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Ethiopia - Will The Real Poor Farmer Rise - By Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin



  11:12:09 pm, by admin   , 2537 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Ethiopia - Will The Real Poor Farmer Rise - By Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin

Ethiopia - Will The Real Poor Farmer Rise

By Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin*
- A self-appointed coffee tsar in Seattle speaks, rather patronizingly, on behalf of the poor coffee farmer in Ethiopia. In the comfortable latte-infused cafés in which he may post his blogs, things may seem rather different than the reality half a world away in the homeland, where millions of our country men and women fight daily to live a life of dignity. They would likely agree it is time to stop the distortions from Seattle which, while perhaps entertaining for some, actually do a great disservice to these coffee producers who deserve better.

A few days back, I had a rare and wonderful opportunity to spend time talking to coffee farmers in Yirgachefe, where about two hundred had gathered to greet ECX as we visited a coffee washing station owned by a prominent coffee exporter. As I stood taking in the absolute beauty of the sun starting to set over the terraced hillside where row after row of coffee drying tables loaded with beans in their golden parchment were aligned nearly perfectly, framed by dense coffee trees, while the wet mill processor creaked in the background, Ato Tadele came to greet me. We bowed to each other. He said he was a farmer who sold his red cherry to this private mill owner. I asked him how things were going. He said okay, but that he wished he could get higher prices. I laughed and said any farmer worth his salt would say the same, anywhere in the world. Then I asked what today’s price was. He said the farmers had negotiated a price of 4.35 Birr per kilogram from the miller’s starting offer of 3.50. I asked how they came up with that price. By now, we were surrounded by about 50 farmers all wanting to chip in. They said they had heard that prices in the city were getting higher. I asked them how they knew. They said they had heard on the radio. I asked them where those prices came from. A small pause. Somebody hesitantly said, the new coffee market in Addis? I said yes, breathing an inward sigh of relief. Just to make sure, I asked what time they listened to the ECX daily price broadcast. Ato Tadele brightened and said, at 8 pm. Some said, 7 am, and others, 1 pm. Now I really felt good. Then I asked if the broadcast was easy to understand. Then a lot of discussion came up, about too many prices, too fast reading, not very easy to understand. Okay, I said, let me introduce Ahadu, our market data officer, standing right here next to me, he wants to hear you on this and it is his job to get it just the way you need it. And so it went.

The point is that Tadele, and many more like him, take their red cherry or dry beans to the nearest market outlets, with just the faintest idea of what their coffee is worth or what the world out there, or even the national market, looks like. Our challenge is that we need to figure out, as a country and as a national marketing system, how to empower Tadele and others like him to make meaningful choices of where to sell, when to sell, at what price to sell, and to whom to sell, so that he can maximize his returns and improve the quality of his life, send his children to school, make sure they get health care, and break the vicious cycle of poverty in which he is trapped.

Here are some of the Seattle myths that are not helping Tadele rise to the better life he deserves.
First, there is an impression that coffee trading in ECX was a hastily conceived, ill-prepared affair by people who knew nothing about the complexity of the coffee market. Fair enough, I cannot expect the coffee tsar to know that as far back as 1992, I was a commodity trading expert in the United Nations in Geneva, in charge of designing a training program on international coffee, sugar, and other commodity markets which I then delivered to many, many exporters from various developing countries, including coffee exporters. Nor could he know that in 2001, while a researcher for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, I led a project for the World Bank on coffee price risk management, covering Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, or that in 2002, under a Dutch-funded project, I conducted an extensive household survey, interviewing hundreds of coffee producers in Ethiopia. Nor would he know that in 2003, I conducted a major study titled “Getting Markets Right in Ethiopia: An Analysis of Coffee and Grain Marketing” financed by IFAD (Rome), for which I led a team of 8 top-notch consultants, including Ethiopis Tafara, now director of international affairs at the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission, and a well-known and highly respected coffee expert, John Schluter (uncle and business partner of Philip Schluter, mentioned in a recent blog posting by the Seattle coffee tsar), as well as the then secretary general of the Ethiopian exporters association. The coffee chapter of the 2003 study, based on extensive consultations in Ethiopia with coffee exporters and suppliers, specifically recommended that coffee be traded through a commodity exchange where improved competition and forward contracting would be beneficial to the industry. That 2003 study was the basis for the decision adopted by the government of Ethiopia to implement a commodity exchange in late 2005. In 2006, I led a national Task Force to conceive the initial design of the exchange. The 2006 Task Force report identified coffee as one of the commodities that should be included in the new exchange, but also stated the need to address an emerging market trend of specialty coffee which would require special attention. So, while nothing is ever fully known in its entire complexity, we are where we are because of more than a decade of careful thinking about how this market works, from Tadele at the beginning of the chain to the latte at the retail end of the value chain. The coffee tsar may not have known all this, but, then again, he could have asked.

A second myth is that the inclusion of coffee in ECX was for the purpose of government control and to monopolize the coffee market. Here I believe the coffee tsar is on thin ice. Not only did a neutral market study done by an outside international organization relying on private sector coffee experts identify the need to improve the coffee trading system via an exchange, but the structure and legal framework that established ECX simply does not allow such monopoly power or government interference. The opening article of the law states that ECX is established as a demutualized entity, with separation of ownership, membership, and management. The law is explicit that the Exchange cannot be managed by the government, nor can the management of the exchange be politically appointed or part of the civil service, but must be professional. The law states unequivocally that the Exchange cannot engage itself in the buying or selling of any commodity. This is followed by Article 18 which is explicit that ECX is managed and operated as an autonomous entity, with a management that is overseen by a joint public-private Board of directors. The composition of the Board is explicit in the law with six government and five privately appointed directors, which has always been maintained (contrary to a flawed recent blog posting by the coffee tsar). The law is even further explicit that certain key management decisions cannot be made by simple majority but by two-thirds majority, preventing the government side to override by its slight majority number. One of such key decisions is the decision when to recommend the sharing of ownership of the Exchange with the private sector, which is stated as an objective in the preamble of the law. So the idea that the government aims to permanently own the Exchange or to act as a monopoly trading entity or that the Exchange is an arm of government is simply false, both as a matter of law and in practice.

A third myth is that ECX was an instrument to take action against private exporters. Let’s face it. The world is not simple and nothing is black and white, even if it might seem that way in far-away Seattle. In the same year that we designed and launched coffee trading through our Exchange, the world faced the worst financial crisis imaginable, international coffee prices fell by thirty to forty percent, twenty percent of our coffee exports (to the Japan market) collapsed due to a chemical residue scandal, rainfall patterns in parts of the country led to a fifteen percent decline of coffee production, and regulatory actions were taken against some of the major exporters of the country, largely prompted by the foreign exchange crisis brought on by the global recession. It should be clear by now and has been stated officially that the regulatory actions taken had nothing to do with ECX but were based on illegal behavior discovered outside of ECX, which the exporters have also acknowledged. In fact, these export companies continue to be members of ECX and interact with us regularly. They have continued to sell their supply coffees through ECX, although they cannot buy export coffees unless their export licenses are re-instated based on the court’s ruling.

Finally, a fourth myth is that somehow the Exchange had simply not thought about specialty coffee trading until forced to by international coffee buyers in 2009. There is nothing further from the truth. The Exchange was in fact at the forefront of discussions about specialty in early 2008 and argued for the need to create a specific means to handle specialty during the stakeholder consultations on the proposed new coffee law passed in July 2008, which is silent on specialty. This position led to a separate legislation, passed in November 2008, providing ECX the mandate to separately or concurrently handle specialty coffee as it deemed necessary. Based on this, our objective to design a specialty trading system within the first year of our coffee operation was of course explained in detail to our domestic coffee market actors in late 2008, and our attendance at the international specialty coffee event in Atlanta in 2009 was part of the effort to design a well-thought out and appropriate specialty mechanism. Far from the “window dressing” described by the ill-informed Seattle coffee tsar, our recently announced proposal to handle specialty coffee has now been recognized by the international specialty industry as one of the most systematic and far-reaching efforts by any specialty coffee producing country. In its own words, the Specialty Coffee Association of America has recently issued a statement that “this is the first market mechanism to fully employ SCAA standards for coffees upon arrival and represents a significant change in how coffees get to market. This system has the potential to be a model for improved identification of specialty coffees at source.” I think Tadele would be proud to hear these words.

