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Legacy of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia (1991-2012)

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11/01/12

  12:27:29 am, by admin, 1640 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Legacy of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia (1991-2012)

Legacy of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia (1991-2012)

By Dula Abdu

Deservedly or not, Meles has received accolades from various sources, especially from western intellectuals and politicians. On the other hand, many Ethiopian observers see nothing redeeming, but malaise, destruction of Ethiopian nationalism, high inflation, ethnic tension, disfranchised people, and a nation lagging the world in all development benchmark.

The accusations by Ethiopians are numerous. He left a country more destitute and desperate than ever, primarily due to his control of every aspect of the economy, nepotism, and denial of access to technology.
He carved a false image abroad, but remained highly detested at home. He created a unique power based on one party dictatorship or Tigrean monopoly of power primarily by pitting one ethnic group against another. Meles era was a lost and miserable two decades for Ethiopia in all aspects not forgetting absence of economic development, absence of national unity that Meles deliberately promoted.

He might appear brilliant for his supporters and some in the West, but he was perceived as an evil dictator and deeply resentful of the Ethiopian state. Meles used brute force at home and a massive PR machine abroad to crowd out the opposition and to hide his evil designs.

Internationally, far too many individuals have become unintentional victim and a party to the Ethiopian untold tragedy. Meles has on his side notables like, Susan Rice, Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Donald Levine, Dick Army, Nancy Polesi (via Richard Gephardt), Senator James Inhofe and more.

He has hired who is who in America to parlay non-existing achievement. He has become a modern alchemist, who invents something out of nothing, higher GDP in land of abject poverty and starvation, democracy in land of oppression.
Meles sounded great on many fronts on prima facie; however, further scrutiny turns out that he has been a disaster for Ethiopia in many areas: economy, national unity, social cohesion, and hope for the new generation.
Unraveling his economic system shows it is built on wrong statistics and baked to show an illusion of progress, by showcasing big projects such as the construction of the Nile Dam, which is a gigantic misuse of resource that will unravel sooner or later.

Meles’ era will leave a huge cleavage of cicatrize of a scar that will never heal from the wedges he promoted, from making Ethiopia landlocked, denial of access to technology, and from driving the economy into the shades in his attempt to enrich his clan, with little empathy for the rest of Ethiopia.
Despite Meles’ rhetoric about transforming Ethiopia, Ethiopia was found to be one of the failed states following countries like Somalia, Chad, and others.

Meles besides putting or wasting Ethiopia’s meager resources in projects with no investment merits such as the Nile Dam, a Wind Turbine ($220 million Euro) in Tigre, the Tekeze hydroelectric dam ($360 million dollars) in Tigre, and planned Rails from Djibouti to Mekele, failed to articulate or deploy the most important economic tool, efficient allocation of scare resources, such as capital. This also vindicates those of us who stated that he is leading Ethiopia not only to a failed estate, but close to an economic Armageddon (see Voodoo economics…) at ethiodemocat.com.

The Index published by Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace found that Ethiopia is critically in danger of becoming a failed estate based on demographic pressure, refugee flows, group grievances, human rights violations, uneven development, economic decline, and the continued deligitimization of Ethiopian nationalism. The most vulnerable states next to Ethiopia are Somalia, Chad, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.
None of these countries had such a flamboyant and arrogant leader like Meles, who brags about a fabricated GDP growth data to keep his wretched rule and continued economic decline of the wretched country.
Though Ethiopia is the birth place of humanity and one of the cradles of civilizations, but for the last four decades, it has been one of the most wretched places on earth with little hope of reversing worst case scenario given the current leadership of the country.

With the arrival of Meles, secessionist and anti-Ethiopian force mushroomed supported by his ethnic federalism disrupting commerce and the natural flow of trade, destroying institutions and promoting ethnic and religious division once in a very cohesive nation.

