Ethiopians in Helsinki served fresh perspective on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

June 23rd, 2014 Print Print Email Email

Exemplary contribution

This June, the superstition behind the dalliance between Friday and its 13th day came with a rare special treat to Ethiopians in Helsinki, Finland. The members of the Ethiopian community were served fresh perspective engineering could offer regarding Ethiopia’s attempts to generate power from its Blue Nile River and extent of its possibilities.

The opportunity for a fresh and disinterested perspective on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was afforded the community, by none other than Asfaw Beyene, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at San Diego State University in the United States.

In this past year, Prof. Asfaw Beyene has emerged as one of the foremost engineering authorities on GERD. He comes across with expertise, positive disposition about what can and cannot be from purely an engineer’s viewpoint, genuine concerns and willingness to shed light and also help, if he could.

Besides teaching, Prof. Asfaw possesses diverse experiences, including in advising and consulting for governments/companies around the world on either their planned power sources, or when invited to help solve problems.

In the interest of transparency, it is important to disclose at the outset that Prof. Asfaw was found guilty of breaking the longstanding superstition of Friday the 13th. He jetted in that same day to Helsinki, where he was a guest of the Ethiopian Association in Finland, to whose members he availed his valuable insight on Ethiopia’s controversial dam.

Both the presentation and discussion focused on the hows, whys and also the not so much talked about but mysterious problem(s) the $4.6 billion costing dam –allegedly designed to generate 6,000MW of electricity – is facing, which the professor has identified. He says, in its present planning and arrangements, the dam will not do so above and beyond a third of that, as would be discussed in a moment. He presented this view first in an article a year ago.

Addis Abeba is surely aware of it, but the authorities seem to intriguingly choose to remain silent.

In Helsinki, the presentation brought together Ethiopians with differing viewpoints on GERD’s present and its future. Some of the participants were who from the get go have entertained doubts on political grounds, or transparency issues and accountability problems, or the whole approach of the regime, for instance, the state and degree of popular participation.

There are also those who view their support for GERD as their patriotic duty, as the case may be; others possibly do so to give political support for the regime they want to maintain in power as long, and have been contributing financing toward its construction.

The good thing about Helsinki is that both sides sat together – amicably as always. They attentively listened to the presenter. To the delight and satisfaction of his audience, Prof. Asfaw Beyene devoted time for the presentation, detailed explanations, discussions and responses to several questions, as well as reacting to comments.

To the best of my understanding, some of the views in his presentation were neither given prior thought by ordinary Ethiopians nor discussed in such a public forum before this time, with a knowledgeable person in our midst. Moreover, in my discussion with my compatriots, a sense of satisfaction and privilege was evident, which made me share that with others elsewhere in this piece.


Why is Prof. Asfaw redirecting discussion to engineering?

GERD’s importance for Ethiopia is in its promises for the future. Unfortunately, it has so far persisted in being cause for division within and outside the nation at different levels. In Ethiopian context, this situation has pushed GERD into entanglements in some unresolved issues, unknowns and unanswered problems and questions – politics and engineering losing their distinctness. This is something – if it were up to him – what the Helsinki guest speaker is striving to do away with.

Of late, it seems, the GERD debate among the elites in the diaspora is crystallizing along two major points of view – leaving aside a few strands on the margins. One side has given GERD a clean bill of health, I should add, in every sense. Its members may have tinkled champagne glasses and raised their banner high, scribbled on it: Let There Be Light!

Understandably, this has made the regime extremely happy. A weekly in Addis Abeba interpreted the impact of this ‘endorsement’ as a shot of confidence in the the regime’s arm – while preferring to attach it to “hawkish Ethiopia.”

The other side is still reasoning; crunching its numbers. It has begun collecting and assembling information and data, showing why in its present state GERD is a non-starter – a waste of efforts and resources. This, it claims, is because of all the possible crimes, flaws and inadequacy of the regime – political, governance, human rights, financial, accountability, structural, rule of law, corruption, etc.

Its concerns and charges are widely shared and real in many respects, although the way forward does not seem all too clear.

Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that Prof. Asfaw should start off his Helsinki presentation by making known the view he had held for sometime – already so noted in his June 2013 article. He said he did not have any problem with opposition to the politics, economics, lack of accountability, and most of all the heavy-handedness of the Ethiopian regime.

However, he comes strongly and repeatedly on his concern that the engineering aspects and related issues pertaining to this costly mega dam – built by scraping resources of a poor country and poor citizens – need not be ignored nor drowned out, as the construction work is progressing.

I am sympathetic to this view. There is merit in what he is saying, or trying to do to shift the debate to more substantive issues – given the importance of time for any corrective measures, especially since a dam is built to last, to serve, according to the professor, for over a century.

As one example, he briefly touched upon the debate among Ethiopians whether GERD should have been contemplated in the first instance, or a few smaller dams instead. While acknowledging this to be part of the idea toyed even amongst experts internationally in determining what and the approaches to a dam, nonetheless, he was not fully sold to the idea of small dams (aka distributed generation) logic for reasons stated below.