Let me tell you why. What we have designed is a system in which Tadele can bring his coffee directly to a nearby ECX warehouse and find out what the quality of his coffee is. If his coffee is graded as a specialty coffee, which we are now able to do for the first time in Ethiopia, then he is going to know it and he is going to get to sell it as a specialty coffee and get the premium he deserves. Tadele now has three choices how and where and to whom to sell. He can sell it directly to an international buyer, because the law allows him to. But this won’t be easy and his cooperative will need support to build their knowledge and capacity. But it can be done and in fact, with the exception of Ethiopia, most specialty buyers buy coffees directly from small farmer coops in all other producing countries. Tadele can also sell his coffee to an exporter through ECX, which is what he used to do before, but now he knows what the grade of his coffee is and can negotiate a better price. Or he can sell it to a local supplier outside of ECX who will then sell it through ECX to an exporter, but now Tadele knows what the going supplier selling price is on ECX so he is armed with better information to negotiate a better price for his trade. With the old system of vertical integration, which the new coffee law explicitly prohibits, Tadele would sell to the exporter, not knowing whether his coffee had a specialty premium, and the exporter would sell it abroad, at a price unknown to Tadele. If things worked out for Tadele, he may get a share of the premium. But nobody knew for sure. Now we have a system that makes it explicit. This is called transparency. And the best part is that, Tadele gets paid for his coffee the next day after the sale through the ECX clearing system which transfers payment from the buyer to the seller, instead of waiting weeks or months hoping to get his due payment.

But our system is not just for Tadele. Exporters benefit too, a lot, because now they don’t have to incur the risk of getting the wrong quality or quantity of the coffee they have paid for, with an ECX delivery system that guarantees that Tadele’s coffee will get to the exporter-buyer on time, in the right quantity and quality. That is why we are closely working with our exporters association to ensure that their needs are met too. International buyers also gain because we now have a way to discover specialty coffees at origin, saving them a great deal of time and effort, with a system that enables them to trace the coffees to the geographic source and even to the grower that sold it. This means that consumers who pay a premium to buy Ethiopia’s specialty coffees that claim to be purchased directly from farmers at a fair price will now be certain of this through the ECX system. Transparency is a good thing for both sides of the Atlantic and for both the farmer and the consumer. And transparency is what ECX is fundamentally about.

As the sun set in the lovely countryside in the famous coffee area known as Kochere in the heart of Yirgachefe, Tadele smiled gently as we parted ways after our little chat. Impulsively I gave him my white baseball cap with the ECX logo, which he immediately put on. He said, I hope I can do better this year. And I said, it is my job to make sure you do.

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin is a special contributor to She is a Stanford educated economist and founder and CEO of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.

Recent Articles by Dr. Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin

Will The Real Poor Farmer Rise (By Eleni Gabre-Madhin)

This is my Ethiopian story- (By Eleni Gabre-Madhin)


Songs of Freedom, Stories of Change (By Eleni Gabre-Madhin)


Comment from: eselem [Visitor]

Ms. Gebre-Madhin ( the writer ) your article says, “Will the real poor farmers rise.” First of all a poor is a poor,I do not see the difference between poor and real poor? With all respect,I am really confused about your mission in this coffee business? Are you Facilitated this business for this dictator regime or help the country’s economy?

10/29/09 @ 23:43
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]

I leave any comment to the likes of Yirgacheffe, Yeha and Lekim. I have enough of her.

10/29/09 @ 23:55
Comment from: Yeha [Visitor]

I believe Dr.Elani will bring to the Ethiopian people for the long run something remarkable.She is a wonderful one of the few Ethiopian educated woman.God bless her.Yeha

10/30/09 @ 00:08
Comment from: dude [Visitor]

This speaks to a larger issue where there are a wealth of highly educated Ethiopian professionals in the west but are wary of serving their country because of the unpopular and unelected regime that claims to be a democracy. Even for a Stanford educated world class professional, association with EPRDF has exposed her to unjust and undue criticism that is sadly a spit image of the tactics EPRDF uses against its opposition. All eyes are on Eleni, whether she can avoid to be identified with petty economic corruption of EPRDF while at the same time maintaining an image of transition where party loyalty is replaced by merit and expertise, so long as the merit and expertise has a flexible moral footing to work around the injustices and allegations.

Beterefe be easy on the lady atleast she is trying to do something, and we all have to flirt with the beast to do anything worthy, whether in public or behind closed doors.

10/30/09 @ 00:23
Comment from: Ato [Visitor]

With all due respect, you are the “real poor” - the way you think!

For the love of God….why on earth Zenawi needs this educated woman to monopolize the coffee trade?

A 3000 Years old “DinQurna” is being reflected on the 21 Century technology right here on the Web - we thank eselem alike for that!


10/30/09 @ 01:03
Comment from: Taddele Transparency [Visitor]
Taddele Transparency

Eleni looks like she’s forgetting her job. She was supplier of my GED materials. Did you see how many times she repeated the name Taddele? This tale won’t do me any help
She didn’t say anything about the gov taking over the coffee export,directly.
It’s laughable to hear from her that how well the farmers are informed about the market, in a country where there is no private media.

10/30/09 @ 01:21
Comment from: :Lekim Ye-Woyane Leba [Visitor]
:Lekim Ye-Woyane Leba

Ante Ayeha, qittuan hiddenna Lassew, Kene-Segerawa.


10/30/09 @ 01:33
Comment from: Catalyst [Visitor]

The first two posts of Dr. Gebre-Medhin’s articles, I read. However due to the content depth and sheer volume, it is becoming daunting task in try and keep up. Nevertheless, one can’t refrain self from such treat. The reading goes on.

Looking forward to your book release.

10/30/09 @ 01:37
Comment from: wsheto [Visitor]

Dr. Eleni, good you tried to impress people… but let me tell you one thing. This kind of stories, aimed at making the reader feel sympathy and say “see they are doing a good job", just doesn’t work here. But you were right to use it, because you grew watching what a news paper article in Lost Angels times and the Economist can change the minds of people and bring enormous amount of money for the corporate in the west.

Any ways, if i’m not mistaken, i remember you saying that the main reason you wanted to establish the ECX was that there should not be hunger again. Here we are in a situation where 14 million…. oh let me use the government figure 6 million people in the verge of another famine. Tell me how on earth a person with the vision like yours pay this much attention to coffee rather than food crops that could directly help the poorest of the poor. Actually, here is a good opportunity, so are you going to solve this problem of famine by solving the marketing problem so that the 6 million people can be provided with what they need?

So Dr. let me advise you one thing, we all know ECX is intended to serve the gap in the EPRDF’s business enterprises…. You should actually join EFFERT (ጥረ&#4725&#59;). Just drop this crap and face the reality, nobody is going to believe that ECX is here to fill the marketing gap for the poor. Rather, ECX is here to fill the gap for EPRDF’s business organizations. Here is an obvious famine in front of us however what is worrying you is your coffee business… here is a typical economist… trying to maximize profit!!!

10/30/09 @ 02:09
Comment from: Negat [Visitor]  

Dr.Eleni, you are doing a great work that is going to have a tranformational impact on the Ethiopian economy and especially the poor farmers of Ethiopia.

Keep up the good work. My Dad worked with you in the 90’s in Kenya–had nothing but great things to say about you.

10/30/09 @ 03:36
Comment from: mershiti [Visitor]

she is nothing but orchestra of the opperessor tplf regiem i don’t think she is gonna bring any change..
JESUS IS LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10/30/09 @ 03:58
Comment from: Jemal [Visitor]

This is an excellent article written by someone who is DOING (Key word doing NOT talking) something to change the lives of Ethiopians. Her critics on the other hand, are spoilers, they criticize anyone and everyone who is trying to contribute. Unfortunately, this has been the norm for the Ethiopian opposition (slash and burn). If I am against the goverment, then the hell with everyone that tries to contribute to the well being of the people. This has been the case during the Arab funded so called student movement of the 60’s and 70’s (by the way leaders of that movement (EPLF, EPRP, MEISON etc..) were all trained and financed by the socialist arab states) - Makes you wonder whose interest they were protecting ?!? That’s a different subject but somehow related to the issue at hand..Since the loud complainers in the diaspora are the same former Dergue, Isepa, EPRP and MEISON communists, who converted and sold themselves yet again to work against the interest of the poor Ethiopians. Let’s be clear, the so called opposition leaders in the diaspora who could not even account for the money they collected during the last election, are busy tarnishing the names of people who are doing something (One should have more respect for a tej beit owner, at least he employs ethiopians). These former communists are busy stuffing their pocket with donation money and funding from foreign anti Ethiopian elements. As they did in the past, they will send thousands of young impressionable youth to their deaths, while they sell themselves to the highest bidder. It’s in their nature they can’t help it.

10/30/09 @ 04:20
Comment from: ash [Visitor]

leave oromia and preach ur philosophy in ur dry Tigray

10/30/09 @ 04:33
Comment from: Tsedale Lemma [Visitor]
Tsedale Lemma

“Where to sell, when to sell, at what price to sell, and to whom to sell,”

I don’t mean to single handedly pick a quote and misinterpret it, but isn’t that the reason the government of Ethiopia stripped the licenses of a dozen or so coffee exporters because they were “hoarding!” Or in the language and understanding of the suspects, ‘waiting for a better market!’ So, Dr. Eleni, if I can ask, will the likes of Tadele enjoy a special privilege of such market freedom? The government might have a convincing reason to strip the licenses off these coffee exporters who are accused of aggravating the foreign currency deficiency the nation was facing. After all that was a national issue and was of a concern to us all; never mind it initially happened not because of these coffee exporters and never mind Gunna has now stepped into the coffee export business; but does the end justify the means? Does that guarantee a feeling of a free market by traders anymore? How is it then Tadele will be able to enjoy a perfectly functioning market terminologies such as “Where to sell, when to sell, at what price to sell, and to whom to sell”?