To stifle further the country’s economic growth, Meles created ethnic blocks like in Apartheid South Africa, thus creating tensions and making commerce almost impossible among some Ethiopians, cutting existing trades’ relations, while Europe was forming the European Union and the U.S. was pushing the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Ethiopia traders or business people, primarily Gurages were massacred and their possession ransacked by ethnic groups aligned with Meles and by his own cronies. In some cases, TPLF cadres used their access to import duty free thus driving the competition out of business or outright denial of licenses or charging exorbitant taxes to put mostly Gurages out of business. To his own credit, Meles clearly stated that the Amharas in politics and the Gurages in commerce as his primary enemies that he has to eliminate to take full control of the economy and the country.
To add insult to injury, he confiscated land and denied access to technology for the majority, except in Tigre where Mekele, Adwa University and Mekele Institute of Technology (MIT) are provided unfettered access and grants.
The advent of Internet and technology as a whole was heralded by some as a panacea to ending not only the economic divide between the have and the have-nots, but also between the developing countries and the developed world. Unfortunately, Ethiopia was left out by design by Meles because Meles was afraid that technology will be used to organize against him by the majority of Ethiopians that he knew detested his dictatorship.

Ethiopia land locked, void of access to technology, void of free market and good leadership was toiling on the brink of economic disaster that will lead to further starvation and famine beyond the current millions being fed by World Food Program.

Government ownership of major resources including land, Internet, denial of access to technology, and being landlocked remain as a major road block to rapid economic growth.
Ethiopia needs an industrial policy that will move it from an agrarian society to a technology driven society. The normal course was from Agriculture, to manufacturing, and industrialization, but with the right leadership, technology makes it possible to move to technological society by skipping all the other steps and create a higher standard of living.

Technology or reengineering has been the most important productivity tools for economic growth, however, like land it is controlled by the government. In Ethiopia technology is primarily used for spying on Ethiopians and blocking websites.

Access to technology is correlated to a higher standard of living for current and future generation. Government ownership of major resources including land, denial of access to technology, being landlocked remains as a major road block to rapid economic growth.

Land ownership of the state is not for any altruistic reason, it is primarily to manipulate the political currents and to keep the majority of Ethiopians who rely on agriculture a hostage.
Despite creating these roadblocks, Meles has stated that the Ethiopian economy will grow 11-14.5 % in the next five years. No landlocked country or no country in Africa, especially a country estranged within by lack of free market, lack of access to technology, respect for property rights and human rights or forced into tribal polarization can enjoy such phenomenal economic growth.

According to data provided by Meles to the CIA and World Bank, Ethiopia’s GDP per capita was close $100 in 1991 when Meles starting ruling the country. Now, it is reported to be $1000, a tenfold increase which is much better than what China enjoyed in those periods. China’s growth is driven by manufacturing, technology and education, but in Ethiopia access o technology or manufacturing has not changed much for the last 20 years. Education has lost ground with the introduction of ethnic education, where the majority of ethnic groups are encouraged or forced to use their own ethnic language without requiring them to learn the official language or English; a recipe for disintegration of the country.

How did Meles got away with such statistical absurdity. My guess that he was adept in charming world leaders from Tony Blair to Jimmy Carter, and built a PR machine at home and abroad using the meager funds the country ill afford. Like other dictators he will fall from grace and his true achievement will be dissected and he will be castigated as one of the worst and strange dictators that ever ruled Ethiopia.

It will be easy to compare Meles with another evil genius, Leopold II of Belgium who committed murder and looting of the Congo from 1865-1909. Leopold II was the most brutal ruler of Congo; he controlled a country many times the size of Belgium as his personal domain through his private army, like Meles. Unlike Meles, he was eventually forced to end his evil rule after the conscience of the Western world could not bear it any more. Meles passed away still charming and fooling the Western world.

Despite Meles or TPLF rhetoric about transforming Ethiopia, the country remains one of the failed states, as demonstrated by its ranking of 174 among 180 countries in terms of human development index.
In the end – Meles may be called just a dictator par excellence with extraordinary charm, and wit, but with a terrible legacy for Ethiopia to deserve an accolade accorded to him by his western allies.