For a country such as Ethiopia whose rural areas are dotted with scattered and undeveloped villages, un-urbanized, he observed, this would make services too costly with transmission lines, stations and management of such dams with non-existent technically proficient manpower – an impossible proposition for Ethiopia.

To make his point, he indicated that there would be no difference in terms of qualification and expertise needed between those that manage humongous dams and those assigned to run the smaller power stations; those modern dams – big or small, are run from modern screens and buttons they must press, as the needed input and their expertise dictate.


Six-item PowerPoint presentation

The professor made his PowerPoint-based presentation, projecting six talking points, from which he addressed wide variety of issues. The explanatory note hereunder, gleaned from the presentation, summarizes his ideas is intended to provide readers gist of the points discussed:

• Justification for construction of GERD is not hard to come by – with the stark national needs in picture – especially if everything is going well with the engineering. Hopefully, GERD will become panacea to getting light and power to a nation wallowing in poverty and still in darkness. This does not mean that GERD does not have other problems.
• GERD is located 20km from the Sudanese border. The rationale is sound, the area being more favorable than the three other places, selected in the 1964 studies by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), which was carried out at the request of the Imperial Ethiopian government. The justification was that the bottom of the reservoir is hard rock and the area is known to be free of earthquakes. Therefore, the present GERD site is chosen because of relatively easy accessibility and potential for irrigation of a dam, which must serve, at least, for over a century.
Prof. Asfaw Beyene during the presentation (Credit: Fasil Zewdu)
Prof. Asfaw Beyene during the presentation (Credit: Fasil Zewdu)
• Prof. Asfaw did not hide his preference to dams free of complicated disputes and treaty problems between states. Regarding GERD, he indicated that it would have been better for Ethiopia and Egypt by now to find settlement.
• At the same time, he hinted the view that Egypt’s concerns are more due to loss of control of the flow of Nile, although if short filling duration for the dam is opted by Ethiopia, this could be a serious and immediate problem for Egypt. He suggested that Egypt’s concerns should and could have been addressed as a part of comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

• Nonetheless, he reminded his Ethiopian audience that all those dams known in the past to be targets of vehement opposition for environmental reasons are no longer under attacks or criticisms by anyone. For this, he cited a couple of examples – including China’s Three Gorge Dam. Therefore, he observed, hydro dams are good, so long they have behind them foresight, good planning and sound engineering that brings benefits to people, including concerned neighbors or nations.

• Regarding the final report of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE, see here), the professor picked and discussed selected issues, especially those pertaining to engineering, more particularly structure, dam height, saddle dam (45m high wall built at the edge of the reservoir to protect nearby lands from flooding), equipment such as turbines, etc.

• The Salini factor was troubling to the professor. He indicated that he had tried to contact the company regarding some of the anomalies that are being frequently raised. So far, the company has not responded, which he said is now being sold. The professor’s concern relates to an uncommon and unethical practice in which the construction company was granted the job with no-bid, then conducted the feasibility study, and then the design and construction without involving external reviewers (to his knowledge), which demonstrates an obvious conflict of interest. In other words, this conflict of interest is too obvious for anyone to see, when Salini has also been given GERD’s construction contract without any international competitive bidding. Therefore, the company’s role is partly responsible for demise of transparency in the construction of the great Ethiopian dam on the Nile River. This has left everyone’s reputation stained – including the government’s and anyone else associated with it.

• Finally, Prof. Asfaw wrapped up with one-word conclusion: OVERSIZED. This conclusion makes sense, when one realizes that the point of discussion is about the 6,000MW generating capacity dam. It is being built by a poor country at cost of euro 3,422 mil ($4,636 mil, according to IPoE report – of which euro 2,414 is for civil works and euro 1,007 mil for purchases of equipment from H/E&M). The fresh light the Ethiopian-American expert has put in public a year ago was reiterated in Helsinki; it is intriguing that the regime in Addis Abeba has not reacted either its admission of mistakes or oversight and correcting it, or rejecting altogether Prof. Asfaw’s calculation and providing its explanations and evidence(s). This dam is something the nation has paid for and owns it; it has full interest in it and, because of that Ethiopians deserve answer, as a matter of right!


Why less than 6,000 MW?

Prof. Asfaw Beyene has long concluded that Ethiopia would be getting neither all the electricity it planned to get from GERD, nor value for its money. This is to say, when all work on the dam is completed – the way things are today – under no circumstances would Ethiopia be able to generate more than a third of its planned 6,000 MW of electricity output, if it were to operate year round. He supports his case with the International Panel of Expert’s report itself, issued after his original paper – a report which states that the dam will have only 31% capacity factor, meaning it will not operate for the remaining 69% of the time. (For reference, consult the diagram he presented in June 2013 in Why is Ethiopia’s hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile sized for 6000 MW?.