Second, forgive me if I am ignorant, (with all due respect for what you as single person and ECX as an institution is doing,) I still didn’t understand how the specialty coffee trading system is going to benefit the original growers (i.e the farmers) whose only way to know the quality of the coffee they have grown depends on the likes of Tadele. Is there an ECX intervention between coffee farmers and the many more other Tadeles?” Are coffee coops equipped with the necessary knowledge and material to decide which variety of coffee is of premium quality an which substandard? Or is this to be decided by the few traders with a daily and often noxious contact with the farmers? Will there be any role by ECX? Hence bouncing the very question you used in your headline back to you, “will the real poor farmer rise?”

At any rate, good luck Dr. Eleni!

10/30/09 @ 04:56
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Tolla [Visitor]

Hello bro with respect, what do you mean by “I have enough of her", are you also overwhelmed by the facts as i do?

10/30/09 @ 05:27
Comment from: hammere [Visitor]

What ddo you mean by “are you facilitated this business….?”

Please wrting in your dull English. The good Dr. Eleni will laugh at you and your English.
Go to school and learn English before you dare to mess with the refined Dr. Eleni. kuknyam

10/30/09 @ 06:17
Comment from: sami1 [Visitor]

Educated or not good intent or not I have not support for dectator slave!

10/30/09 @ 06:31
Comment from: Dr.abdul [Visitor]

Every body deserves a chance .It takes a big effort to establish and run such a complex system.I think what Elani did and doing is very cmendable and encouraging .Let us give her time and peace ,which she has to have in order to run and devolop the Exchange.
I belive in ECX ,ethiopia needs this system in order to integrate the economy with the international market.
I think the diaspora atleast some of them are living in illusion.It is ok if you are against the present government.
But one has to sit and compare the advantages and disadvantges of having the ECX instead of being blindly against it.
Thank you Elani for your effort.

10/30/09 @ 06:34
Comment from: Eleni [Visitor]

Go Eleni go! Forget the so called Diaspora (Escept the very few). You know what; they simply are good for nothing. First they forgot or may be intentionally forgot how they were educated and where they are serving; with the very poor farmer’s tax money in Ethiopia and serving elsewhere where ever they are. And then they didn’t dare to pay back what they have, as they like to say, looted from the poorest country they say they love. To your surprise there are so many of them out there even for whom Ethiopia had paid for their PG education, I mean in cash. Could you imagine that?

I wish at least they keep quiet with all their shames on them; what saddens me most is they keep on bragging and discouraging people like you who gives up all the better opportunities out there and goes back to the poor country to help! What a curse!

10/30/09 @ 06:38
Comment from: haha [Visitor]

She seems a head of her time. I guess, if she wants to make a REAL contribution to her country, she HAS TO FIRST understand what the problems and the causes are.
Cause of the problem: no real gov’t in ethipia, need to have a gov’t by the people for the people. Only such gov’t solves problems from its people

10/30/09 @ 06:47
Comment from: katikala [Visitor]

Who is the Seattle coffee Tsar???? i feel bad for him/her to have beaten in such a way by Dr. Eleni’s ruthless and outright wordy sword. please fire back, do not Surrender!! Ms. Eleni, there never been clearer than this time that u are nothing but a tool, perhaps an essential tool for the blood-sucker TPLF! Be reminded - its UP TO YOU to keep your HANDS CLEAN! if they’re soaked already, wash them thoroughly and set yourself aside from the pack! just jumping on a skyliner on the last minute and dropping on a safe heaven and then spending the rest life sipping a cool drink on a sunny beach, perhaps with blood money, is No longer possible. justice is just around the corner!!!

10/30/09 @ 06:55
Comment from: Aba. Kabada [Visitor]
Aba. Kabada

” so while, nothing is fully ever known in it’s entire complexity” Dr. Eleni
For me, this letter is far more complecated than any marketing proccess. On the conclusion of this letter ” The system is not just Tadele. Exporter benefit too.” Dr. Eleni

can anybody answer to me who that exporter? I learned that is only Ghuna. In any marketng system we can call it is , neither governmental nor private. May be Dr. Eleni, want to show us how the small powerful state is operating on the whole states.

On the third myth, ” Some of the exporters are(I wish it was were) due their illegal activities their licence is suspended” No court case wasn’t mentioned as an example to the illegal activities. As it’s a court case, we don’t expect a name, as she mentioned some names. Only God knows, the other exporters can manage to re-instate their licence.

In any case I don’t believe the court in Ethiopia can have a power to reback or suspend Ghuna’s coffee exporting licence.

“Our Challenge is, that we need to figure out, as a country and as a national how to empower Tadele and others like him” Except, that letter doesn’t justify that because of atleast the following reasons.
(1) He can’t sell his coffee to the international market due his marketing knowledge.
(2) He is / will not able to get a competitive market as some the exporters are out of market with a different excuse.

10/30/09 @ 08:15
Comment from: Florad [Visitor]

Well done Eleni! I really appreciate her articulate and well-informed reasoning. I think she is doing a great service for her country

10/30/09 @ 08:28
Comment from: Tadele [Visitor]

Dr eleni
You can present all your drama about Ethiopian trade, but the reality is , you & zenawi harassed & detain major coffee exporter Ethiopians, now TPLF companies like Guna monopolize the coffee business in Ethiopia. You con artist, your old soviet style leterature which picks one character & paints your hidden agenda with rosy picture is nothing but scam. I don’t think you graduate from east palo alto high school let alone Stanford.

10/30/09 @ 08:29
Comment from: Lucy [Visitor]

You shamless , ignorant “Hodam”-
I cannot believe you have the gut to talk about one single coffer exporter farmer when many are dying of hunger. Please MS. You lost the little respect I had for you.

10/30/09 @ 08:29
Comment from: justice 2010 [Visitor]
justice 2010

Tolla, I agree with you; Woyane agents like Yeha and the likes, only love and support people who work and serve their master, the world known Dictator, regardless of his despicable crimes. I still do not understand what motivated Eleni to go to work for a Dictator that have arrested, tortured and killed thousands of innocent Ethiopians; including Eleni’s fellow woman and a four year old mother Judge Birtukan who is thrown in jail for life.

Eleni, What do you say about the recent Bloomberg news report about:–“The TPLF Guna plans to become Ethiopia’s biggest coffee exporter” was this one of your plans to hand the coffee business from the private coffee exporters to the Woyane government? Or to help the hard working poor farmers? In addition, please tell us in the language we can understand–what are the hard working poor coffee farmers are getting paid these days, comparing to what they were getting in the past before you got there?

10/30/09 @ 08:32
Comment from: ye diasora geta [Visitor]
ye diasora geta

She is one of the most amazing women who we are proud of. She is a practical person not a paper tiger or a TRUMPET like our diasporas!

Well done Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin!
Viva! we are all behind you!!!

10/30/09 @ 08:32
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]

Take a look at this statement guys ‘The opening article of the law states that ECX is established as a demutualized entity, with separation of ownership, membership, and management. The law is explicit that the Exchange cannot be managed by the government, nor can the management of the exchange be politically appointed or part of the civil service, but must be professional.’
Dr Eleni is a confused person living in a fantasy world. For woyane thugs law, constitution …are some meaningless stuff locked in a drawer.Refering a law only gives meaning in a country run by law-abiding political elites.
Our country is run by Dedebit gangs.Their agenda to stay in power forever. Law and moral have no meaning to them.

10/30/09 @ 08:34
Comment from: samson [Visitor]

Leaving your blabber aside, it is astaounding how you consider us foolish. You have the audacity to tell us about poor farmers when in reality you opened the door for GUNA (Tplf owned) trading to monopolize the coffee export business. It is a typical Tplf propoganda telling us about millionier farmers when millions of farmers are on the verge of famine.

10/30/09 @ 08:36
Comment from: Ali roble [Visitor]
Ali roble

Wow , there is smell of blood here :>>and I think the fight beween vs Mis Elen. Seriously. Who is gonna win the match? David or …? This women has realy with an ego bigger than the New York’s Wall Street. No wonder your Woyane cousines rewarded to you the ECX porofolio out of the blue.

In the mean time spare from your self-serving and snobbery penchancy from us.We heard and seen enough of you.

10/30/09 @ 08:37
Comment from: yani [Visitor]


10/30/09 @ 08:48
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]

“Dr” Eleni,
Please, put your hands off the humble farmers. Don’t decieve them with your high level of cheating skills. We know U are over qualified to deceive the humble and generious hard working farmer. Please, work with your qualifications and make money. Don’t loot the 7/24 hard working peasants.

