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Ethiopia: The Art of Bleeding a Country Dry; Ethio-Corruption, Inc. (Unlimited)



  01:36:03 am, by admin   , 2536 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: The Art of Bleeding a Country Dry; Ethio-Corruption, Inc. (Unlimited)

Ethiopia: The Art of Bleeding a Country Dry

Ethio-Corruption, Inc. (Unlimited)

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

“The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage”, wrote Economist Sarah Freitas who co-authored an upcoming report with Lead Economist Dev Kar of Global Financial Integrity (GFI). The GFI report entitled, “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries over the Decade Ending 2009,” previewed in the Wall Street Journal, found that

Ethiopia, which has a per-capita GDP of just US$365, lost US$11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2009. In 2009, illicit money leaving the economy totaled US$3.26 billion, which is double the amount in each of the two previous years… In 2008, Ethiopia received US$829 million in official development assistance, but this was swamped by the massive illicit outflows. The scope of Ethiopia’s capital flight is so severe that our conservative US$3.26 billion estimate greatly exceeds the US$2 billion value of Ethiopia’s total exports in 2009.”

Two weeks ago in my commentary, “Why is Ethiopia Poor?”, I highlighted the fact that the Legatum Institute (LI), an independent non-partisan public policy group based in London, had recently ranked Ethiopia a pretty dismal 108th/110 countries on its 2011 Prosperity Index (LPI). Last year, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHDI) Multidimensional Poverty Index 2010 (formerly annual U.N.D.P. Human Poverty Index) ranked Ethiopia as the second poorest (ahead of famine-ravaged Mali) country on the planet. According to OPHDI, the percentage of the Ethiopian population in “severe poverty” (living on less than USD$1 a day) in 2005 was 72.3%. Six million Ethiopians needed emergency food aid in 2010 and many more millions needed food aid in 2011 in what the U.N. described as the “worst drought in over half a century to hit parts of East Africa”.

The cancer of corruption is deeply embedded in the marrow of the Ethiopian body politic. The recently released Transparency International (TI) 2011 Corruption Perception Index report on Ethiopia confirms the findings of GFI and other anti-corruption international organizations. For the past decade, TI has ranked Ethiopia at the bottom of the barrel of countries ruled by the most corrupt governments. In fact, for the past ten years Ethiopia’s score on the TI index has remained virtually unchanged (TI ranks countries on a 0 (“highly corrupt”) to 10 (“very clean”) scale.

TI Corruption Index Score for Ethiopia by Year
2011 2.7
2010 2.7
2009 2.7
2008 2.6
2007 2.4
2006 2.4
2005 2.2
2004 2.3
2003 2.5
2002 3.5

In light of the 2011 GFI and TI reports, is there any doubt today why Ethiopia is the second poorest nation in the world? Is it rocket science to figure out why Ethiopians are the second poorest people on the planet? Ethiopians are poor because they have been robbed, ripped off, flimflammed, bamboozled, conned, fleeced, scammed, hosed, swindled, suckered, hoodwinked, victimized, shafted and taken to the cleaners by those clinging to power like bloodsucking ticks on an African milk cow. Is it not mindboggling that the US$3.26 billion stolen out of Ethiopia in 2009 was double the amount stolen in 2008 and 2007!?!

The Art of Bleeding Ethiopia Dry

I have long argued that the business of African dictatorships is corruption. In a November 2009 commentary entitled “Africorruption Inc.”, I wrote the following about corruption in Ethiopia:

The devastating impact of corruption on the continent's poor becomes self-evident as political leaders and public officials siphon off resources from critical school, hospital, road and other public works and community projects to line their pockets. For instance, reports of widespread corruption in Ethiopia in the form of outright theft and embezzlement of public funds, misuse and misappropriation of state property, nepotism, bribery, abuse of public authority and position to exact corrupt payments and gain are commonplace. The anecdotal stories of corruption in Ethiopia are shocking to the conscience. Doctors are unable to treat patients at the public hospitals because medicine and supplies are diverted for private gain. Tariffs are imposed on medicine and medical supplies brought into the country for public charity. Businessmen complain that they are unable to get permits and licenses without paying huge bribes or taking officials as silent partners.

Publicly-owned assets are acquired by regime-supporters or officials through illegal transactions and fraud. Banks loan millions of dollars to front enterprises owned by regime officials or their supporters without sufficient or proper collateral. Businessmen must pay huge bribes or kickbacks to participate in public contracting and procurement. Those involved in the import/export business complain of shakedowns by corrupt customs officials. The judiciary is thoroughly corrupted through political interference and manipulation as evidenced in the various high profile political prosecutions. Ethiopians on holiday visits driving about town complain of shakedowns by police thugs on the streets. Two months ago, Ethiopia's former president Dr. Negasso Gidada offered substantial evidence of systemic political corruption by documenting the misuse and abuse of political power for partisan electoral advantage. Last week, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelley stated that the U.S. is investigating allegations that "$850 million in food and anti-poverty aid from the U.S. is being distributed on the basis of political favoritism by the current prime minister's party." [As of December 2011, over two years after the investigation was launched, the State Department has not publicly released the results of its investigation.]

