch for drought and frost resitanant varities of food and forage crops, and experts from the United States in Soil and water conservation via Oklahoma State University along with Ethiopian Counterparts to engage in a massive Civil Core Conservation program in Ethiopia, where the fund from the Bill gates Foundation for fighting hunger through ATP to increas food crops productivity and prevent HIV AIDS, Malaria to improve on the health and productivity of the labour force to cater to an increase of the population and feed the existing population and live above the subsistence level of agrarian economy may be effectively served this foundation, if handled separately but complementarily to the FYGTP, uless the mode of governance changes for the better: a democratic rule to the current autocratic and ethnocratic rule, where the individual rather the ethnic rights become the central piece of the constituion.

  14. Gigi
    | #14

    I agree with AHA.

    Thanks. That is a brilliant idea and scenes direction!

  15. Dawi
    | #15

    yebbo said:

    [[..where in the world do you find hunger in a country where people live in freedom, democacy and justice…]]

    Political democracy without economic development mostly allows governments to bid for votes on the basis of taxonomy, hate, fear and exclusion.

    It is already proven that Democracy by itself is not sufficient conditions to prevent famine or eradicate chronic hunger.

    By comparison “NON DEMOCRACIES” may even enjoy considerable success in stopping famine altogether.

  16. Zerayakob Yared
    | #16

    koster, #5

    “…. moved famine from rocky TIGRAI to the main grain producing areas of Gojjam,Shoa,Arsi etc. Tigreans are making fertile their rocky land and expanding their territory by annexing parts of Wollo and Gondar and hoarding grains produced in other regions. …..”


    “ከሁለት ወፍጮ በስተቀር ምንም የላቸውም” ሆነው ለምን አልቀሩም ነው የምትለው !?

    ሌላው የኢትዮጵያ ምድር ሳይበደል, ትግራይም ኮሎኒያሊስቶችን መረብ ላይ ስትጋፈጥ, ህልቀት ክበኋላ ተከፍቶባት ሲያበቃ ለመቶ ዓመታት ያህል የተካሄደባትን የ”ትግሬን ማድቀቅ ነው” መነጠቅ ፖለቲካን ተወጥታ ቢያስን ከሌላው የኢትዮጵያ ቦታዎች እድገት ዘንዳ ለመድረስ catch up ማድረግ አለባት ማለት ነበር sense ያለው የኢትዮጵያዊ አባባል የሚሆነው!!

  17. Rose
    | #17

    Billy time will tell, but you are living in such a luxury house , can’t you come down on your living and help more people.

  18. Ethiopia
    | #18

    Mr Bill Gate if you think you will improve Ethiopian agricultural system by providing fertilizer and improved seeds, good luck. EPID has tried the same thing for over 15 years without sustainable success. Some improvements were realized when EPID was in the counttry. That improvement vanished when EPID left the country, except a couple of model stations. So, providing inputs to farmers for few years will not result in a sustainable improvement.
    Here is my 2 cents suggestions:
    First and at most help the government to change the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)from land leasing agency to agricultural agency. In its current state, the ministry’s operational system is far more primitive than the farming system in the country. The ministry has a bunch of highly educated staffs. However, he leaders of this ministry have no idea about agriclture. There is a huge disconnect between the leaders and the staff. There is no leader capable of devising a practical operational plan and implementing it. Because of this problem, the continuity of whatever Bill Gate is doing now is not gauranted after they left the country.
    While helping the reconstruct the ministry, you can help the farmers with improved inputs and provide extension services. In fact, this can be achieved using the current MOA employees themselves. This is a sourt of on the job training. Sorry i run out of time….i will stop here for now.

  19. aha!
    | #19

    Here is the major bottle neck in this Philantopic bonanza:According to the author, “Mr.Gates intimated: “Mr. Gates intimated:” We went and looked at it (agriculture) and recommended the creation of a group called Agricutural transformation Agency (ATA), “in which” one of our people happened to be from Ethiopia that are over there on an ongoing basis.” … the experts at the Bill Gates Foundation has established … a system of getting seeds intoduced, how those seeds are priced, how you would buy fertilizers, how you would educate farmers -their agriculture system is not working”; is the most fuzzy approach/proposal at arriving at increased productivity of food crops and the workforce through healthcare of the agrarian society.

    First of all there is no need to establish an agency (ATA), rather a committee to facilitate the creation of Agricultural Projects (ATP) undertaken by the Extension Department of the Ministry of Agicuture and Ethiopian Agrcultural Research Organization for 11+ million dollars for three years funded through UNDP, minus the exhuberation for GMO seeds and fertiliser distributions by taking a different approach to revitalizing the arable lands and grazing land ecosystems/ecological regions.

  20. love
    | #20


    That is exactly why TPLF/Meles want uneducated, not very knowledgable, let alone foreign news, they don’t know what will benefit Ethiopia as a whole. Such people benefit themselves and proablaby ethnofascists. That is wy TPLF/Meles doesn’t want educated people that will take the country forward. Well, soon such uneducated people will demand more then TPLF/Meles will be in trouble.

    Those saying Gates and others must be informed,
    Are you kidding me, it is the design itself. Bill Gates, if he really cares, will fund for democracy to flourish first. But we can still put pressure on foreigenrs that are propping TPLF

    I suggest, those Ethiopians who are not bought by neoliberalism or multinational corporations or TPLF, those experts in agriculture must form committee and discuss how to eradicate famine from Ethiopia. As non agronomist it is very simple but of course to control the mass, TPLF and multinational coproprations complicate themseves. Why not do as Brazil does? Provide and train advanced agricultural technologies to farmers and let them produce themselves. Soon you will see Ethiopians of all living happy. But no. look the elephant is in the room which is the problem is TPLF and foreigners. Farmers have intrinsic ability to grow their own food so no need lecutres from outside.

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