You pulled Guna to the coffee business and today you are trying to decieve us as if you are neutral. Stop !

Let me warn you again, STOP ! All Ethiopians are now aware of who you are.

10/30/09 @ 08:51
Comment from: zulu [Visitor]

WHATEVER eleni bravo mission accomplished :!::!::!:you created this white elephant( ECX )TO ENABLE WOYANE’S GUNA CONTROLLE THE POOR AND THE WHOLE COFFEE MARKET!!!!!

10/30/09 @ 09:10
Comment from: [Visitor]

Dr. Elleni do not be discouraged please
by comments from some “defen” commentators
They simply like to comment negatively
because most of them do not understand
what is going on in Ethiopia and around
the world leave alone to go deep and
understand how ECX works - to understand
how you gus are working needs a little
enlightment which I think most of the
writers here lack. Keep up the good
work, we are behind you and your group.

10/30/09 @ 09:10
Comment from: Kiros Girmay [Visitor]
Kiros Girmay

Dr. Gebre-madhim,

You mentioned many time the “LAW” which law? whose law? The current government doesn’t even abide by the constitution that it drafted. “LAW” for the regime is “I will rule for ever” to all real oppositions they must abide by the written and the un-written laws of TPLF/EPRDF” the LAW that you mentioned doesn’t apply equally to everyone. Case in point EFFORT any political party shouldn’t have involved in any kind of business, But TPLF controls the biggest monopoly EFFORT. Thus, what guarantees do we have that the MAFIA government wouldn’t interfere?

10/30/09 @ 09:25
Comment from: Yitayal Ewnetu [Visitor]
Yitayal Ewnetu

You are the founder and CEO of ECX.
If ECX will be a success story, others will write about ECX. You don’t have to preach us the gospel of ECX.
Recently, Guna Trading’s CEO stated that Guna will start exporting coffee. Wasn’t Guna formed by the aid money TPLF begged and received from the western donors when millions of Tigrians were dying in 1984?
The aid didn’t get to the straving poor. Instead, the TPLF thugs formed their business empire. Now independent observers note that the capital of EFFORT is 125 million USD.

Do you think that the TPLF thugs will abide by law when you mentioned that the law will not allow the government’s interference?
If there is a rule of law, the small business should be protected by the law. Instead, the cofee exporters were kicked out of the market and a preponderant player known us Guna trading joined the bandwagon of Coffee export business.

10/30/09 @ 09:43
Comment from: Yegermal [Visitor]

What I do not understand is what kind of law is she talking about? Meles and his cronies are the supreme law of the land. This lady is either a fool or she is lying through her teeth. Shut up and do your service to the dictator.

10/30/09 @ 09:46
Comment from: Honest [Visitor]

4.35 Birr per kilogram for Yirgacheffe coffee?? I tell you it doesn’t matter who is screwing the poor farmer whether it is the ECX’s Northern lady or a CEO in Seatle, he is being screwed one way or the other. The poor farmer is still getting 0.75 dollars per pound for a speciality coffee that is sold over 11 dollars a pound in the US market.

10/30/09 @ 09:48
Comment from: peace [Visitor]

Isn’t it shameful. This Dr. talking about non sense while the farmer is prevented from farming what it wants to save its family and people of Ethiopia from brink of starvation. The farmers are being taxed, no advanced farming technology till this day is being allowed, you name it. Still you are talking non sense Dr. Eleni. The bottom line is that the people are starving and you are talking crap and more benefit for you and Weyane.

10/30/09 @ 10:16
Comment from: Tefera [Visitor]

” Transparency is a good thing for both sides of the Atlantic and for both the farmer and the consumer. And transparency is what ECX is fundamentally about.”
…well said. but, its sad and ironic to see a woman who is trying to transform ethiopias backward marketing system spend her valuable time explaining herself.
did some body on another thread lamented saying “why are we ethiopians suffering like this".. here is one of your reason.

10/30/09 @ 10:20
Comment from: binyam [Visitor]

Ms. Eleni - You have started a big project that will be beneficial for the country, good luck to you.
My advice to you, don’t bother about what people say, be honest to yourseflf and the poor people you want to help.

10/30/09 @ 10:29
Comment from: Almaz [Visitor]


What is wrong with you? Don’t you understand English, or did you not read what Dr. Elleni wrote. She told you exactly what she does and what her mission is. She clearly said she doesn’t work for the government? If you don’t believe what she say, the tough luck. But don’t pretend that what she wrote is confusing, because it is not.

10/30/09 @ 10:39
Comment from: ፊታውራሪ Free [Member]

I see that the good doctor who is struggling to draw a clear line between her organization and the corrupted, treasonous, beggar and murderous government of meles zenawi has nothing to “the Seattle Coffee tsar", ethiomedia’s editor i believe, but utter contempt. Hey doc, we deserve to know how and why ECX is empowering Guna/woyane more than Tedele and friends in the Ethiopian market today. Tadele might not care who is exporting his coffee to the international market as long as he is getting a better payment for the time being(4.35 Birr per kilogram??), but those of us who understood the serious consequences of a market monopoly by dedebit criminals within the country unequivocally object the idea of Guna controlling the coffee exporting business in the Ethiopian market directly at the cost of small private companies. You defended the government’s decision to indefinitely hold the private companies’ license for coffee exportation, but has said nothing about the rapid rise of Guna, which is one of the many illegally founded woyane business empires and that puts yours and your organization’s innocence nowhere but on a real “thin ice".

[Free, I believe she is referring to Ato Wondwossen Mezlekia’s articles.]

10/30/09 @ 11:11
Comment from: RAS [Visitor]

If South American Coffee producers enjoy the fruits of their product, how can we don’t enjoy the fruits of our product. We blame everything on the third party. We should blame ourselves. produce quality coffee and unite to determine the price of coffee like OPEC countries determine the price of oil. Lets the solve the problem with in. We have good coffee seeds and a better environment to grow the seeds but we are not excellent coffee producers. Coffee producers in Ethiopia focus on to get rich quickly rather than build their repetition.

10/30/09 @ 11:13
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]


I did not want to comment on “Dr.” Elleni’s article, not because of overwhelming facts, but untrustwothness I observed from her. The least I could mention is: 1) She has never lived the lives of the poor farmers any single day (she is a daughter of a feudal sucking the farmer and left Ethiopia before age 7). She only heard of how big a tract of land her parents used to have in south and eastern Ethiopia during her childhood. 2) She has no experience of real people’ lives as she were outside of the country for so long in adulthood and never visited the farmer during the Dergue and early woyann rule. Now she saw the poor farmer for the first time in late adulthood, she is thinking of her father’s story she was told about making good money from the toiling farmer. In addition, there is an adequate reason for her to come to Ethiopia after so long to serve the dictator hated by non-Tigrayans, unless she is one of them or recruited by one of them to be given such responiblity with no experience of Ethiopian livelihood (both rural and urban). 3)She did not play a role of free market as the number of traders are dwindling by the weeks and leaving the woyanne businesses to monopolize the “exchange". Now the “exchange” is no longer an exchange, but the front door to collect (willingly of forcefully) the commodities for export by EFFORT businesses. Last time she was talking about electronic trade and laptop adopted by the concerned in the exchange, and I believe, she is talking the EFFORT elites inside and outside of Ethiopia (may be in Seattle, too).

For those complaining about diaspora, you couldn’t find the best diaspora than Dr. Elleni who left the country before first grade and returned at age 40 or more!!!!!! At least I was born and grew up in Ethiiopia, went to elementary, secondary and university in Ethiopia and left the country at the age Dr. Elleni, came to see Ethiopia for “almost the first time". I lived the lives of the real poor for almost half of my life beginning in childhood. Who has the real feeling towards the poor: the one who lived it or “told” about it and visited it for just a fun?

Does any one believe that Dr. Elleni doesn’t have a vested personal interest than establishing a commodity exchange for the betterment of commodity trade and regional movement of the produce? I don’t trust her at all? As always, the beneficiaries (Woyanne and supportes) applaud her and majority
loosers will complain.

10/30/09 @ 11:24
Comment from: Jegna [Visitor]

“Not only did a neutral market study done by an outside international organization relying on private sector coffee experts identify the need to improve the coffee trading system via an exchange, but the structure and legal framework that established ECX simply does not allow such monopoly power or government interference.”

Show me the study. Who paid for it, if you claim neutrality?

“The law is explicit that the Exchange cannot be managed by the government, nor can the management of the exchange be politically appointed or part of the civil service, but must be professional. The law states unequivocally that the Exchange cannot engage itself in the buying or selling of any commodity.”

So there are six board members which are part of TPLF. TPLF has a company called Guna who will be buying/ selling in coffee on the exchange. This explicitly means the government, which has 50% of voting board members owns a company that is going to be trading on the exchange. This is exactly what the so called neutral study guaranteed wouldn’t happen “ECX simply does not allow such monopoly power or government interference”

“They have continued to sell their supply coffees through ECX, although they cannot buy export coffees unless their export licenses are re-instated based on the court’s ruling.”