Deceit, chicanery, paralogy and sophistry are the hallmarks of Meles Zenawi’s regime in Ethiopia. The cunning
dictator has been able to shroud his corrupt empire by pursuing a propaganda policy of mass distraction and by staging one farcical political theatre after another. Zenawi has successfully distracted public attention from rampant corruption by

Making wild allegations of terrorism against his critics, persecuting and prosecuting his opponents and by jailing and exiling independent journalists (a couple of weeks ago, Zenawi shuttered Awramba Times);

Proclaiming a bogus Growth and Transformation Plan that will “double economic growth by an annual average of 14.9 percent” by 2015;

Selling Ethiopia’s most fertile land for pennies above the table and for millions under the table;

Panhandling the international community for famine and humanitarian aid and misusing that aid for political purposes;

Taking massive loans from international banks without any significant accountability on how it is spent;

Trying to shame and intimidate Western bankers and donors by hectoring them of the evils of “neoliberalism”;

Proclaiming the construction of an imaginary hydroelectric dam over the River Nile;

Sending troops to occupy Somalia and threatening war with other neighboring countries;

Vilifying international human rights groups, election observers and officials of multilateral organizations who disagree with him;

Dispatching swarms of officials to panhandle the Ethiopian Diaspora for nickels and dimes to buy dam bonds;
Systematically extracting foreign remittances sent by Diaspora Ethiopians;

Staging political theatre by a toothless anti-corruption agency to hoodwink complicit Western donors and loaners.
Etc., etc.

The Economics of Corruption

The Economist Magazine in its November 7, 2006 editorial described “the Ethiopian government as one of the most economically illiterate in the modern world.” In 2009 at a high level meeting of Western donor policy makers in Berlin where, a German diplomat suggested that Ethiopia’s economic woes could be traced to “Meles’ poor understanding of economics”. They are all wrong!

No one knows corruption, the economics of kleptocracy, better than Zenawi. The facts of Zenawi’s corruptonomics are plain for all to see: The economy is in the stranglehold of businesses owned or dominated by Zenawi family members, cronies, supporters or hangers-on. According to the World Bank, business enterprises affiliated with Zenawi’s regime control “freight transport, construction, pharmaceutical, and cement firms receive lucrative foreign aid contracts and highly favorable terms on loans from government banks.” Dataprovided by Zenawi’s regime showed that by the end of the 2009 fiscal year, Ethiopia’s outstanding debt stock was pegged at a crushing USD$5.2 billion. The USD$11.7 billion stolen over the past decade could easily retire that debt. Ethiopia is Africa’s largest recipient of foreign aid at nearly $USD4 billion in 2009, and the second largest foreign aid recipient in the world after Afghanistan.

Is There a Way to Stop Ethiopia from Bleeding?

The international community “naively” believes that corruption in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa could be controlled and significantly reduced by anti-corruption programs. The U.N. Convention Against Corruption (2003)requires signatories to “develop and implement or maintain effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies that promote the participation of society and reflect the principles of the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability.” Ethiopia signed the U.N. Convention in 2003. The Africa Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (2003) established a regime to empower African countries to “prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption and related offences in the public and private sectors.” The Convention prescribes that “in order to combat corruption and related offences in the public service, State Parties” shall “require public officials to declare their assets at the time of assumption of office during and after their term of office in the public service.” Ethiopia signed the AU Convention in 2004. Neither of these Conventions has even made a dent in controlling the metastasizing corruption in Ethiopia.

Zenawi knows the power of corruption. He has effectively used corruption allegations to neutralize and eliminate his political opponents. He used his “Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission” to railroad his comrade-in-arms and former defense minister, Seeye Abraha, to jail for six years on unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. When then-Judge Birtukan Midekssa, and later Ethiopia’s first female political party leader and long suffering political prisoner, released Seeye for lack of evidence, Zenawi rammed legislation through his rubberstamp parliament to deny Seeye bail and keep him in pretrial detention. He later fired Judge Birtukan. In 2008, Zenawi’s anticorruption commission reported that "USD$16 million dollars" worth of gold bars simply walked out of the bank in broad daylight. A number of culprits were fingered for the inside bank job, but no one was ever prosecuted. In February 2011, Zenawi publicly stated that 10,000 tons of coffee earmarked for exports had simply vanished from the warehouses. He called a meeting of commodities traders and in a videotaped statement told them he will forgive them because “we all have our hands in the disappearance of the coffee”. He warned them that if anyone should steal coffee in the future, he will “cut off their hands”.

For years, I have documented and railed against corruption in Ethiopia. In December 2008, three years to the month, in a weekly commentary entitled, “The Bleeping Business of Corruption in Ethiopia”, I wrote:

The fact of the matter is that the culture of corruption is the modus operandi in the Ethiopian body politics. Former president Dr. Negasso Gidada clearly understood that when he declared in 2001 that ‘corruption has riddled state enterprises to the core,’ adding that the government would show ‘an iron fist against corruption and graft as the illicit practices had now become endemic’. In 2007 when Ethiopia’s auditor general, Lema Aregaw, reported that Birr 600 million of state funds were missing from the regional coffers, Zenawi fired Lema and publicly defended the regional administrations’ ‘right to burn money.’…. Ironically, in 2003, Ethiopia signed the U.N. Convention Against Corruption; and a couple of months ago, a conference on institutions, culture, and corruption was hosted jointly in Addis Ababa by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

The fact of the matter is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Zenawi has absolute power in Ethiopia. Pleading for transparency and issuing moral exhortations against corruption will have no effect on the behavior of Zenawi or any of the other African dictators. Indeed, to plead the virtues of accountability, transparency and good governance with Zenawi and Co., is like preaching Scripture to a gathering of heathens. It means nothing to them. They are unfazed by moral hectoring or appeals to conscience. They sneer and jeer at those who rail and vociferate against corruption. Preaching to the corrupt, to put it simply, is an exercise in total futility!

In my November 7 commentary “To Catch Africa’s Biggest Thieves Hiding in America!”, I discussed the importance of initiating and cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) in civil forfeiture actions to seize corruptly obtained cash, personal or real property of any person or entity that can be traced to “specified unlawful activity”. These civil court actions extend to foreign offenses involving extortion, money laundering, or the misappropriation, theft or embezzlement of public funds by or for the benefit of a public official of a foreign government. (18 U.S. C. sections 981 (a) (1) (c); 1956; 1957.) The U.S. has recently filed action to seize personal and real property of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the 43-year old son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.