Dula Abdu writes on economics, technology and real estate and he can be reached at dula06@gmail.com. He was a former JPMorgan Chase banker and currently an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Texas Southern University. The article was an adaption of from an original piece entitled ”Evil Genius…”

27 comments

Comment from: addiszemen [Member]  

Here comes another resentful, jealous, good for nothing economist and pathological liar showing his inferiority complex and incompetence.
His lamentation only can be characterized as just a cheap shot trying to dgrade our great brilliant leader Meles Zenawi’s legacy by denial and deception.
Whether you accept it or not the transformation and development achieved by PM Meles’ leadership cannot be taken away from the hands of Ethiopians. That’s what you see on the ground. Your crying and barking changes nothing.

11/01/12 @ 01:04
Comment from: flulu [Visitor]
flulu

no wonder the guy is booted out from chase bank . he for sure is no good for anytthing .
If chase bank deemed he is too useless , he without doubt including his articles are rubbish

11/01/12 @ 01:19
Comment from: Gondar [Visitor]
Gondar

DEAR WRITER OF THIS ISSUE,THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION .
WHAT I HAVE UNDERSTOOD ABOUT CRIME MELES
AND SO CALLED TPLF ,THEY ARE INVADER OF OUR LAND,
PEN DOES NOT BRING ANY CHANGE IN ETHIOPIA,THE ONLY MEANS OF FREEDOM IS GUN GUN GUN ONLY,

11/01/12 @ 01:57
Comment from: Dula Bitir [Visitor]
Dula Bitir

You are a “prof", and a realtor at www.dulaabdu.com? What a loser! I have never heard any professor with a second job as a realtor, “Delala".

Just focus on one thing and improve on that occupation. Otherwise, the way you are going, tomorrow, I might meet you at one of the hotels in Texas working as a waiter or doorman.

The article goes around and around to make a simple point. Yes, Meles did lots of good things for his people; he also made lots of mistakes. In the end, history will judge him.

However, if I were you, I wouldn’t spend my time writing such a horrible article. Instead, I would spend my time trying to improve my teaching. Just Google your name “Dula Abdu” and see what comes up at Rate My Professor:
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1382689&all=true

Your students think you are a HORRIBLE prof. If I were you, I could not sleep at night reading these comments. Well, some don’t care about their career, they prefer to attack a dead person.

11/01/12 @ 03:47
Comment from: extraterrestrial [Member]  
extraterrestrial

Looks like an Eritrean thought, what happen the much talked about military capabilities of Eritrea to resort to writing this kind of articles to overshadow our GREAT PM and THE DEVELOPMENTS HE ACHIEVED !!!

11/01/12 @ 06:50
Comment from: emunate [Visitor]
emunate

dula ras, what have you done for ethiopia?

11/01/12 @ 13:08
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

Thank you Mr. Dula for bringing out the truth. Keep up with your great contribution.

The legacy of evil Meles like his evil aunt Yodit Gudit will be remembered as the darkest years in Ethiopia.

After 1000 years of Tigre ruling by evil Yodit Gudit Ethiopia again has faced with another evil TPLF regime. It is my prayer that all Ethiopians will learn and never forget from our past mistakes and to never repeat the same that brought this evil regime on us.

Meles is a very different creed and evil even among other dictators. He changed the face of dictators. He presented himself as a developer. For westerns it doesn’t matter what part of Ethiopia gets or starves as long as they do what ever they want through their dictator.

Meles’s whole mission is to destroy Ethiopia in any way he can. For Ethiopians it a matter of losing life, freedom, national resources, land, territory, ports, transferring property and wealth to Tigray and destroying peace among different ethics people who lived in harmony for century.

Of course for Tigres it is the brightest days ever. They will keep announcing about the unstoppable economic growth when the rest of the world including the US and Europe are going down. What they meant is robbing Ethiopians and taking it to Tigray. This is being translated as growth when the rest of Ethiopians subjected to starvation and poverty.