So the government decides who does and doesn’t have export licenses. And the only legal way to trade coffee is through the ECX. When a strong completion comes for Guna do you think the government will issue them the export license? Regardless, this is a huge conflict of interest which is foundation a monopoly is built.

Dr. Eleni I am anxiously waiting for your article showing all of us dummies, why Guna Trading House PLC (Public Limited Company) a subsidiary of EFFORT which is owned and controlled by TPLF (current government) is not causing a conflict of interest trading on an exchange where half the Board are a member of TPLF. You don’t need to go to Stanford to smell bull shit.

10/30/09 @ 11:26
Comment from: Yoyoma [Visitor]

I like what you do for the country, You are genuine, energetic, honest and most of all good ethiopian with a vision to make a difference. We love you, I only have one question, What do you think about the party in power doing business? like recently we heard Guna a business organised where the interest is purely for the ruling party. ” Conflict of Interest? “
I wish you can answer this if it won’t incriminate you. I like every change that’s happening in my country. There is a lot of positive that this government brings to the table, but the conflict of interst issue is scaring. And the public is aware, We don’t want another revolution, we need the stability, and the reform to happen positively,

10/30/09 @ 11:33
Comment from: ፊታውራሪ Free [Member]

Thanks admin, most probably you are right. I hope she understands that instead of firing protracted bullets towards individuals, explaining her increasingly cozy relationship with the woyane famine lords and their ill gotten business empires would have done better justice to us all. Even better, admit that woyanes are taking advantage of the system she has created and if she is not sharing the benefit at least acknowledge it is getting out of control. She must understand that we all know it is very impossible to do business in Ethiopia today without benefiting the mafia family in one or another way, but what matters is her intention which i believed were rewarding the hardworking farmers in the country. Denying the existence of a single problem and even worse defending the plight of private coffee exporters at the hand of a mafia group with the intention of fully monopolizing the business sway us to start believing that she is becoming the collaborator of the famine-lords in the country. Dr Eleni, you are capable of better things!

10/30/09 @ 11:55
Comment from: Tenager Ewenetu [Visitor]
Tenager Ewenetu

Dr./Tagaye Eleni Buna by now most of us who gave her the benefit of doubt know very well, she is the English Face of the First Lady of EFFORT, the supreme,articulate leader Meles Zenawi’s wife, the next hope of TPLF, Azeb Gola/Worketewa and her personal secretary.

We are ready to expose her whenever she tried to impress foreign audiences covered on her Stanford Diploma. Meles Zenawi has tried for the last nineteen years with diploma he got by correspondence. But he failed miserably and the new comer/breed will try to misguide the world by distorting the truth we have known for nineteen years.

Eleni should be boycotted and exposed for what she is, she is the spokes woman for EFFORT and for which she got big return from this criminal mafia organization

Poor coffee farmers are on the verge of extinction to be replaced by large farms of EFFORT and traditional coffee traders are replaced by TPLF cadres.

Our struggle to inform the public must go on and let Eleni come again with her fictional characters and big lie.

10/30/09 @ 12:05
Comment from: Tefera [Visitor]

what does eleni has to do with GUNA and the fact its owned by tplf. libeluat yefelguatn amora yibal yelem. most of you had a beef with the lady way before guna story came fearing she might achieve what she dreamt for her country and the credit goes to your nightmare meles. that is it the rest as they say is history.

10/30/09 @ 12:08
Comment from: Nina [Visitor]

If only we have more people like Eleni, Ethiopia would be in a better place. DR.Eleni, you inspire the youth who are ready to listen and absorb , with ideas like yours, we capture HOPE.

Ignore all the haters, they will always be there, Keep doing what you’re doing. Many people are behind your mission.

For the haters, stop talking and start walking. Your attitude is embarrassing for our country and Africa!! Pleaseee, learn to reason without personal agenda and malice.

10/30/09 @ 12:12
Comment from: daniel [Visitor]

Do you guys remember when she said the famine happened in 1984 because there was not ECX or centralized trading system. Her reason for the famine in 1984 was the surplus in southern region couldnt make to northern region because we dont have ecx system. Why we have the famine know? I dont know where she gets her ecnomics degree but the real reason is her party policy. If people they dont have purchasing power the surplus by itself it isnot solution. If the people have the purchasing power they can buy food from another country. The main problem how the people we would have a purchasing power?. The main problem is the land shouldnot be owned by the government. Who is the gone benfit from ECX is TPLF companies.Her boss said there isno famine two weeks ago know they asking help the whole thing is a joke in that country and she is trying to tell us another joke. we are tired of her jokes if she think, she is doing good job why she has to come here and explain herself all the time

10/30/09 @ 12:19
Comment from: anti-pride [Visitor]

The real poor farmer is starving and is unable to rise. He needs some bread, not coffee.

10/30/09 @ 12:50
Comment from: Ahadu [Visitor]

When I see and read what this woman accomplished in short period of time.I go like viola.She is a self less woman who moved to her home country to help the poor farmers.At the same time when I see the likes of
Al mariam and the other embarrasing “economist” from Murray university;brain washed in cairo university to hate his country;I just cringe.Any ways it is expected when some body is accomplished as Dr Eleni is there are several good for nothing proffessors gone awry.Remember we are debating about commodity exchange in Ethiopia.It showed how far Ethiopia has come.we need big visionaries like the good doctor.Ethiopia would do just fine if the radical diaspora stay away and look after their medicare and medicaid benefits.

God Bless Ethiopia

10/30/09 @ 13:08
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]


First of all, she was not in Ethiopia in 1984!!! She was told to say it!!!
Lately, export commodities are hot items for “the exchange", because the urban poor can not buy the grains collected from areas of surplus. Urban dwellers, except woyanne and cliques, are 100% poor!!

10/30/09 @ 13:12
Comment from: mezmurledawit [Visitor]


I know somebody just like her-very persistent, blind to anything except their cause, 70% of their character looks human the remaining 30% is so devile most of the time you couldn’t recognize it.

Just shut your mouth and suck the poors blood. The worst thing I really hate are people who use their intellect for the wrong reason like prostitute. I would rather call it –intelectual prostitution–

10/30/09 @ 13:21
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

:lalala::lalala:Never they could rise what’s really happening actually into the country.This lady is just
trying to fool peoples ,she is only sinking
the fish in a water .More than anyone she
knows perfectly that ethiopian farmers are
looted by her evil master ,the tigrai mafiosos
under the command of the evil Azeb ,and
the SS agazis .

10/30/09 @ 13:31
Comment from: Beki [Visitor]

Lusifer is a father of all lies.Do you know that Meles is more advanced than lucifer? Hodam mihuranin sayiker yih wishetam eyachbereberachew ina wede firid iyametachew n’ew.Bichayen alimotim bilo.
The word of God says,"There is a time for every thing…” Yewoyaneam yewishet tarik yemiyabekabet zemen dersoal. Ye Igziabhearin firid betam bekiribu inayewalen. Bitaminum bataminum,2009 kemaleku befit ye Igziabherin firid bemidirachin lay inayalen.
God bless Ethiopia !!!!

10/30/09 @ 13:46
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Tolla [Visitor]

I don’t think one have to be poor to undersand the poor as far as their is related Education. An appropriate methodology and research will bring out the best understanding than even what the poor knows about his own life. I think your argument on Dr. Eleni not being part of the poverty is not sound, her education and the extencive research with work experience is more than enough. No where in the world you will be assigned a task because your experience of the problem but your undersanding of the problem backed by scientific studies. Do you think i have to be an AIDS patient to undersant it?

It seems you left your country while matured enough and may be you are part of the old political system and that might explain why you hate this adminstration. I mean you have something personal than national.

I think Guna have the right to participate in any business activity as far as they are under the law, if there is any breach of the law is not a political matter but a legal matter backed by evidence. Because the diaspora world shy away from Ethiopias development endeavour doesn’t mean all other Ethiopians also should abunden it.

10/30/09 @ 13:55
Comment from: Lasta [Visitor]

The extermist talking heads will not slow down Dr Eleni or the government from achieving the best deal for poor coffee farmers in Ethiopia. Keep up the excellent work you are doping, Dr Eleni. Ignore BS talkers. They amount to nothing.

10/30/09 @ 14:00
Comment from: Ted [Visitor]

Eleni and your team,

keep up the good job.

People in this room are PHD’s and DHP’s mixed in one bag.

10/30/09 @ 14:31
Comment from: layebye [Visitor]

Dr.Eleni, your mission all along was to concentrate the single hard currency earner product of the country on woyane hand and you acomlished that succesfully.I don’t know how much your cut will be? I am sure that Guna,woyane trading co.will reward you hansomely for your service.On the other hand your reputation is damaged beyond repair if you care about your reputation.Not only that you will face justice with woyane when the time come where ever you will be

10/30/09 @ 14:34
Comment from: Messay [Visitor]

Dear Nina,
We have many people out there working in their Ethiopia and helping our people. Some of them are doing an outstanding job that par or even excel of Dr Eleni’s contribution. The difference is they prefered to be quiet and more focused on the delivery side.I think they wanted to do the job and let others do the talking and writing.
As you may read from the above comments I wonder what would be the purpose for Dr Eleni’s to post her article here at would it be preaching to those who choose ignorance? I see it like writing to those who have nothing to do and even condemned to kill time.