Carefully review and analysis of GFI and TI data sources reveals that public assets and funds stolen from many African countries, including Ethiopia, are often hidden in banks located in the U.S. and Europe, although the clever African dictators are now diversifying by taking advantage of financial havens in countries experiencing rapid growth and industrialization. Much of the corruption activity centers around money laundering (that is, illegal or dirty money is put through a complex cycle of financial transactions or washed and is transformed into legitimate or clean money).

The basic idea in money laundering is to minimize the chances of detection of stolen public assets and funds by breaking the direct link between the kleptocrats or “corruptocrats” and their collaborators by disguising the true ownership. Using financial consultants, shell companies (bogus companies that exist to simply create the appearance of legitimate transactions through fake invoices and balance sheets), fraudulent official documentation, wire transactions, and “smurfing” techniques (breaking up large amounts of money into smaller, less-suspicious amounts in the names of multiple persons) etc., those who have stolen public assets and funds try to sever or camouflage their loot from its illegal source by placing it in international financial institutions. The aim in money laundering is at least twofold: 1) gain anonymity and hide the audit trail in case of a criminal investigation, and 2) plough the “clean money” into the legitimate economy by buying homes, investing in legitimate businesses, starting businesses and so on.

If the problem of corruption is to be addressed effectively in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa, it is not going to be at the fountainhead of the corruption itself but in the ocean where the river of corruption terminally flows. As one cannot expect the fox to safeguard the henhouse, one cannot similarly expect Africa’s dictators and corruptocrats and their collaborators to safeguard public assets and funds. A big part of the answer to the question of corruption lies in the Laundromats of financial institutions where the dirty money is washed. That’s why I believe it is the civic and moral duty of every Ethiopian and African to help the U.S. Justice Department catch Africa’s biggest thieves hiding in America. It is very easy to do, and do it anonymously. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption in the United States, or funds laundered through institutions in the United States, should contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HIS) toll free at 866-347-2423 or send email to: If calling from outside of the U.S., the number is: 802-872-6199


Previous commentaries by the author are available at:


Comment from: Ras Mitat [Visitor]
Ras Mitat

And what have YOU ever contributed to Ethiopia?

12/12/11 @ 03:27
Comment from: Tameru [Visitor]

I recently went back home after been away for two decade and I have to say, I was stunned how they operates in open day robbery the ethnic juntas. Every big business and buildings are theirs. I started boycotting their business and I encouraged others to do the same. That is a small way fighting back. I find it amazing how they strictly leave customers service for ordinary citizens and they operate behind curtain i.e. cellular-phone distributers in the country are ethnocentric thugs. They imported without paying any tax and anybody else are doomed to pay ridicules amount for that reason nobody couldn’t cope with computation and try’s something else. I gather up some lists of their monopolies in business and soon I will have it out in open.

True story a new settler in our capital A.A. he claimed he moved from Tigre supervising a building sight which he owns and in short encounter he bragged by blurting out that he already spend 70 millions Birr while it is still unfinished. I didn’t ask what else he does knowing good well the source. I run up his full name by asking locals came to find out his brother is one of the TPLF General. That tells me everything I needed to know and confirmers my initial suspicion. If you work hard for your money there is no need for show off. This is the tip of the icebergs when its all unfolded books could not contain it. The good Professor clearly sums up ZenaWi and Co’s, looting spree pretty well.

Quote “The fact of the matter is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Zenawi has absolute power in Ethiopia. Pleading for transparency and issuing moral exhortations against corruption will have no effect on the behavior of Zenawi or any of the other African dictators. Indeed, to plead the virtues of accountability, transparency and good governance with Zenawi and Co., is like preaching Scripture to a gathering of heathens. It means nothing to them. They are unfazed by moral hectoring or appeals to conscience. They sneer and jeer at those who rail and vociferate against corruption. Preaching to the corrupt, to put it simply, is an exercise in total futility!”

12/12/11 @ 03:36
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Another naked Fact ,how the evil Tyrant couples along their croonies
and bandas are bleeding the country .And unshamed Hodam Kehadis as Pig Ben and co. are advocating the looting by this thief couple as the best economic achievement never
happened in the country .Once again
,as the profiters from the lootings of the country by the Kleptoman Couple . TPLF Thugs ,specially the Arabo_Shabyan Prostitutes Adgi Banda ,Tchiffenee
and Co., shall once again bark as
dying Pitt Bulls against Prof Al .

12/12/11 @ 04:52
Comment from: anti-woyane [Visitor]

THIS DEDEBIT WHORE USED TO SELL QOLO AND NOW PLS NOTICE the Christian Dior Purses for $12k!!!!!!

12/12/11 @ 05:26
Comment from: Melaku [Visitor]

Thank you for the usual well researched insight.your great contribution of such vital comments on the current issue of our country will continue despite some small minded and biased big talkers and bozenes saying whatever comes to their head.
Regarding such burnning issue, the massive corruption will continue as long as we have been under control of such bandits. They came hungry without penny, now the option of guarantee incase of a rainy day is steal corrupt and deposit some where out of the country. We happened to meet ordinary looking men in Europe carrying millions of Euros for unheard amount of shopping and to deposit for their masters in power. What amazes me is how they carry out from there. Unless it is well organized and given a blind eye such people can not manage to carry million dollars and Euros to board a flight. The country is massively bleeding. The leading master of stealing is Azeb Mesfin copy of the wife of the Tunisian then president Ali. Hardly one can find a clean hand in the current regime. This is the most corrupted government in our history.
The country can be saved only by working hard for a change in the system of the leadership. For now the corruption might even increase to higher scale as the feeling of their days are numbered.