Because of the importance of what the professor has unveiled in this area, it is necessary to look at it from different angles. In explaining this further, Asfaw Beyene pointed out in Helsinki that the 16 turbines ordered for GERD are in excess of the power that in reality could be generated.

The reasons are two: on one hand the dam’s height is 145m, net height 133m. On the other hand, the Nile may be the world’s longest river; but it is also its shallowest for most of the year – for nine months. This creates inadequate level of water during the non-rainy seasons.

Therefore, Prof. Beyene underlined that a design made for “near peak or peak flow rate makes no economic sense.” This, he said, is needlessly costing Ethiopia its scarce resources – to be specific among others – on the expensive extra turbines it cannot put to use.

He showed this using some rough calculations he chalked during the presentation to the Helsinki Ethiopian community to make that very point. What the numbers drive home is that Ethiopia has paid more for less electricity with the dam’s 16 turbines, when it could have gotten the same level of generation of power for less and with few of those equipments.

Why this happens, to reiterate, is because of inadequacy of the water level. It cannot rise relative to the dam’s net height of 133m to keep the turbines operational.

Based on the numbers he could put together – even before the official IPoE report was out – with the average river flow throughout the year and the dam’s height, he informed the Helsinki gathering his conclusion returned that Ethiopia’s power generation cannot be much in excess of about 2,000 MW on annual basis.

Surely, this has not been treated in the IPoE report; this possibly could be because whether Ethiopia gains or loses is not their assignment. Moreover, how much power is generated is neither the point of controversy with Egypt nor is it within the expert’s mandate. For all we now know, their mandate has been “to review the design documents of the GERD and provide transparent information sharing and to solicit understanding of the benefits and costs accrued to the three countries and impacts if any of the GERD on the two downstream countries …”

Therefore, what Prof. Asfaw has been saying is that the dam cannot produce the peak flow rate, since the water is low for the turbines to be fully engaged.

The solution for this problem may perhaps sound drastic in every sense. Prof. Asfaw did not want to elaborate nor push them in a formal manner by way of recommendations, as an expert – save implying it would require foresight and political courage.

His oft-reiterated problem is lack of all the essential information on GERD.


What now is the solution?

In fact, Dr. Asfaw was asked at the end of the presentation what could be done to ensure that this national dream would not stop or close down someday, so to say, like exhausted mine that has run out of its minerals.

The professor’s response is to appeal to every Ethiopian to engage in campaign for transparency and openness in the management of the nation’s affairs. In countries where there is the rule of law, he underlined, politicians cannot do whatever they like and get away with even when their actions involve serious matters with impacts lasting for decades. His refrain was that the regime must be held accountable for its actions and misdeeds.

In this case, he shared the view that the way out is to push for political reforms in our country. The end result must be transparency, accountability and openness in governance, as the way forward for Ethiopia’s development, the wellbeing of its citizens, and a much better future for all.

To my understanding, Prof. Asfaw Beyene meant that, had those restraints were in place on government in our country, today’s shortcomings, mistakes and problems we are constantly discussing could have been cited early on. They would have been discussed openly at the dawn of the project, were it not for the excessive secrecy that has surrounded this dam. Those who did not care focused on what they benefitted; those who cared were kept mum in fear, because of the fear of imprisonment or persecution.

Without united efforts and pressure, it is not possible to get the regime to open up for examination of all the technical details of GERD, secret arrangements it has made, if any, cover-ups of errors and miscalculations and its future management, especially aiming to serve the underserved.

Unfortunately, the authorities in Addis Abeba would not like to declare there be light on all of Ethiopia. For them, it appears that the primary and immediate purpose of GERD is to serve as source of foreign exchange through export of electricity.

The country’s foreign exchange problems are understandable. However, GERD is also being viewed as source of prestige and control. The preoccupation for the authorities now seem engaging in fierce campaigns around Africa, under the guise of African Integration, to create demand for Ethiopia’s electricity, an apparent neglect of the interests of the Ethiopian people. It has so far brought on board Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Yemen – two of them Djibouti and Sudan – already service recipients having paid for 2013 about $32 million; possibly there may be some others on the pipeline, including Egypt at some point.

Presently, this transaction in electricity is happening when over 70 percent of the Ethiopian population is in darkness – of late including many parts of Addis Abeba. A World Bank document May 2014 on grant for five-year project for Ethiopia Electricity Access Rural Expansion Project, Phase II, indicates that the country’s electricity reach in 2008 was 17 percent. In the earlier, grants and loans the project was supposed to get electricity access up in five years to 50 percent, i.e., in 2013 – a goal which has not materialized.



Notwithstanding what has happened thus far, united efforts of Ethiopians must focus on getting the wrongs right. In fact, if successful, GERD could become Ethiopia’s title deed – the certificate of its long denied benefits – confirming its share in the much-coveted ‘real estate’ – on the River Nile.

There is no question about it that Ethiopia needs the dam and the light and power – a point everyone understands and agrees with – so long as its purpose is the country’s development and betterment of the lives of our people. The problem has been raised and we have also seen it in action that the government cannot be held accountable.