10/30/09 @ 14:41
Comment from: cherk [Visitor]

You know, your rantings (and that’s what this is, another ranting) might have just a sliver of credibility if you, for once, answer the question that is on many Ethiopians’ minds and was asked, once again, brilliantly, I might add, by ‘wsheto’ above. And the question is, the main reason for establishing ECX was to combat hunger in the country. So, here we go again. Our people are facing another devastating famine which threatens to kill millions. Where is the plan to bring food to the people affected by the drought? We realize that ECX has been in existence just over a year I think, but shouldn’t you and the government have been working on a plan by now to make available the much needed food to the drought areas? What is the obsession with the coffee trade, Mrs Antoinette of Ethiopia? Are you saying let them eat coffee?

Wsheto put it perfectly. All this sounds like window dressing. We know what the real reason is behind this Comm Mkt. It’s about controlling the market! The tragedy is that you may not even be hip to that fact and are being used by the junta in Addis.

10/30/09 @ 14:42
Comment from: Belete [Visitor]

I am really sorry for being an Ethiopian when I read Dr. Eleni’s article. I know how much money she paid for her sercvice to the dictator; but why she doesn’t keep silent. Isn’t the big amount of money in the guise of salary, allowance and travel expenses is not enough? I know know her very well that she is a kind of person who seeks publicity for the pupose of getting more benefit from whatever source. I know her plan is to promote herself by all meanse available by using the dictatorial reigime. Her ultimate goal is to get job in one of the big international organizations she is aspiring for years. Let her do that, but why is she using the poor as her own tool for her selfish goal? Look this article, it is mainly to show herself as an expert on coffee and its trading, as she it a good researcher and leader of researchers. To do this, she is lying by saying that the measures agains the big coffee exporter is regulatory. Everybody knows that she was the informatn and advisor to Meles to take that unlawful measure. She was the one who was justifying that illegal measure.She is saying that ECEX is independent. How on earth an intellectual of her level lies like this. How ECEX can be independent as far as it is established as government enterprise? It is officially establishe by proclamation as government body on top of all the officials including herself and all the staff are recurited and appointed by the government based on their political background affilaton to the government?
Sorry and shame on you Dr.Eleni.

10/30/09 @ 14:45
Comment from: tatek [Visitor]

I usually refrain from commenting or reading comments because honestly most of what I read is depressing. But Eleni has inspired me to do my part for my country and I’m gonna begin by being open about my views. We need to speak up in a gentle and thoughtful manner against ignorance.

Almost all the comments I read against Eleni are based on hatred and prejudice, I see very little fact based oppositions. It is sad to see that so many ignorant fools with such backward mentality open their foul mouth with such impunity. You people in the diaspora who still live your lives of delusion hoping to someday reign over the country I have this to say to you, wake up! Wake up and examine your lives. You narcissistic fools who can’t stand seeing anyone doing good for Ethiopia, Wake up! You hypocrytes who blame Eleni for not thinking of the poor because she is focusing on coffee instead of cereal, admit that you would have opposed her no matter what she does. And what are you DOING for the starving people back in Ethiopia other than trying ignorantly to stop those who are doing something?

I have so much so much I want to tell you all, but I’ll do it a little bit at a time. I know you will simply call me a TPLF stooge because that’s what your simple mind labels anyone who supports good work being done.

10/30/09 @ 14:48
Comment from: Yonas Bekele [Visitor]
Yonas Bekele

Eleni, I applaud your valiant effort to improve the economic situation of farmers back home. ECX is a good idea IMHO. However the problem comes with the playing field not being level. The government is too powerful and can impose anything on anyone in Ethiopia; that is a fact that is clear black and white wherever you want to look from, not just from Seattle. Guna now being part of the exchange, the govt is both the arbiter and active player in the exchange.

ANother concern is with what Tsedale Lemma raised above. I believe the ECX has failed that test already; perhaps expanding on the rights of the different parties will help.

BTW for all; the ECX has lots of info on its website: check it out.

There are many haters, that’s the norm. This is an experiment; ECX can learn from its operation and improve on it. The bottom line though is that ECX has to show some tangible results; if it is successful in that aspect, all the noise will be ignored. Good luck Eleni and all ECX staff.

10/30/09 @ 14:50
Comment from: agro [Visitor]

Swim eleni swim before you are dead in the water. Why don’t you just shuet your hole and serve this banda bunch. You think you the are the only smart Tigrie in the whole world. Let me tell you lady. you are nothing but an educated who**e prostuiting for pennies. I hope you choke on it because you are eatin from a dying lesh and a dry boneed farmer. Just shut the hell up.

10/30/09 @ 15:05
Comment from: Tobia Bogale [Visitor]
Tobia Bogale

Dr Eleni,

Thank you for your service to Ethiopia. We appreciate your service and salute your momentous achievement. God bless you!

I have not doubt that you are one gutsy Ethiopian lioness who will accomplish all you have set out to do despite the ‘war chant’ of idle blogers who have never dirtied their hands in any type of coal face let alone establish an institution from scratch.

The coffee tsar has difficulty maintaining and updating his three paged web site ( let alone establish and run a national institution.

Leteqmach semay qirbunew!

10/30/09 @ 15:06
Comment from: Awgichew [Visitor]

Dr Eleni,

Please know that you are a hero, and a pioneer…and you are defenetly changing the thoughts and visions of so many youngesters. Our society has been in the dark for hundreds of years, and we tend to be pesimistic by default. Individual name calling is irrelevant, because the root cause of our retro-perspective is deep and it takes sometime to emerge from darkness.
So, keep up the good work and hopefully, we will come to Ethiopia and join you someday…and perhaps our kids will have a country they can be proud of.

10/30/09 @ 15:08
Comment from: Jegna [Visitor]

Extraterrestrial [Visitor]
“I think Guna have the right to participate in any business activity as far as they are under the law, if there is any breach of the law is not a political matter but a legal matter backed by evidence.”

That is problem. The politicians (TPLF) are also the legislatures which write the laws, and also the judges/prosecutors that enforce the law. That right there creates such a conflict of interests they would never be able to participate. Think of it as if Barak Obama had a set up a similar business when he was the senator of Chicago, and he wanted to trade his company on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. And then let us say that half the board members and the CEO of the exchange are all democrats. That would never fly. Even if we assume TPLF will be completely impartial toward Guna (whose profits will go directly to them) the conflict of interests is there so they shouldn’t be able to participate under the current conditions.

“A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.” Possibly is the key word, when identified it must be correct BEFORE corruption not after the fact.
Have a nice day.

10/30/09 @ 15:18
Comment from: James kebede [Visitor]
James kebede

What is this back and forth about ECX in this particularly defensive tone when the other side has clearly laid down its guns? ECX is a jewel legacy by an ambitious go getter. Good for her. But all it takes is a little common sense and discretion and let ECX itself do the talking. Action speaks louder. Weizero Eleni is the consumate CEO/CFO, architect, visionary, PR - all in one -and on top of her game, but a positive article every three months on the deveopment and latest achivements of ECX is enough. There is also the possibility of her prematurely burning out. A lot of people find coffee to be an easy money-maker. Years ago, some young Microsoft millionaire retirees from Seattle, Wa., area got into coffee business themselves. Although coffe is once again the proven commodity, only a few people can be part of the action and therefore more companies like ECX are needed. Only the blessed establishments can withstand time and endure like all those established by the last king,"Tsadkan Yekomebet Yetebareke Newe.” There are more valuable commodities than coffee. We need to know more about our Gold for example than our coffee.

10/30/09 @ 15:24
Comment from: Gudu Tessema [Visitor]
Gudu Tessema

The more Eleni talks, the more it is becoming clear that:

1) she wants to be CEO, Spokesperson, Radio announcer, Blogger, etc. This is not kosher.

Aren’t Nazret and Ethiomedia (where Wondowossen the Seattle Coffee guy writes) blocked in Ethiopia? How does she have access to these sites? So in Weyane/Shabia Ethiopia, Meles and Eleni as well as Azeb Mesfin have access to Internet to all sites but 85 million do not have? The Chinese web-site blockers are wondering about this.

2) This article comes a few days after TPLF’S Guna said that they will be Ethiopia’s Number 1 coffee exporter! Talk about irony! Did the fictitious Ato Tadelle know about this? What will this ‘real poor’ farmer from Yrga Cheffe say when he knows that he and his friends are screwed. Even Dergue never touched the coffee trade. Only this ‘hodamoch and zerafiwoch’ do stuff like this.