12/12/11 @ 05:39
Comment from: [Member]

Last black Friday, “the day after thanks giving here in the US, where people go out to buy items for their holiday in a big discount as low as 75% off, some thing was observed. In addition to the sleek flat=screen TVs, smart phones, computers and designer clothing, black friday’s shoping frenzy was accounted for another hot item: GUNS!
Gun dealers flooded the FBI with background check requests for prospective buyers last black Friday. Smashing the all time high by 32%, according to the FBI records.
The checks required by federal laws surged to 129,126 during that particular day. Not to mention that it could likely be higher with the multiple firearms can be purchesed by a single buyer.
Does this kind of news in almaria’s own backyard should ring a bell?
How about the unrest known as occupy Wall street, occupy LA, occupy this and that which had become a dailly occurance people tired of the unfair and unbalanced wealth of the few, while they struggle to pay their bills. Does this kind of news in almaria’s own backyard should ring a bell?
And the worst of all, Europe is in a big crisis mode failing to come up in a certain agreement to tackle the wide spread economic problem in the whole Europe affecting the whole world.
Lastly but not least could the US senate pass the budget requested by the president Obama? If not the US govt will shut down. Does this ring a bell in almaria’s own backyard?
My point is all almaria’s readers reside in these part of the world in the west where all the problem is alarming. Why can’t he write about this problems to inform his readers? After all almaria is an American.
Meanwhile Ethiopia is in a different level being praised by the whole world in everyway. Ethiopia is the center of the world. Just yesterday our CLIMATE RESILLIANT GREEN ECONOMY was praised at the climate summit South Africa, and referd as a big example and sample which all African counties should adopt.
I don’t have to tell you what kind of great things happening these days in Ethiopia. You damn well know. And it is a pain for you and the rest of haters to accept, which is killing you. All you can come up with is a fictional accusation repeated again and again. I’m sure your readers and supporters are tired of it. But neverthless they will clap for you and cheer you up for not giving up on your on going campain and dream of distabilizing Ethiopia.

12/12/11 @ 05:51
Comment from: Mayet [Visitor]

So informative and truthful article. Thanks, Prof Al.

12/12/11 @ 05:53
Comment from: isreal [Visitor]

As usual nothing new from this article but constant attack to discredit the achivement and progress scored by the people of Ethiopia lead by the current government.

12/12/11 @ 07:53
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Not only in USA but its the duty of
every Ethiopian to assist Civic Right activists about the Wealth iligally owned by the evil couple
specially Europe and any places where their friends and relatives have settled .It’s true in France a
Civic Right Movement is pursuing West and Central despots ,in Switzerland the Administration has
promised to bring any proof for Judicial Institutions .Also ask Scandinavian States Justice Instutitions with the assistant of local Civic Right Activities Inquiries concerning the Incomes of
the Saudi Tycoon and Midroc activities in Ethiopia .

12/12/11 @ 09:59
Comment from: kuku [Visitor]

Cry my beloved Ethiopia! Interestingly I have just finished another article/report on Aiga Forum by EPRDF member. For those of you who are obsessed in defending TPLF blindly read first an article written in Amharic on Aiga. It looks like some are acting as programmed robots or they have a problem understanding English. Ask the Governor of the national bank and the Attorney General for validity of the report. They can deny but we need response from you guys.

12/12/11 @ 12:21
Comment from: [Member]

These are signs of the times. Dictators will never hesitate a bit from outrightly robbling their own nation’s wealth in broad day light.
We have seen it in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia etc.

Let us all unite to crash this looting machine called EPRDF. These hooligans are nothing but “modern day land pirates".

12/12/11 @ 13:07
Comment from: Tadias [Visitor]

እውቁ የታሪክ ባለሙያ እና ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር በመሆን ኢትዮጵያን ያገለገሉት፣ ከሶስት አመታት በፊት ከዚህ አለም በሞት የተለዩት ደጃዝማች ዘውዴ ገብረስላሴ ፣ የመለስ ፖሊሲ አገሪቱን እንደማይጠቅማትና ለትግራይ ህዝብም አደገኛ መሆኑን ተናግረው እንደነበር፣ ከእርሳቸው ጋር ቅርበት የነበራቸው ሰው ገለጠዋል።

ስማቸው እንዳይገለጥ የፈለጉት ምንጫችን እንደተናገሩት፣ ደጃዝማች ዘውዴ ይህን የተናገሩት በዶ/ር ክንፈ አብረሀ ይመራ የነበረውንና አሁን አቶ ስብሀት ነጋ የሚመሩትን የአለማቀፍ የሰላምና የልማት ተቋም እንዲመሩ በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ጥያቄ በቀረበላቸው ጊዜ ነው።

ደጃዝማች ዘውዴ ለእኚሁ ታማኝ ምንጭ እንደገለጡላቸው፣ ሸመቱን እንዲቀበሉ በተጠየቁበት ጊዜ ለአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ጥያቄ አቅርበውም ነበር።

ደጃዝማቹ ያቀረቡት ጥያቄ “ለምንድነው የትግራይን ሰው ብቻ የምትሾመው፣ የትግራይ ህዝብ እንደምታውቀው ቁጥሩ በጣም አነስተኛ ነው፣ ይህ ነገርስ ያዘልቃል ብለህ ታስባለህ ወይ ?’ የሚል ሲሆን፣ አቶ መለስም ” አውቃለሁ፣ ነገር ግን የአይሁድን ታሪክ መመልከት አለብዎት። አይሁዶች በባህልና በኢኮኖሚ ጠንካራ በመሆናቸው አለምን ተቆጣጠረዋል። እኔም የትግራይ ተወላጆችን በኢኮኖሚ ጠንካራ በማድረግና ባህላቸውን በማስፋፋት አይሁዶች እንዳደረጉት ሁሉ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ለረጅም ጊዜ በስልጣን ላይ እንዲቆዩ አደርጋለሁ። የምስራውም ይህ ሁኔታ እንዲፈጠር ነው። እርስዎም ይህን ተቋም እንዲመሩ የተፈለጉት ለዚህ ነው።” በማለት እንደመለሱላቸው ታውቋል።