In life as in dams, the fear of the unknown is usually driven by ignorance, miscalculations, misfortunes, or the lust for success of the few in society manipulating the national agenda for given political ends. These find their roots in deep secrecy, ‘mythologizing’ something or someone.

This now must be broken.

  1. Fed Up
    | #1

    Ato Kefyalew and Enginer Asfaw

    We are fed up of talk about Abay (you call it NILE)

    Please read this (posted in Abugida some time ago) if you have not.

    Thank you for listening.

  2. Dawi
    | #2

    [[....The professor’s concern relates to an uncommon and unethical practice in which the construction company was granted the job with no-bid, then conducted the feasibility study, and then the design and construction without involving external reviewers (to his knowledge), which demonstrates an obvious conflict of interest…..]]

    Yeah but such things are luxury for Ethiopia & Africa for that matter who are surrounded by backward chauvinist Arab neighbors. And as far as Egypt, who took time and again military and diplomatic initiative to keep us incapable of building any kind of Dam over centuries.

    Yes our forefathers defeated their several invasions by paying ultimate prices but, development was out of the question. One battle was in 1875-1876 The Egyptian Army was defeated by the Ethiopian counterpart. This led to the fall of Khedive Ismael (the battle of Gundet and Gura). In 1960 The Eritrean Liberation Front was established in Cairo. Propaganda radio broadcast from Egypt started. This time Egypt succeeded in helping dismantle Ethiopia.

    So when folks talk about “transparency”; I wonder with whom?

    You want Egypt to know you are planning to build a Dam on Nile? You got to be kidding me!!

    Egypt to this day continues to take diplomatic initiative trying to leverage its strategic importance and alliance to undermine support for the dam in the region as well as in other countries like USA, China, Italy, and Norway etc. the only thing that stopped them with GERD was the “secrecy” & the military preparation made to defend it by Ethiopia if you ask me therefore, EPRDF should be commended for that and for being in the forefront in the organizing of the Nile Basin countries having one stand against Egypt. EPRDF has even turned even Sudan against Egypt. I say Kudos to them!

  3. Ye Gonder Jegna
    | #3


    I remember about couples of weeks ago an Egypt’s paid agent (Egypt’s house nigger/Pro Alemayhue Gebremariam) calling the Ethiopian hydro dam project “A WHITE ELPHANT”.
    Today Thanks to Ethiopians supporting and building the hydro dam project in unprecedented speed.

  4. GERED is a done deal
    | #4

    Sale-out professor’s, PHD’s and whatnot, you will swallow the hard pill very soon.
    So much research and hard work to discredit their own country and people.What matters to the useless intellectuals is their NARROW POLITICAL INTEREST even at the expense of national interest,they don’t mind selling Ethiopia for a penny.
    Transparency !!! what transparency is this moron talking about,he couldn’t even comprehend such simple matters?
    Gibe 1,2 done Gibe 3 will be inaugurated in a matter of months, GERED will also be accomplished as planned.
    The camel is still marching while the dirty DOG barking.Long Live Ethiopia.

  5. ግርማ ወልደሃና
    | #5

    ሕወሃቶች እናንተ የሚመስላችሁ፡ ጮሌነቱ የሠፈረው እናንተ ከተማ ብቻ አይደል? ስለሃገር ማሰብ አንተም አነሳህ?

    አንተ የሕወሃት ይሉንታና ዕፍረተ ቢስ ቅኝት! ምነው ይህ ለሃገር ደግ አይደለም አላላችሁ፤ ሕወሃት ውስጥ የተሰገሰጉት አለቆችህ በዘረፋቸው፡ ሕገወጥነታቸውወገኖቻችንን ሲያሰቃዩ? ምነው የሃገራችን ስቆቃና የወገኖቻችን ጉስቁልና አልተስማህ -ላንተም ሆነ ላለቆችህ? ላስታውስህ መሰለኝ? ምነው ጸጸቱና ሃዘኑ አልተስማችህ፡-