The news that I have heard from Addis suggests that Meles is preparing to relieve Eleni from her duty. As starters, Azeb is really jealous and believes that Eleni’s usefulness has ended. That is why Eleni has a lot of time to write articles and hang out on Internet.

Mark my word, I will give Eleni another 3-6 months before Weyane dumps her unceremoniously. The window for her leaving in her own terms is fast closing in because she is so blinded by her own ambition and Ras Dashen sized ego. In a way, she reminds me of Colonel Atnafu of Dergue who was visiting militias in Wollega while Mengistu was plotting to kill him. Poor Gojame, he came back to Addis and met his death even when advised not to do so because he was so blinded by his own power.

Eleni, c’mon wake up and smell the ‘guna’ coffee before it is too late!

10/30/09 @ 15:27
Comment from: ethiopia [Visitor]

pleas leave us a lone no body is going trust you rimember ethnic federalizm and show us you are ethiopian educeted women by being next to the real the articel you wrote is a fiction ther is no diferent bitwen teraran yanketeket tiwled and yours articel

10/30/09 @ 15:30
Comment from: Minyaregal [Visitor]


I think you wrote this article before we heard about Guna planning to almost monoploize the coffee export business by entering this market and just all of a sudden deciding to export 12,000 tons of cofee. Nobody has so far been able to export more than 10,000 tons in Ethiopia. So how come Guna can just decide to enter the coffee market and immediately become the major coffee exporter.

This says loudly about the law and the market which you unfortunately consider unbiased and free, unhidered by the thugs, the Woyanes.

Your article also forgets about the recent imprisonment of coffee exporters by Woyane on charges of hoarding. There is no imprisnoment in free market societies for hoarding in peace time. The supplier (producer) can bring his/her products at any time it appears feasible for him or her. Eleni, you deliberately shove this illegal and anti-free market practice of the government under the rug.

Hence, the very basis of your article, that there is fairness in law in Woyaneland falls apart and you article comes simply as a dogged desire to keep afloat an entity that is inherently a mechanism to sustain Woyane misrule of Ethiopia.

It fails to convince us miserably.

Sorry such a great mind of yours is being used to sustain a tyrant and his cohorts and you doggedly refuse to admit that you are simply a tool of these thugs!!

We fought Haile Sillassie and finally the student struggle brought him down because it became known that he and his relatives had a share in Anbessa Autobus Company. Now it cannot be said that you don’t know Meles, Azeb, Aboy Sebhat, and Woyane hold billions of assets of business as if Ethiopia has become their family fiefdom! In the 21st Century!

You know this but you prefere to serve them and to promote their loot of Ethiopia. You know about the 2005 Election and the young and old murdered in daylight. You know the imprisonment of Birtukan by the tyrant! All these don’t mean anythig to you!

To h!ell with you!

10/30/09 @ 15:47
Comment from: Wane Wane [Visitor]
Wane Wane

Please dont respond to woyanne paid cadres secondly as long as she is working with this out spoken criminal and not Ethiopian where is her love to her motherland as she again and again tried us to believe her and the one guy by a pen name “TOLLA” seems to be an old guy tells us about her child hood and with feudalistic eltern concerning that i cant say it better or respond better than that of the woyanne paid cadre “EXTRATERIAL” she is more than qualified to do the job but in a free and democratc nation where individual right being respected means the cofee farmer should participate in every dicision made by ECX


10/30/09 @ 15:52
Comment from: lij [Visitor]

We love you Dr. and may many more ECXs spring up in Africa in your name and honor.

10/30/09 @ 16:16
Comment from: dereje [Visitor]

there is a saying in chinese that goes like this. “those who say it cant be done can so but should not be obstacle". ECX is only one year old and its already making a difference in the lives of the farmer. way to go girl.

10/30/09 @ 16:31
Comment from: daniel [Visitor]

I never said she was in Ethiopia in 1984. A lot of people here they dont undertsnad one thing. The problem in Ethiopia is not having centralized trading system. The problem is the government not having the ecnomic policy that improves the majority peoples life. It is good to have ECx but the problem with her she present ECx is the only and major solution for the problem. Is the people strarving because they have the money but the coulsnt get the goods because we dont have centralized trading system. She said in WETA tv program the famine happened in 1984 the surplus in souther region couldnt get northern region because we didnt have ECX back then.We have ECX know we will see what she can do.

10/30/09 @ 16:32
Comment from: Yohannes [Visitor]

First of all i would like to thank you for your great effort to change your country for better.You are a shining example to many Ethiopians who want to help their country in any way they can.You have a tough road ahead without mentioning those who never rest from tainting your good work and reputation.However,with your dedication you will over come any challenge and see the fruit of your hard work some day.Until to that may the grace of God and the love of his son be with you and your family as well.
Thank you my iron lady.

what a wonderful comment!Please don’t hold yourself back from saying what you think is right.

10/30/09 @ 16:54
Comment from: mershiti [Visitor]

Tolla (visitor),
from all people commenting here i see your comment a bit matured and intellectual type…..
but i have one concern though…if people like eleni are not heping this poor country who do u hink can hp atleast she got mone to pour for the new ideas while many schoars back home have the knwledge but no money so they are handicapped.

10/30/09 @ 16:54
Comment from: Fasil-oakland [Visitor]


what is wrong with you? are you going to try writing do.
check your spelling be4 you put any vulgar.

Amed beduket yiskal. Korata!

10/30/09 @ 17:10
Comment from: LILI [Visitor]

Eni’e mogn Eni’e Mogn
Yerasen lemagn…
Enkuan Buna Kalsim yelegn
Seitan serekegn
Teketatlo.. asketatlo
Be Misirach Jillo
Hulun Awaki
Menfes rebish asteiaki
Enkuan manekanek…
Bado kis awlaki
Be Gibre Senai Woito
Asbelito Be Buda
Enkuan Arada
Gigim yalech Tifram
Betam Sekaram
Hul Gize Besua
Mekera ena sekai me-sua
Enkuan Be Arekie
Beknat Sekra
Atefach Ha’ger
Fetelech chigir
Ametach Chigar
Meriw..Gangsteru Gin..Bal’e- CIGAR
Gudguad sir tekemto
Enkuans Alamto
Le bada wegino
Yegedelew..yasgedelew buna
Yelewim Erbana
Agerkin atkida le Genzeb
Muyah chikane..Sirah erkuset
Geday hizb….

10/30/09 @ 17:34
Comment from: free minds [Visitor]
free minds

hey socialism is coming to your town.

10/30/09 @ 17:40
Comment from: Derese [Visitor]

ELeni is another parasite who sucks the blood of poor farmers jointly with the woyane tigres.She thinks also that she is the only woman holding a phd in Ethiopia.Komata bet 1 tat…..endilu.

10/30/09 @ 17:40
Comment from: Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal [Visitor]
Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal

Yo Eleni baby,

Some of us remember very vividly what you said in your initial TV appearance on ABC - Let me jerk your memory in case dementia took over your brain cells.
I paraphrase what you said - “when I was a kid a saw on TV, the Northern part of my country people were starving all the while the Southern part was lush with edible vegetations. According to you this image of famine was the catalyst for your commitment to make a change in the distribution of food in times of famine".

Some people mocked you, others praised you way before we were able to see the fruit of your endeavor in achieving what you promised - *** To avert or even to alleviate famine by facilitating food distribution from wherever it is abundant to where it was most needed” -
And some people like me were very skeptical and said - It is to be seen if it is working or not. In other words we gave you the benefit of doubt.

Here we are at the cross- roads of eminent famine and you are teasing us with this tedious article about Coffee and a boring isolated example

Lady are you serious ??

You romanticized about the sunset at this particular place - most of us who came from Ethiopia, have a cherished memory of one particular place that had been ingrained in our memory forever. Allow me to share mine - Three small orphan kids (maximum 9 years old) seating under a tree on a rainy day sharing “Teureuf Ra Fee” in a plastic bag - I wish someone would have given them a cup of hot coffee to keep them warm.

Eleni, my memory of these 3 kids have eclipsed your picturesque sunset.

However, my question to you is -"Why did your focus shifted from food to coffee?? What is the urgency in coffee when famine is haunting the country once again? Don’t you feel the pain of those famine affected?
What happened to your conscience? Evaporated like morning dew at the first sight of the lucrative coffee business?

For me you sound like - “If there is no more food then give them coffee to drink” - OK… modern day Marie Antoinette we heard you enough
You can fool others, but some of us knew from the very beginning that you have hidden agenda

One of this day when you will be old and all wrinkled you come on my operation table - wanting to look young and pretty - I will sculpture your face to the image of the wife of Frankenstein - till then you have the dance floor you can tango with Meles and company

10/30/09 @ 17:46
Comment from: Ali [Visitor]

many of you business experts wanna be sitting in the US and vomiting your ignorance won’t make a dent in our country. you are simply screaming in a closet. nobody is paying attention to your scream. yes, there is a great deal of changing happening for the farmers in Ethiopia despite the looming famine. Once again the progressive and hard working people of our country will over come it. you will burn with you empty hateful head on your couch, which you have not yet paid the credit in full. long live Ethiopia - down with haters. im neither amhara nor tegier. I have your ugly politics here.