12/12/11 @ 13:12
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Adgi Banda keep on barking for “NOTHING” .afterall it’s not a secret to anybody, even to you the TPLF Thugs and Cyber banda cadres ,that the
evil couple with his bandit Agazi officials and officers have stolen billions $ of Wealth iligally and have smuggled lots of goods .By looting
the country and Impovrishing the ENTIRE PEOPLES .Even your Tigre Mafiosis website Aiga and the Kersam
Aderby banda diasporas website “” can not deny the “NAKED TRUTH!!!!!!” .

12/12/11 @ 13:23
Comment from: Kifle [Visitor]

The following is taken from an article on wind farms in Ethiopia published just 3 items below Al Mariams article. Please note the second paragraph.

“With 30 of 84 wind towers erected since construction began in 2009, the plant expects the first megawatt of electricity to be produced by the end of December.

Damongeot said the decision to work in Ethiopia was a fairly easy one. Corruption is much less of a problem then elsewhere on the continent, and there is a genuine commitment to renewable energy.

And of course, there is an abundance of wind, the result of a varied terrain and access to Red Sea winds from the east, with the company constructing two more plots of turbines by mid-2012″

May be it is a slanted observation from a biased individual - but one can say the same thing about the GFI report - a report describing the theft of billions of dollars from the country with no concrete proof backing it up. I with every one else agree that there is corruption, theft, etc in Ethiopia - but to come up with these fantastic numbers, I think requires fantastic imagination.

12/12/11 @ 13:47
Comment from: dave [Visitor]

Prof. Al, Sir, I am afraid that I could not get enough words to thank you to the level I want to, and express my deepest appreciation to your contribution.

Honestly, you are one hell of a man, a great intellect, a wonderful human being, a real man of his country, a dedicated Ethiopian and so on… When I read your articles, I am greatly touched by the honesty of your opinions, the integrity of your temperament, the precise truthfulness of the content and everything about them. It gives me the courage to hope and the peace to sleep the night through.

God bless you, your family and Ethiopia!!!

12/12/11 @ 13:49
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

Have you ask your self even in USA ,Canada,Dubai Jedda and Uk,Paris etc ,there are these Ethiopian restaurant whose financial income is originated from Weyannes who are now looting Ethiopia, one of them is Azeb the tigri Sicily MAFFIO who graduated from Sudan dusty refugee Robery Univerisity of SHABIA with honer and bleeding of Pol pot issaya. Her husband was a head master of robbery during 80from all sorts of charities and specially from oxfam where they used to collect full of Dollars cash. Now, visit any Ethiopia in USA,Canada, and Arab countries, it is run by weyannes MAFFIO. Prove is there, where USA in biggest recession, these restaurant can survive a hurricanes …..thanks to Azeb and modern robbery weapon of mass looting called Ethiopia Commodity exchange.

12/12/11 @ 14:55
Comment from: solomon [Visitor]

Prof Al. thanks so much for an eye opener well documented and fact based article.I always read your articles with interest Ihope you will continue to teach your fellow citizens once again thank you

12/12/11 @ 15:23
Comment from: pure [Visitor]

Addis Zemen, you are talking rubbish as usual??

….are you one of those THIEVES HIDING IN AMERICA??

12/12/11 @ 17:46
Comment from: DAMO [Visitor]

We have been robed by TPLF (Tear Plunder Loot Front) for twenty years and counting. TPLF begs in the name of Ethiopians. While millions and millions are being starved to death, members of terrorist group buy properties in foreign countries. There are millions and millions of Ethiopians who cannot afford a single meal a day while members of the cancerous TPLF group build a multi-million dollar property on the land they have snatched from the poor. The group kills our people with impunity. It pimps our fertile land to foreigners. Our people in their own land do not have freedom. A woman who used to sell ‘Katikala’in Sudan is a billionaire to day. They sell our coffee and stash the money somewhere in Europe. Folks, we are dead people walking. People, we need to wake up and eliminate these parasites before it is too late. We are not living a dignified life as long us our country is under ‘Dedebit’ mercenaries.

12/12/11 @ 17:56
Comment from: [Member]

ሰውየው ከሚስቱ ጋር የሰለጠነው በስርቆት ጥበብ ነው ::
መለስ ከ አዜብ ጋር ኃያ አመታት የሰረቁት ወደ 12 ቢሊዮን ብር የሚገመተው ገንዘብ እንደሚመለስ አልጠራጠርም ::
ሲሆን የሰረቀውን ጣቶቹን በ አሳት ማቃጠል አለብን ::

12/12/11 @ 20:32
Comment from: Abebe K [Visitor]
Abebe K

Prof. Al,
You need to send to this Wall Street Journal and NYT. Thank you.

12/12/11 @ 21:35
Comment from: turth [Visitor]

It is Monday. That means pain and agony for TPLF thugs and their bottom feeders like Addis Zemen.

12/13/11 @ 00:43
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

Al Mariyam, you are truly the lifeline, and the cheerleader for those all diaspora crybabies. But you have to undestand that you might be causing their blood presures to shoot up high by posting your hilusnating weekly articles as well….

I wonder if you ever go back to your articles and see at your audiences, you can tell most of them sound mentally challenged!!

