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Ethiopia: Huge investment in infrastructure has not lifted ordinary citizens out of poverty, claims columnist

Author: Amarl Jackson, in Atlanta Black Star (USA), Published on: 7 November 2017

"The Numbers Say the Ethiopian Economy Is Doing Very Well. Reality Says Many Ethiopian Citizens Are Not"

For some, the emergence of Ethiopia as Africa’s third-largest economy is cause for celebration. The ancient nation skirting the continent’s horn recently surpassed its southern neighbor Kenya as the largest economy in East Africa with a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $78 billion. The first country to open an electric cross-border railway line in Africa, Ethiopia’s rapid economic expansion is due to major innovations in industry, irrigation and energy alongside its successful attraction of foreign investment...

ut for many Ethiopians, there is little to celebrate. The country remains desperately poor with the World Bank reporting Ethiopia’s per-capita income to be $619, well lower than the regional average. With food aid expected to run out next month, the United Nations estimates close to eight million Ethiopians are in danger of starvation. Human trafficking continues to be a major problem for the country’s poverty-stricken migrants. And human rights abuses have been rampant given ongoing land grabs by the Desalegn regime and its violent crackdown on associated protests, press and media freedoms.

Accordingly, some believe Ethiopia’s recent economic growth was not forged for its masses of struggling citizens but upon their backs. “In the name of modernization, people have been forcibly removed from their land to clear those lands for sugarcane and cotton plantations,” says Anuradha Mittal, founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, an independent think tank for international policy matters.



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