    * ሕወሃትና አባሎቹ የሃገር ህብትና ንብረት ወደ ትግራይ ስያሸጋግሩ
    * ኢራክ ውስጥ ማላኪ ልክ ሱኒዎችን በማግለል እንዳደረገው ሁሉ: የሃገርቱን ሠራዊት አመራር 97.6 በመቶ በትግሬዎች (ሕወሃቶች) ስያሲይዙ
    * ሁሉንም የሚውከለውን የቀድሞ የሃገሪቱን ሠራዊት – የጠላት ጦር ይመስል– እስከዛሬ ያለመጠለያ ያለ ጡረታ መብት አስቀርትው የሚገድሉትን ገድለው የሚያስሩንት አስረው እስከዛረ ስያስቃዩና ሲበትኑ
    * በአንጻሩ ለሃገር አፍራሹ የሕወሃት ወንበዴ ጦር እስከዛሬ ከዘረፉት በላይ ከ1976 ዓ.ም. ጡረታ ታስቦ እንዲሰጣቸው ሲያደርጉ
    * ቁልፍ የመንግሥትን አመራር ለትግሬዎች (ሕወሃቶች) የብቻ ስሰጡ
    *አዲስ የሚሠሩትን ቤቶች 90 በመቶ ለትግሬዎች ስታከፋፍሉ – ያውም በዕጣ ስም! አዲስ አበባ ምን ትበል? አቃቂ ምን ትበል? ሞጆ ምን ትበል? ኢሊባቦር ምን ትበል? አዋሳ ምን ትበል? …
    * የሃገሪቱን የንግድና የልማት ሥራዎችን በትግሬዎች መካከል ቅርጫ ስያደርጉ
    * ሀገሪቱን ያለባህር በር ስታስቀሩ፡
    * የሃገሪቱን ልዕልናና የግዛት አንድነቷን በመድፈር የቀድምት ወላጆቻችን ደም ፈሶበት የተከበረውን ሉዓላዊ መሬት ለሱዳን ስትሸነሽኑ
    * በልማት ስም መሬት እየዘርፋችሁ ወግኖቻችንን ስትዘርፉ፤ መሬቶቻቸውን በመካከላችሁና ክአቃጣሪዎቻችሁ ጋር ስትቀራመቱ
    * ከውጭ ተመላሽ የሆኑ ኢትዮጵያውያን ኢንቬስትመንት በማለት የሕወሃት የንግድ፡ የኢንዱስትሪ፡ የኢንጂኔሪንግ ወዘተ ድርጅቶች (EFFORT) በተዘዋዋሪ መንገድ አዳዲስ ህብትና ንብረቶችን በመንግሥት ድጋፍ በመመስረት የሚፈጽሙት ውንብድና ዓላማም፡ ኢትዮጵያን የተገንጣይዋ ትግራይ ቅኝ ተገዥ ለመድረግ የታቀደ መሆኑ ጠፍቶን ከመስላችሁ ተሳስታችኋል
    *ዓለም ያከበረውን የሃገራችንን የጀግንነት ታሪክ ስታንቋሽሹ ለለሀወሃት ስም ለማፍራት ዓላማ ያለው መሆኑን ገና ድሮ ተገንዝበናል
    *ለወንበዴው ሕወሃት ዘለቄታ እንዲያመች እነርሱ ሕዝባችንን በዘርና በጎጥ ከፋፍልው በጎሪጥ እንዲተያይ፡ ከወገናዊነት ይልቅ በጥርጣሬና በጠላትነት እንዲተያይ ቀንና ማታ መርዝ የምትረጩ ሰዎች አንናተም፡ ለሃገር አሳቢ ነን ነው የምትለኝ?

    እኔ በዚህ የምወነጅለው ሕወሃትንና ጀሌዎቹን እንጂ እንደሌላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ እሥረኛ የሆነውን የትግራይን ሕዝብ አይደለም!

    ሃቁ የሕወሃት ፊቱ ላይ ሲፈነዳ፡ እነርሱ አለቆችህ አንተም ጀሌያቸው ዐይናችሁን ክፍታችሁ ለማየት አለመቻላችሁ፡ ቡናውን አለማሽተታችሁን፡ ሀገሪቱ ዛሬ ብቻ ሳይሆን፡ ነገም ፊቷ የተጋረጠውን ችግር የሚያሳይ ይመስልኛል። ለሃገር ካስብክ ይህ ባዶ፡ ጭፍንና ዘረኝ አስተሳስብ አልነበረም ልትይዘው የሚገባህ አቋም!

    ለኔ የሚገባኝን ያህል ከላይ መንሻ በድረግህው ትስሁፍ ምክንያት እነዚህ በብልግናህ የዘለፍካቸው ግለስቦች፡ የግድቡን መሠራት አለተቃወሙም። ውስጡ የሸበሽባችሁት ስንኮፍ፡ ሃገሪቱ ብዙ ሃብትና ንብረት ያፈሰሰችበት ግድብ እንደሚባለው (አሁን ባለው አያያዝ) 6000 ሜጋ ዋት አያመርትም ነው። ለምን ትኩክት ይይዝሃል በዚህ ምክንያት? ቀና አስተሳሰብ ቢኖርህ ኖሮ፡ ለምን ይህ ሊሆን ቻለ? ከሆነ ለምን ከወዲሁ አናርመውም፤ አለያም ይህ የኢንጂነሩ እይታ ትክክል አይደለም በማለት አለቆችህ መልስ እንዲስጡ ማድረግ ምሁርና አገር ወዳድ መሆንህን ባሳየኝ ነበር።

    አንተም አንተ ሆንክና ግመሉ ወደፊትም ሆነ ወደ ኋላ ሲንቀሳቀስ በተከፈለህ መጠን ዉህ! ዉህ!ማለትህን ብቻ ነው የተያያዘከው! ምናልባትም የዚያ የሕወሃት ደህንነት ባህር ዳር በኮምፑተርና የስድብ ጀግኖት ያሰለጠናቸው መካክል ነህ መሰለኝ – ሌሎቹ የሃቅና የሃገር ጥንቅ!