For example, look at what you are doing to TEDDY! All he does is insulting and barking or crying. So, you can gues what is happening or what kind of sign that is…I’m afraid to say it, but (ye-ebdet milikit yimeslegnal)? Sometime, you should post some kind of comedy that might entertain your audiences….

However, I’m afraid to tell you that PM Meles is becoming the most popular leader in the history of Ethiopia. So, don’t wast your time to posting your worthless articles….

12/13/11 @ 00:58
Comment from: Mesfin from Maryland [Visitor]
Mesfin from Maryland

For any sane, sagacious, responsible, conscious, sensitive or fair individual or individuals, who are serving this regime, without fully understanding about all the evils, shenanigans or wrong doings of the regime, or to those believing that they are serving their countries in good faith, such a scathing document, supported by such irrefutable evidence from various sources, as presented by the professor, should lead to numerous resignations. That is what usually happens in the developed world where the people in power have the moral conscience to advocate the good and abhor any moral decadence including corruption. But in the Ethiopian case it is the other way around. If one is not corrupted in any form or manner, he /she will be given a black eye by the master as corruption is the modus operandi.

In present day Ethiopia, as most of the officials have clung to power just to wallow and overindulge in the comforts of corruption and have already decayed to the core, starting from those calling the shots at the helm, to lower level cadres in the regime, there is no one in the whole regime who can garner a moral conscience to fight this pervasive and nefarious pestilence seriously. All what is being said about fighting corruption is a white wash.

In Ethiopia, corruption is only a sin when the regime wants to flog someone that it doesn’t like with its political lash. Other than that, as long as someone in power is able to dance with the tune of the time, corruption is allowed even as an incentive to public office holders by condoning it without any measures or consequences. As long as any one assuming a public office dare not raise any political question or as long as he/she doesn’t come to his/her senses, sometimes, in a freak accident, and start asking any legitimate political question, corruption is the way to go or prosper. The bottom line is that corruption is one of the weapons or political tools intentionally employed by the regime to muzzle the citizenry from raising any valid or rational political question.

12/13/11 @ 01:21
Comment from: ejole bishoftu [Visitor]
ejole bishoftu

Prof Al,

I appreciate how you substantiate your argument with references.Good you are showing the dark side of the regime.Keep on!!!!

12/13/11 @ 02:11
Comment from: Ayalew [Visitor]

TPLF is rotten from the top to bottom. If the head of the snake is without blame the follower’s will behaves well. Simple is that. We all know the chief of Agazes child killer MZ with his wife is born criminal from the get go robbed a bank when he start his looting business now he sucked my country dry. His followers are following his foot steeps closely and doing the same things he does. Its utterly nonsenses to tell them to behaved other way while they are in it to plunder wealth themselves. They just wont listens any friendly counsel at all. TPLF is morally bankrupt mafia groups. Period. Above all the crimes they have committed is landlocked my country, selling lands for Arabs, Indians, chines etc. Every time I think about it my heart burns within me. After they went this far to destroy our lovely hood who’s that naïve enough to think they are for us? They never were and never will be. I strongly believe that they operate in the name of Sheik Alamode business enterprise. Notice I did not said that Alamode does not have money but all the business registered under MIDROC in Ethiopia is not his. I have heard it from close source that the goldmine and a few other assets are the wizard MZ ‘s. They’re using Alamode’s name to plunder is what I am saying. Money transfer through his internationally known company’s easily in & out side the country. Receiver of the loots the other ends are a greedy white man who promised to keep the dictator in power as long as he’s cooperative. That’s the world we are living. Depressing huh? A greedy Whiteman works with dictators for generation. Western base news media call it white-collar crime. I suppose nobody heard Lawrence the Arabian? It’s a brave act in westerns view no single shame in it. The former British prime minster Margret Thatcher’s son Mark caught by South African police alleged coup in oil rich Equatorial Guinea and tried to smuggle helicopter weapons to over throw a leader so he can put a puppet like MZ let alone a desperate wicked dictator like MZ asking for assistant to help themselves with the loots. I am afraid that will continue till the end of time. How can a country pull herself out from poverty while a thief like MZ and Co is roaming around?

12/13/11 @ 04:12
Comment from: sf [Visitor]

@addis zemen [Visitor]
Aye Addis Zemen, you are trying to compare the uncomparable.
Why should our prof. Al writes about the American ,the European and World crisis.
There are lot of individuals, intellectuals, journalists ect….
who can write freely about this kind of problem.
The problems in a democratically wester countries can be solved in a free and democratic norm.
If our prof.Al writes about Ethiopia, it is because we do not have the intellectual freedom and
a democratic norm in our country.
What we have in Ethiopia is only propaganda and lie. We hear this propaganda and lie day-in and day-out from you [Addis Zemen].

12/13/11 @ 05:05
Comment from: Ketafi arramm [Visitor]
Ketafi arramm

Thank you Pro Aram for your report, if it is really yours(which I doubt) You sink into it while the reality is so much different,Will you be suprise most of the money was stolen by you and your alike? You want a proof? I am ready to give you full picture of the money trail and …. good try. Waiting.

12/13/11 @ 13:52
Comment from: Wessen [Visitor]

Singling out an entire ethnic group for the social problems that Ethiopia faces today is opinionic genocide. .Tigrayans are not controling the country as many like to say they are. Out of the 11.7 billion dollars smuglled out of the country between 2000-2009 Tigrayans did not get any. Each ethnic group should audit it’s own rather blaming Tigrayans for whatever socio-economic and political situation Ethiopia is in today.

12/13/11 @ 14:22
Comment from: Goitay [Visitor]

tadias, I never waste more than one minute to read the garbage analysis of almariam. to respond to your poisonous lie, I am telling you that you are a modern liar who lie by naming a dead as a witness.