11/01/12 @ 13:40
Comment from: emunate [Visitor]
emunate

dula ras, your story seems to be a reminiscents of what used to be ethiopia’s economical situation among other socially relevant issues some thirty years ago. your pessimistic narratives is pale in comparison to where Ethiopia is today in all aspects of its existance. NO leaders are perfect,and can not appease eveyone. A good leader has to take side,and work in the best interest of the vast majority of the people. That leader was melesk, Thanks to his leaderhip,progress has been made with his unreletting commitment to push for economic development,education reform among other things. He drastically reduce poverty rate. As a result, many lives have been changed. His legacy, will live on forever and the knowledge he left behind is capsulated in the minds of most ethiopians from which they can tap on to further advance the cuase of building a more prosperous society that Ethiopia so much deserve.

11/01/12 @ 13:58
Comment from: million [Member]  
million

I thought TPLF/Meles led Ethiopia was the end of Ethiopia. For that I hated their existence. But, years later, having witnessed the amount of progress in Education, Agriculture, Energy, Health Care, Telecommunication, and Transportation, I had to do the hard thing and give them credit. Meles as the CEO, gets the highest credit! Wondatawoch! They even stood up to Egypt!

Now Meles in not faultless. But, the good he did far outweighs any bad!

F your statistical absurdity Dula. I am finally free to travel back and forth to my country and witness the progress with my own eyes. I will be heading back for my 5th time in just 6 years; this time I will visit the work of the Great Dam of Abbay!

11/01/12 @ 14:26
Comment from: Concerned [Visitor]
Concerned

Most of the time real state and bankers are the least interested to the other world outside their Owen. The good example is here in America, the two said organizations were one of the main causes of unusual America’s economic failure. This kind of economists only understands what they would like to do, rather than considering others ideas or interests. There was mistakes made in Ethiopia politics before, there are mistakes made during Prime Minister Meles administration, and I hope not, but there will be mistakes in the future to come. Compared so far, Meles has brought better change in Ethiopia. It is up to us to continue for better or worse.

11/01/12 @ 15:27
Comment from: mesfin_b [Member]  
mesfin_b

Thank you Mr. Abdu for factual analysis of the “Failed Ethiopia under the EPRDF stronghold".
Within the last 2 deacades, inflation, mass exodus, persistent drought, eventually mass starvation have been the “Norm of my beloved Ethiopia".
Yet these modern land pirates/shiftas are drumming lies with “make belief Economic development". Do these hooligans take us for doormats!!
We the expatriates do see with our naked eyes how “Gursha” is considered a fair meal in Addis Abeba!! Using cooking oil during holiday is looked at, as luxury item.
Such is the state of life in my homeland.
The “Pie-in-the-sky” painting of my country by meles propaganda machine is being “regurgitated “by his “cadres” on Nazret blog site.
**************************
At the end of the day we all know
whay is lie and what is fact.
*************************

11/01/12 @ 15:48
Comment from: ager wodad [Visitor]
ager wodad

D-desperate
U-unhappy
L-lonely
A-agonized

11/01/12 @ 16:25
Comment from: End the Tigre Dictatorship [Visitor]
End the Tigre Dictatorship

Mr Abdu thank you for your detailed and factual analysis on the failed and evil spirited Meles 21 years of ruling.

I have read many of your well articulated articles written over the years since Meles came to power to his sudden death. His power control solely is supported by his one party Tigrean dictatorship and the monopoly of power and economy primarily by pitting one ethnic group against another. Specially on Amharas and Oromos.

As we see some of the comments written here reflects the exact utter arrogance and disregard to Ethiopians and truth we have been living with under Meles’s Tigrea regime.

Those people are selfish and arrogant beyond anyone’s belief.

Thanks to all Ethiopians who stood firm against Tigrean aggression, witnessed the day light Woyane robbery on innocent hard working civilians and by the evil spirited Woyanes.

Power to all united Ethiopians against the evil Woyane. The majority should be empowered to defeat evil and minority greed. This kind of regime always fails miserably from the face of the earth.

11/01/12 @ 16:53
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Legacy of the dead crime Minister ,
“NOTHING” ,but only DESPERATE LIFE ,MISERY and FAKE STATISTICS ….LOL !!!!