  6. Summii Diina
    | #6

    I wonder how the Woyanne trained media cadres are many?

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    ግርማ ወልደሃና said:

    [[..እኔ በዚህ የምወነጅለው ሕወሃትንና ጀሌዎቹን እንጂ እንደሌላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ እሥረኛ የሆነውን የትግራይን ሕዝብ አይደለም!]] Good for you!

    I wish a multi national group like EPRP did what TPLF accomplished so that we won’t see the list of things you wrote about Woyane; that would have saved us a lot of valuable time.

    However for me after learning what is called in our continent “democracy” is just a reference, with no substance and are only acclaimed by neo-liberals for going through the motion of “democracy”. Who are we kidding? We all know deep inside that these rituals only put a show of a very little semblance of democratic functions.

    I can give you many examples but the coming to power of ANC in South Africa who had little to show in economic and social arena for black folks is a good one; most blacks are poorer than under apartheid. Close to 50% are unemployed. Average life expectancy for blacks has reduced by 13 years from 62. It is now below Rwanda’s 52. Democracy in Kenya, Nigeria, India basically function in a similar fashion.

    Having said that, I say it is reasonable of you to question the reason why Meles came to power with an ethnic party but one shouldn’t stop there. We should go further and wonder if it could have been better if Woyane like we have seen in most Africa, include a few more elite faces to the regime even those ones that didn’t share its national vision to country so that it shows more semblance of “democracy”? The way you seem to like it! :-)

    Such arrangement may have satisfied you & many people but chances are the corruption rate would have been much higher than what it is today.

    And when or if they try to curb any of the corruptions, officials resignations and defection into exile would have been very rampant; that is not what you see today. In other words, we would have seen many Deputy Minister of Communication Affairs Office Ermias Legesse’s in ESAT which BTW, I find Ermias interesting and suggest for HD to allow that show to be aired on ETV sometimes. :)

    Be that as it may, because Woyane didn’t include too many folks that didn’t share its visions (smart if you ask me), with all its drawbacks, it set itself apart from the run of the mill of African “Democracies”.

  8. ግርማ ወልደሃና
    | #8

    አቶ ዳው#7

    ስሜን ስለጠቀስክ፡ ለኔ የምትሰጠኝ መልስ ያለህ መስሎኝ ነበር። ነገር ግን ያ በ#4 ቁጥር ላይ መልስ የስጠሁት ግለሰብ -(ያ የሃሰት ስሙን እንኳ በቅጡ ያለየው) አጠር ባለ መልክ ያለ እርሱና ሕወሃት ለሃገር አሳቢ የለም ብሎ የጻፈው ካንተ መበዛበዝ ይክቅ ራሱን ግልጽ በምድረጉ የእርሱ ይሻላል።

    አንተ ግን ይህንን አነሳህ፡ መልስህ ጣልከው፤ ከዚያ ሌላውን ነገር ተበተብክ፤ እርሱንም ጣልከው- እግዚአብሔር በሚያውቀው – ስለምን እንደቀባጠርክ አንዱም ሳይገባኝ ቀረ። ምናልባትም እንዲህ ያለ ነገር ላንተ ክፍያ የምታገኝበት ትርፍ ሰዓት ሥራ ሆኖ አንድ ነገር ያከናወንክ ቢመልስህም: የውስጥህን ባዶነት የሚያሳይ ህኖ አገኘሁት። ማለቴ፤ ሕወሃት ገንዘብ እየከፈለህ ሌሎቹን ኢትዮጵያውያን እንድትሳደብ ካሰቀመጣቸው ቀባጣሪዎች መካከል አንዱ ልትሆን ትችላለህ።

    ትንሽ የገባኝን ያህል ራስህን በትክክል ፈራጅ ለማስመስልም ሞከርክ፡ የሌለህን ለመሆን የሞከርከው ምን ያህል እንደተቀላቀለብህ ሳየው አዘንኩልህ … ካንተ ጋር ይህን ያህል መንከላወቴና ውድ ደቂቃዎቺን ማባከኒ ቢያናድደኝም።

    ለማንኛውም እውነት እውነት እልሃለሁ፡ ሌሎች ስዎች አንድ ነገር በጻፉ ቈጥር ያንተ ሥራ ያንን ማንኳሰሰና ማጥላላት ብቻ ቢሆንም፡ ክአጻጻፍህም ሆነ ከአስተሳስብህ እንደተገንዘብኩት ለዚያም ትምህርቱም ብቃቱም ያለህ አትመስልም! እውነቱን ንገርኝ ካልክ፡ ምንም ያህል ቢክፍሉህ፡ ይህ ላንተ ሕይወት አይደለም!ለሃገር ክብርና ደህንነት መከራከር የመንፈስ ኩራትና ግልጽነትን ያበዛል! ያንን ሥራዮ ብለህ ይዘክው ከሆነ አልቻልከውም; የቀጠሩህም ሰዎች ግርግር ስለሚወዱ; የሚፈልጉት እሱን ብቻ ነው!