12/13/11 @ 15:11
Comment from: Ras Thomas & Associates of Ethiopian Patriots. [Visitor]
Ras Thomas & Associates of Ethiopian Patriots.

Alamanyehu, you need to repent.
Your lies are venmous that will kill
you and God will put in hell.

12/13/11 @ 17:24
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Hey Betbethu ,of course what Prof Al
has published represents the naked TRUTH about the sad life that our bros, systs ,Pa and Ma are subjected by this evil couple that you and your Thuggy bros are barking for ,days and nights .If Ethiopian Peoples are actually living in a misery is because of your Crime Minister ,the looter Azeb ,your Tigre Mafiosis and the Agazi Bandits along their bandas as Adissu legeese and Pig Ben .You are here barking not even for the sake of the Tyrant Couples but for your own Comfort that you’ll soon loose .
Certainly not the TRUE ETHIOPIANS who are mentally affected but you the TPLF Thugs masturbeting days and nights on your laptops your daily insanities (belgina) against
those who denounce the crimes of your leba master .For your Information all of you ,the TPLF Thugs including your Kersam Diaspora
bandas ,are in need of Psychiatric treatement for your “HYSTERIA ” complication .Unfortunatly for you it’s not on this website that you’ll
have the proper treatment !!!!

12/13/11 @ 17:55
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Not only the restaurants and the Handicraft shops owned by Tigre Mafiosis in USA ,Europe even in some Gulf States we might also focus
on the financing of TPLF website medias of propagandas as Aiga and .Where the hell
these kehadis’ve got the money to finance their evil propagandas .TPLF
Thugs specially Adgi Banda ,Tchiffenee if you guys have
really the GUT to tell us that you
gain honestly your life in a legal
way !!!!!And also concerning the ways of life of the Crime Minister mouthpieces in the diaspora ,paid TPLF cadres ,sold Bandas as Tsehaye
Debalkaw ,solomon tekalign and many many others .Also the Lobbyists groups working for them .

12/13/11 @ 18:10
Comment from: Seleme [Visitor]

addis semen-tal cracked,

here is your favorite words:

“. . . .LOOTING transformation and CORRUPTION development. . . .”

12/14/11 @ 01:38
Comment from: Ashu [Visitor]

I think it is time to fight back weyane. But how?? There is no strong armed opposition, peaceful struggle is unthinkable. And we don’t know who is joro tebi. We need to form small groups of people who are best firiends and family members and start to terrorize known joro tebioch and KILL wana wana weyane bucheloch. Lets chase them. No one is free unless we all are free. Lets regroup and kill them one by one any leave a message over their bead body we are after weyane bucheloch unless they come to their sense. Kebele members, weyane journalists… shall be our first targets. yemender were lekamiwoch shall be given good lesson.

12/14/11 @ 01:50
Comment from: Asqign [Visitor]

Check at his small steps. As LEBA as he is, protecting his weizero and say…ayzosh bezih bekul shelok blen anamelTalen, ylatal… lol
This picture is telling you a lot. Same as Mengistu he will throw the dusty Ethiopia with all its burden, and they will run to nomansland.
Use and throw Ethiopia, lemedebat.

12/14/11 @ 02:12
Comment from: Dallas [Visitor]

Ras Mitat,

He will never contribute anything, but his garbage articles such as this.
He is a screwed up individual

12/14/11 @ 07:54
Comment from: [Member]


Your professor seems out of ideas. That’s why I’m suggesting to him to write a timely issue, “if his obsession with our PM doesn’t blurr his thinking mechanism ofcourse”
Ethiopia is stable, free, peacefull and most of all more democratic than any of your western countries you worship. Open your eyes, Mr sf. Time is passing you by.

12/14/11 @ 12:13
Comment from: Buttu [Visitor]

Alemayehu G. Mariam

Mozzazzie! Keep on crying baby!

12/14/11 @ 16:26
Comment from: Mo Ethio [Visitor]
Mo Ethio

the Legatum Institute (LI), an independent non-partisan public policy group based in London….Mr. Al do you think England cares about your former country? as a matter of fact all Europeans are not happy because of the development in Ethiopia and the Chinese involvement in Africa..listen Al what have you done to help Ethiopia? all you do is trying to destroy the country. why is the people who hate Meles or the so called opposition groups are Amharas? just wondering…it seems Al and his group are trying to create an stability without success.

“Dataprovided by Zenawi’s regime showed that by the end of the 2009 fiscal year, Ethiopia’s outstanding debt stock was pegged at a crushing USD$5.2 billion. The USD$11.7 billion stolen over the past decade could easily retire that debt. Ethiopia is Africa’s largest recipient of foreign aid at nearly $USD4 billion in 2009, I just love this data do you know why? these numbers are made by Al. wow how stupid do you think we Ethiopians are? shame on you…..

12/14/11 @ 17:37
Comment from: yigermal [Visitor]

There is a big progress in Ethiopia. Some of the things are realy amazing. But nobody can deny that 99% of the business, buildings, big construction companies..etc are owned by the regime and their supporters. And one thing we should know is that this thiefs doesn’t represent the Tigrean pelple. I have seen many Tigreans poor like many Ethiopians, specially the one from Mekele and Temben…..those of you who bluntly support the regime either you are the regime or benefit from the regime and you will end up at Makelawi prison or beg on the street of Addis just like Derg, that is for sure.

12/14/11 @ 22:27
Comment from: Mehari [Visitor]


How much do they pay you? ..or simply you earn only your parking lot pay?

you are the worst RASMITAT who have no clue what this man of intelligence is writing.