11/01/12 @ 17:17
Comment from: mesfin_b [Member]  
mesfin_b

አቶ ዱላ አብዱ የጻፍከው ትንታኔን ያዘለ ሃቀኛ ገለጻ ነው::
በ ሃያ አመታት ውስጥ አገራችን ወደብ አልባ አገር ሁና
ለ ጎረቤት አገሮች ግብር በመክፈል ንግድ እያካሄደች ከ ድህነት ወደ የበለጠ ድህነት አዘቅት ውስጥ ገብታለች::
በ ኢትዮጵያ ስም ልመና እንዲሁም ብድር እየተባለ የተሰጠው ገንዘብ ተሰርቆ አገራችን የብድሩን አራጣ እንክዋን የማትከፍልበት ደረጃ ላይ ነች ::
ዜጎችዋ ከ መሬቶቻቸው ተፈናቅለው መሬት በ ሳንቲም ደረጃ እየተቸረቸረ ልይስሙላ አንድ ሁለት የ ሆቴል ህንጻ እየተገነባ IMF , World bank, ብድሩ ስራ ላይ ሁንዋል ብለው ተጨማሪ ብድር እንዲያገኙ የሚሞክሩት የ ወያኔ ሽፍታዎች ይሀው ህዝባችንን ችግር ላይ ጥለውታል::
**************************
ይህ ነው አሳፋሪው የ መለስ ሌባው
የ መሪነት ታሪክ::
**************************

11/01/12 @ 19:09
Comment from: Moh'd-Nur [Visitor]
Moh'd-Nur

“On the other hand, many Ethiopian observers see nothing redeeming, but malaise, destruction of Ethiopian nationalism, high inflation, ethnic tension, disfranchised people, and a nation lagging the world in all development benchmark”

THIS ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ABSOLUTE ENEMY OF ETHIOPIA AND ETHIOPIANS. THE WRITER IS NOT ONLY BIAS BUT HE’S DISHONEST”
I AM NOT PR MELES’ SUPPORTER UNTIL i WENT TO ETHIOPIA IN 2008 AFTER 24 YEARS. YES, ETHIOPIA UNDER THE PRIME MINISTER HAS MADE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, INFRASTRUCTURE ETC. HIS LEGACY CANNOT BE TRASHED BY SIMPLE MINDED AND HATEFUL FEW. LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!

11/01/12 @ 20:13
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Here another selfish power hungry hate monger the reality is Ethiopia much better than ever.

11/01/12 @ 21:25
Comment from: hi [Visitor]
hi

ewunetim dula! I credit your parents for giving you a perfect name.

11/01/12 @ 21:59
Comment from: dawit [Visitor]
dawit

This is a perfect dissection of Woyane misrule. I would not put it any better.

The legacy of Woyanes, TPLF, and Tigre rule is a disaster for Ethiopia.

Hope the new guy is not brainwashed by them to think of Ethiopian nationalism and unity as a positive.

TPLF is full of hate mongerors and bandas who remain confused about their own interest and that of the rest of Ethiopia.

Woyane and TPLF are a curss on Ethiopia and their legacy was well put by the author, shameful and lots of suffering and pain for all Ethiopians.

11/02/12 @ 02:38
Comment from: kasha [Visitor]
kasha

How is Houston dula?
Are you still in hate poltics?
For give me for my accurate on the years, you left Ethiopia 43 years ago, and you still talking about poltics. poor DULA, may Allah give the stregths to see real picture of Ethiopia to day .

11/02/12 @ 11:07
Comment from: mike [Visitor]
mike

“the gurages were masaccred” realy when and where??..obviously this guy analysis is neither objective nor balanced its based on hate and ethnic distaste. i sure hope his students get to read his poorly coated racist message promoting hate and genocide amongst ethiopians. regarding meles’ legacy on development, we will have to compare it with pre 1991 ethiopia in order to judge him. what was ethiopias total road network, power capacity and access to electricity, schools including higher institutions, clinics and health centers, access to drinking water etc etc pre 1991… and what is it today. i know many who oppose meles dont do this and accuse people who do because all of those basic develompent indicators have grown at least by an average of 5 folds in the past 20 years.