    አሁንም ተገንዘብ፡ ተንኮልና ብልጥነት አስፈላጊ ከሆነ፡ ለ#4 ቁጥር ባለፈው መልዕክቴ ላስረዳው እንደሞከርኩት ሁሉ፡ (አተንና እርሱን ከቁጥር አስወጣና) አለቆችህ ሕዋሃት ጋ ብቻ አይደለም ያለው። ክፉውን በክፉ መመለሱ፡ ሁላችንንም ክፉ ሊያደርገን ይችላል! ለሕወሃት ግን ሌላ መፍትሄ ስለሌለ ወደ መርዝነትም ቢቀይረን፡ ክፋታችሁን በክፋት መመለስ የሚያስፈልግበት ደርጃ ላይ ኢትዮጵያውያን ደረስዋል!

    ኢትዮጵያን ከናንተ የጥፋት መርዝ ለማዳን፡ ዐይናችንን ጠርገን፡ በነቃ አእምሮና እውነትን ተገን በማድረግ፡ በሕቡዕም መሃከላችሁ በከፍተኛ ደርጃ ቁጭ ብለው ውሳጣችሁን እየቦረቦሩ አጥፊነታችሁን በየቅጣጫው በሚያጋልጧችሁ ወገኖቻችን (ሕዋሃታዊ ትግሬዎች) ብርታት መረጃዎቹን ይዘን እንፋለማችኋልን! በከንቱ ትሮጣላችሁ ነገር ግን ግዳግዳው እራሱ ቀና ብሎ ፊለፊታችሁ እንዲጋረጥ ለማድረግ ኢትዮጵያውያንን እያስቻለ ነው!

    ይህ ግልጽ ላይሆንላችሁ ይችላል፤ ከእንግዲህስ ይሁን – ግልጽ እስኪሆንላችሁ ድረስ የከንቱነት ከበሮአችሁን ደልቁ!

  9. Dawi
    | #9

    Talking about Ermias Legsee, the former “woyane” on ESAT? :)

    Did you hear what he said about Bereket? That the man is one of the few who didn’t grab a plot of land in Addis? I am sure some of you were shocked. I know I was kind of and felt good this man was the 2nd ideologue man to the former top dog Meles. It is good to know that he is a principled man.

    Remember when Bereket told us his book was published by Alamudi and his hospital bill paid by the billionaire as well? I have to admit that I laughed my A*** off then but, now I see the man was telling us the truth.

    He is probably one of the few, the proud, honest old revolutionaries alive today. I am glad Ermias confirmed the top brass of EPDM/TPLF are not as corrupt as many assume.

  10. Tecola W. Hagos
    | #10

    Dear Professors Asfaw Beyene and Keffyalew Gebremedhen
    I greatly appreciate your articles and presentations. I particularly want to emphasize your suggested solution in section V and conclusion in section VI. I had expressed similar sentiments and suggestions in a couple of articles I wrote a few weeks back. I suggest that we hammer on such ideas encourage participatory criticisms and suggestions from the Ethiopian Public.

    “At this advanced stage of the construction of the Dam, I suggest that all those who oppose the building of the Dam change their focus from opposition to the construction of the Dam to some form of constructive engagement on how best to finish the Dam and how best to carry out the management and distribution of power from the Dam. There are a number of future construction and management challenges related to the grid system for the Dam, the allocation of power, and the day to day management of such huge project. The inputs from concerned Ethiopians and others that would be affected and also benefit from the Dam project should get involved in constructive discourse. Such concerned individuals must also suggest solutions, for criticism alone will not be of great help. For example, the issue of transparency as to the names and identity of all corporations and/or business organizations (joint ventures, partnerships et cetera) that are working as contractors and sub-contractors, as consultants, and/or in direct iron-work, concrete-powering, digging, earth-moving, et cetera.”
    Tecola W. Hagos

  11. Kimbsay
    | #11

    Just to remind Ethiopians of the stinking belch that comes out of the big stomach of the TPLF cadre and hodam Dawi. The TPLF cades and their hodam servants do not have any ground to discuss about the Nile and other issues of national interest. The Dam incurs billions of birr and the TPLF and their hodam followers have their eyes on the loot that follows.

  12. Egyptian Bargaining Chips
    | #12

    That is why Egyptians called people like you Bargaining Chips.

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    Brother ግርማ ወልደሃና:

    Some of the points in the lists you considered drawback of TPLF/EPRDF are well taken by me but I was trying to say to you that there is more to Meles/Woyane activities than just drawbacks & I tried to give you some comparisons in my short piece. Sorry if you didn’t like it.

    Let me try again:

    Woyane has sparked development and a formation of strong Ethiopian state 2nd to none in Africa which is a prerequisite for human rights; In contrast, Iraq doesn’t have that and the way I read it the Obama administration is advising it to form some kind of “ethnic coalition” similar to EPRDF before it goes down the drain. How about that?