12/15/11 @ 07:21
Comment from: Tatek [Visitor]

The Woyane/TPLF cadres in their hopeless desperation to defend the sadistic and lunatic policies and practices of Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF mafia group are trying to scribble their pathetic and stupid comments. The problem is they cannot write nor express themselves and this shows their stupidity and ignorance. Not only that; the contents of their comments expose the lies, denials, and delusions they live in. This is one more proof that Mellesse and his thugs continue to live in deep denials. These loonies, in their delusions try to use their fake ethnic and development cards while robbing and fleecing Ethiopia and Ethiopians of their wealth and lively hood.

Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs are thieves of the worst kind that took away food from the mouth of the poor who died of hunger. We don’t forget what these worthless animals did with the donated wheat and food in Tigray. They sold it in Sudan while millions of Tigreans died of famine in early 80s as reported by their CFO at that time. They continue today to rob and fleece the country and its people. They sold hundreds of factories that belonged to the people and used the proceeds to build their conglomerate – EFFORT and private enterprises. They sold government houses and properties and deposited the fund in their accounts. They sold gold mines and mining rights and took the money. They sold millions of acres of land to foreigners and robbed the proceeds. Their theft, robbery, and crimes are without parallel and un heard of in this century.

Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs have also the unparalleled track records for deception, lying, and playing people. Cheating, deceiving, and lying to Ethiopians is their life and it seems they are hooked to and cannot live with these criminal behaviors. Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs are experts in the design and manufacture of lies, falsehood, and deceptions. I wonder if they have graduated from some type of Gobble school of deception. Whatever they plan, do, and say is always lies and deceptions. Ethiopia and Ethiopian should not deserve these diabolic lairs, murderous, and terrorists as leaders.

Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs are criminals to the core that committed the most outrageous treasons against Ethiopia and Ethiopians. From fighting Ethiopia for the secession of Eritrea to making Ethiopia a land locked country they all did it. They divided Ethiopians into ethnic groups and coordinated ethnic violence among people. They created ethnic apartheid in Ethiopia and committed genocide against Ethiopians in Gambela, Sidama, Ogaden, and other parts of the country. Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs still continue with their kidnapping, torturing, murdering, and terrorizing Ethiopians. Ethiopians still suffer after twenty years from the suicidal, narcissist, and murderous actions of the delusional Mellesse and his Woyane/TPLF thugs.

We Ethiopians have had enough of Mellesse’s and his Woyane/TPLF thugs’ lies, deceptions, thefts, tortures, murders, and terrors and we say Mellese and his Woyane TPLF/EPRDF thugs must go NOW.

12/15/11 @ 12:36
Comment from: tati [Visitor]

Teddy what is wrong with you? Are you crazy? Have you notice how you comment by insulting. Is it jealusy or you lost your brain? Ask your useless master al maria to stop winding you.

12/15/11 @ 15:20
Comment from: Visitor [Visitor]

Movement Against Injustice and Nazism, M.A.I.N is proposed right across the street Main everywhere where the gangs and the escapee Sudanese Extremist Spy operate to bleed nations and nationalities. She is dangerous Terroprist and an opportunist gaining support from Minnesotta DUDES of hate.

I am afraid for my life and privacy.

12/16/11 @ 13:21
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Adgi banda your stupidities have no limis .Where the hell have you seen
a country into which ,an ethno mafia
facist regime owns evrything .Where a Tyrannical Couple monopolises the whole power ,Free Press and Opposition movements musled .The majority of the peoples are living in misery worst of all starving .Opposition leaders ,Human Rights activists ,free press journalists and any individual standing for justice strown in prison ,assassinated or obliged to be exiled .Mass murderings and many
more crimes of Injustices comitted . Can be considered “, peacefull and most of all more democratic than any western countries .."as you are

12/16/11 @ 14:16
Comment from: asrat welde [Visitor]
asrat welde

@ addis zemen i use to read all the comment that you use to wrote but this day to me you just refuse to notice realities accept as true no one can put vigorous effort on any body to change believe .
to me ethiopia is in the hand of few group of gangs working together as legal criminals attack majority adequate ethiopians evry time i’m in addis all i do help the people that i know be coz to me it look like they all have nothing the mony that they get it just jock why why we as ethiopian ignoring the people is that what we give back we talking about bulding what that do as i say few gangs resources ethiopians they worried for daily bread if they lucky please ethiopians stop fail to put out the truth lie deliberately that never get us any where let’s face the truth ethiopia is in slow death ///

12/17/11 @ 23:15
Comment from: Mehari [Visitor]


I would not dare to call you with your full name, but it is your business to call yourself otherwise. What are you made of? Are you really one of us in flesh and blood? shameful and disgusting. It is not only your name, but your comment is similar to your name and revealed you exactly why you have been holding such name. The Professor is among the best and the most respected personality. You may stumble to have such a slight understanding of his writing as you are the wast of a consumption and useless. What a vanity me writing to you?!!!

12/18/11 @ 15:22
Comment from: [Member]

Asrat wolde,…

I wish most Ethiopians think like you. First to do what you can do to help poor Ethiopians when ever you get a chance.
As you told us, there is no denial of the existing poverty in our country. I know few people have gotten wealthy and still there are some corrupt people.
By no means I tried to tell everything is perfect. But all I try to do is looking things in perspectives.
There is no any other way for Ethiopia to move forward. I 100% believe if we didn’t have such strong govt we have now, Ethiopia would’ve disintigrated. Think about it, we are surrounded with all kinds of troubled countries which at this time depended on us. If we were not strong enough as we are now, all we get could have been a civil war instead of all this developmental progerss.
Stablity and peace is important more than anything to sustain development and hold whatever we have. Don’t trust the vocal few wanna be politicians here in the diaspora. They are only filled with hatred and jealousy and their agenda has nothing to do with Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

12/19/11 @ 10:56



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