11/02/12 @ 13:03
Comment from: Gemoraw [Visitor]
Gemoraw

“many Ethiopian observers see nothing redeeming, but malaise, destruction of Ethiopian nationalism, high inflation, ethnic tension, disfranchised people, and a nation lagging the world in all development benchmark.”

Great summary of Meles’ legacy on the downside. As usual, pupates of the regime go rogue on the author.

11/02/12 @ 22:50
Comment from: mamo [Visitor]
mamo

This is the truth! it is hard for Meles fans to swallow the truth; that is why they cry. I know also there are payed personnel whose job is to negate the truth on the Internet. These people does not have solid argument. using dross insults, they always attack writers not their idea. Of course this was the character of meles himself; remember how he used to talk in the parliament and in the national TV.

11/03/12 @ 00:01
Comment from: gudfela [Visitor]
gudfela

when a country leader takes over, one has to look at who rallies behind him and you will know if he is taking the country to the right or wrong direction. Meles was surrounded by Arabs and Western groups therefore, this exaplains why Ethiopia went to the wrong direction. Absolutely nothing good comes from the interference of outsiders unless the come for mutual benefits. Over and over against we have seen how foreign interefernce such as Haiti, poorest nation in the world next to the richest nation in the world. Is it any wonder why Haiti became the poorest nations next to the richest nation in the world. That should tell us a good picture message on foreign interference.

Now the appointement of Desalegn hand-picked by Obama will bring another disaster chapter for Ethiopia perhaps its break up.

When someone like Dula right the truth, this is when the TPLFites come out from their hole in unison to attack such great and true article. That is one indication that the writer is touching the real nerve, the truth, where TPLFites don’t want to talk about because it is revealing their crime.

11/03/12 @ 06:18
Comment from: Gobena [Visitor]
Gobena

I DON’T THINK YOU DESCRIBE HIM PERFECTLY JUST THIS IS THE ICEBERG OR THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS MAN. YOU WILL SEE WHEN THE REAL INSIDERS WRITE HIS HISTORY.
THOSE WHO ARE WRITING AGAINST YOU WERE HAILING THE ERITREANS WHEN THEY WERE DUMPING THE TIGREANS. MELESE IS A MAN WHO EVEN DOSENT SHOW A LITTLE CONCERN. SO IS BEREKET WHO IS NOW BLAMING OTHERS FOR THE DUMPED ERITREANS WITH OUT MENTIONING THE DUMPED TIGREANS.
THANKS DULA FOR THE INTRODUCTION

11/03/12 @ 14:23
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]
Abyssinian

Dula Abdul:

You are a joke. The mere fact that you cite Foreign Policy Journal tells me that you are (a)extremely ignorant,(b)gullible,©self-serving or, most importantly, a puppet of thirld-world bashing white folks. Shame on you for a meaningless, narrow-minded and biased article that we have heard a million times. It almost seems as if you memorized the article.

11/03/12 @ 19:27
Comment from: kristo [Visitor]
kristo

Ato Dula,
I am a very educated professional working for one of the top technology companies here in the USA. It is a shame that you think you can distort facts in order to spew your extreme hatred towards Mr Meles. If you are a professional, you would have given credible facts and put real statistics in order to make your arguments. you have to learn to give credit when it is due and that is what educated scientists do. You even tried to make a point that Ethiopian economy did not improve under Meles, a fact that cannot be denied by anyone anyone who has seen Ethiopia. I could use my knowledge and my command of the English language to tear you into pieces but then that will make to down to your level of intelligence. I do not want to have a corrupted mind like you. I would rather have the reader judge for themselve on the facts on the ground by visiting Ethiopia. Anyone can go and have a look at the country, where we were 20 yrs ago and where we are now as a nation. Instead of focusing on mess with the legacy of Meles, you should rather think of where the we as Ethiopian need to move forward as a nation. How we can build up on the momemntum of growth etc.
Thanks.

11/09/12 @ 07:53

rebtel

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