    I tried to point out that others like ANC have attempted to create “empty” civil and political rights with repeated elections but are swimming in abject poverty and are actually going backwards in many indicators. What good is that?

    Meles’s approach to democracy and human rights is right on is my opinion, I say ‘African Development: Dead Ends and New Beginnings’ deserves serious assessment by you and others.

    Calling people names or asking Abugida to censor some of such thoughts here is not civil to say the least.

  14. Belay
    | #14

    I do not understand how Tecola Hagos Thinks. May be zigzag

    He is excited because Kefaylew said

    ““At this advanced stage of the construction of the Dam, I suggest that all those who oppose the building of the Dam change their focus from opposition ”

    Listen even a house whose construction is completed on faulty basis should be completely demolished and get build again. Otherwise the inhabitants will one day die of house debris.

    One of the problems with Tecola and his friends is that they could dot get out of race related thinking. Had they been out of race zone, they could have understood why others oppose TPLF’s actions.

    As soon as the traitor Meles dies, Tecola became ardent TPLF supporter. I do not blame now those people who used say TECOLA DOSE NOT LIKE MELES BECAUSE HE FIRED HIM FROM FOREIGN MISTOR OFFICE. Retrospectively I think they were right.

  15. linked internet site
    | #15

    hermes birkin bag replica china Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » Ethiopians in Helsinki served fresh perspective on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) By Keffyalew Gebremedhin
    linked internet site

  16. Kimbsay
    | #16

    The TPLF member or beneficiary Dawi claims that `woyanne sparked the development and formation of a strong Ethiopian state 2nd to none in Africa.`. This assertion of Dawi is not suprising either because the likes of him can not see any reality outside of their big bellies. The fact that Dawi fills his big belly with the ill gotten benefits from his woyane bosses,has made him a cheap propagandist The woyanes are fascists and racists who do not have any vision of nation building and trace of national feeling. Ethiopians see the woyanes as invaders looting their country, oppressing and impoverishing them. The divide and rule politics of the woyane clique has created a very dangerous and explosive situation in the country. The belly man or woyane Dawi and his bosses will be consigned to the dust bin of history.

  17. aha!
    | #17

    I am in support of appropriate response for the commentator @#1, it is not a question of feasibility of GERD and the support to GERD funded on the back of the silent majority tax payers for a project that could not be funded by IMF by creating a national fervor as if the current TPLF/eprdf regime stands for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom and liberty and equality to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights. Without those goals in place and the current regime is implicated in humanitarian, economic, political crises perpetrated by the TPLF/eprdf regime, supported directly by the teletafi paties and indirectely by the loyalist opposition parties representing itself as OPDF/Medrek/EFDF/fdre to silent majority of Ethiopians of all ethnic groups. Upfront, the confrontations between Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethnic Federalism and/or Ethnic Nationalism as well as the totalitarian/state capitalism and the exploitation and political strangle hold of the countries natural resources and the silent majority of Ethiopians by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations need to be confronted to replace it with people oriented government that puts ownership of GERD to the people than to ex-liberation fronts, which do not have unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in the constitution as the supreme law of the land instead of disintegration approach of ethnic federalism, secessionism built into the constitution, a prelude to ethnic secessionism, future boundary conflicts and an ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing to certain ethnic groups.

  18. aha!
    | #18

    Furthermore, upfront from the GERD, while in negotiation would have considered building dams in 22 plus tributaries suitable for irrigation and electric generation that could have been funded by IMF and engage in the revitalization of the water catchment basins of the highlands to avoid floods, conserve soil and increase water retention and increase production to alleviate shortages of food supply.

  19. Dawi
    | #19

    Dear Kimbsay,

    Please don’t give simple answer for a complicated problems we have. In some parts of Ethiopia folks are walking around naked without any infrastructure fitting to a human condition therefore, we are already divided by poverty & inequality. So what are you talking about?

    In the second place, “one can’t get rich by working for somebody else” especially the government so don’t waste your breathe there however, what we have to work with in a developmental state of Ethiopia today is Capitalism. We already know capitalism has eliminated scarcity for the first time in human history; it has created the highest degree of economic integration and social interdependence for human kinds as well. Like they say it is all about profit, which is a prerequisite for human rights if you ask me and you can’t fight for human rights with empty “belly” anyway.

    The invisible mechanism behind the miraculous appearance of profit is the surplus unpaid labor as we know it. Simply speaking the “surplus” labor workers produce ends up belonging to the capitalists.

    Now in Ethiopia today EFFORT, Alamudi, Sunshine construction and other capitalist organizations redirect “surplus” where ever they want to. To whom to where is the question?

    I don’t doubt you think only individuals like you or the Sunshine construction types should redirect surplus as they wish but I don’t. That is our difference in my opinion.

    Again with all its drawbacks of corruptions etc, the developmental state of Ethiopia has “sparked development & put the foundation of a strong state in Ethiopia”; this is documented all over and no one can deny it.

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