10/30/09 @ 17:55
Comment from: cherk [Visitor]

tatek, why don’t you be inspired now and answer the simple question about why Elleni is concenrating on coffee instead of other staple commodities?

10/30/09 @ 18:02
Comment from: mezmurledawit [Visitor]

Dear Dr Eleni,

The problem is you have lost your insight! You don’t have a single similar trite to your father nor to any of your family. You are an American where money is the sprite enshrined in your blood, which might be appropriate in the context of USA. The point is that it is very difficult to have effective communication with some one like you who has no background and insight about Ethiopia. I do not blame you for this because you are trying to make things up the hardest way like any American in America does. If you had this venture and had this aberrant behaviour in the USA no one will regard you out of limit. The problem is you are doing it in a different field: with people who had more value to their sole than money and people who lived for others than themselves.

It is amazing that you believe this is a tough market game that requires persistence and endurance. I thought you are bright and a quick learner: I must had the wring perception but nobody will excuse you for your misdeeds; and you will be hold accountable for your actions.

You should be excused despite your behaviour as this may arise from the way you have been brought up. But, I advise to put the following in your ‘NOT TO DO LIST’:

1. I will not argue like a greedy trader who doesn’t leave you alone unless he made profit out of you;
2. I will not advocate for the government openly and transparently.
Two recommendations in your to DO LIST

1. I will try to suck my share silently but get away without notice and argument.
2. I will try to write about this experience silently so as to earn respect and position back in the USA,

Thanks you

10/30/09 @ 18:14
Comment from: Skeptic [Visitor]

I recently read Guna Trading (Woyane’s EFFORT subsidiary) is going into coffee business and only few months after driving out the biggest coffee exporters on charges of hoarding coffee posed to take the lion export share. Eleni, you know better that Guna is going to have unfair advantage over other private exporters (don’t need to hear any BS when it comes to their practices) and it certainly will crowd out the other competitors. Where are you going with this??? Tell your bosses IT IS ONLY THE PRIVATE SECTOR a FUTURE FOR THE COUNTRY!!!!

10/30/09 @ 18:35
Comment from: ankober [Visitor]

dr eleni.
i wish you all the best.your noble work will always be a land mark in ethiopian economic history.thank you and thank you again

tola the closet olf

i was impressed by your descion not to comment.
your sub human brain is no match to this extra ordinary ladys mind.please keep doing that

10/30/09 @ 19:07
Comment from: Jemal1 [Visitor]

Dr Eleni might have good intentions but was used as pawn in this case. More likely she will be kicked to the curb once the Hyenas accomplish their mission. Namely, monopoly over the lucrative coffee trade.

10/30/09 @ 19:53
Comment from: mershiti [Visitor]

u mke me laugh about ur last statement u made about doing something(kkkkk)..when dr.eleni comes to your operation table.

10/30/09 @ 20:25
Comment from: [Member]


Thank you for your determination to give service to your beloved country and the poor people.Please, I beg you,do not be discouraged by the very few greedy and opportunist individuals. Their motto is, “Ennie kemmetkugn serddo ayeibkell".May God help you and give you the patience.

10/30/09 @ 20:43
Comment from: Ke Wall Street [Visitor]
Ke Wall Street

Hi Dr. Eleni,

I am very proud of you and I am really touched with the hard work that you are doing in Ethiopia. I really understand that you are trying to help your country and keep up the good work and may the good GOD bless you for all your good efforts. I know there are a lot of senseless comments that people left on the wall and these people have no clue to what they are talking about. I have high hopes that in the near future, I will meet you face to face and perhaps I will join you in your work to impower the people of Ethiopia. Thank you for all your good works.

10/30/09 @ 20:49
Comment from: Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal [Visitor]
Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal

I heard during Haile and even during Dergue there were a handful of people that were exporting coffee - These people formed a kind of cartel - they were buying the coffee directly from the middlemen and the middlemen from the farmers.

During Haile the greedy ‘Mojas” or Mengustu sycophants were not interested in this coffee business. In fact lot of Dergue wives ventured into the Khat business but never in exporting coffee.

So, here come Meles and his wife with her tentacles that grasp everything that has monetary value. I never heard or seen Meles’ wife going even for photo Op to orphanage, school or hospital. Isn’t this what first ladies are supposed to do - isn’t this part of their official duty??

Even the voraciously money hungry first lady of Djibouti has done something remarkable- in less than five years span she totally eliminated female circumcision in her country. How about Meles wife? Can someone enlighten us what she has done to be remembered as first lady in all those 18 years? What is her legacy beside monopolizing everything and grasping her share in everything that is traded.

In one of those video in different pages - about this gentleman who distributed shoes in rural Ethiopia, there was something insightful he said - “People who have nothing but are happy” speaking of Ethiopian children. After all the ultimate goal in life is happiness - in order word materials and money is irrelevant to a person’s happiness - maybe Lekim should explain to his boss wife that the first lady can accumulate all kind of assets but none of that will contribute to her happiness.

As far as this Eleni is concerned, she has never been exposed to abject poverty therefore she would not know the pain of going to bed in empty stomach - Those pictures of famine she watched on TV and has propel some kind of youthful idealism, unfortunately it has faded in the background. Since Eleni is the product of the West and being from affluent family, she is motivated by money and ego. She is experimenting with ECX to fulfill her insatiable ambitions and if it works good for her - she will be showered with all kind of accolade and if her pet project fails then who cares?? all this on the back of the poor Ethiopian farmers.

10/30/09 @ 21:15
Comment from: alemawo(r)k [Visitor]

Imagine if the Ethiopian government or EPRDF actively defended itself, like Dr. Eleni does frequently, other than a general news report that we see every now and then and a condensed version of a press conference by PM Meles Zenawi and a few others. It could save many from the poisons of the diaspora opposition who are deliberately using the internet to spew their anger but with an ever fainting substance. Here is how they like to vent their anger: Tired of him/her, period. No what, no why, no when, no where, etc., Dictator, tyrant, fascist, thief, there is no end to their rile. Then out of curiosity, when one surfs through the net for alternative views, one may find stories like four opposition groups agreed in a historical turn of events to respect the code of conduct rule and signed to proceed with the election. Here is what intrigues me. I feel like I am missing a whole lot of what the diaspora opposition’s mission is. However unfortunate it was, sticking to the 2005 election mishap as the core agenda to win over the people will not serve any sane participant in the 2010 election any good. May be it is an easy thing to do, in which case it is probably the safest thing to do for those who opted to give up on their mission to win the people’s support. Then why spoil the individuals like Dr. Eleni who are taking their time talking to a typical coffee farmer at his place of practice to come up with designs that can contribute in helping him. Would any of you go that far from the comforts of your wishful offices in Addis? I doubt it, because I know the kind of people you are, ጥራዝ ነጠቅ። Imagine if the EAL could have been established in this kind of environment.

10/30/09 @ 22:10
Comment from: Derese [Visitor]

We can easly see that though she has a phd in economics from Stanford her knowledge about economics is very limited.She is a “kuchibelu economist” who needs to enroll for Econ 101.A woman who could not make it in the Us sold herself to the fascit tigrean regime in Ethioipa and became a banda.We are watching you ,Eleni.

10/30/09 @ 23:08
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]

Very interesting. One thing is for sure though, woyane does not need ECX to monopolize any business. In fact, it would be easier For Meles and Co to eliminate the ECX, all dealers and go get it directly from the farmers. Frankly speaking guns would work better than ECX if it was to benifit, what is it called… Guna, is it?

The fact that Dr. Eleni takes her time to explain what goes on alone is comendable. She may be naiev about rule of law in the woyane world but her intentions are good. Not to mention that she has done a phenomenal job. If only those who foul anything that is tried could just go get some grammar lessons, we would all be proud of their ability to not only write proper sentences, but also of their ability to communicate. Really people, if those of you who shoot of your mouths can do better than the Dr, I suggest you go after her job and show her how it is done. If not, with all due respect… SHUT THE HELL UP. If yo’ll have proof that the establishment of ECX will benifit Meles and CO as opposed to the punk woyane PM simply closing down all coffee exporters and taking it directly from the farmers, say so. If not this is the most logic deprived opposition I have ever came across.

Anything better? Let’s hear it. If not…

10/30/09 @ 23:16
Comment from: [Member]

Shegaw “segeraw yayew hulu yarabetal”

You are still strugling with your IDENTITY CRISIS.
Last I know you are a 54 year old woman aka wizero shele,who used to serve as a mistress to our diplomats in the far east,like jakarta,kuala lampur and singapor etc…then you told us you are just a 24 year old collage student who came to the states (LA)when you were 9 years old.that means you are born in1985.
How you acumulate all those knowledges you telling us about Ethiopia or obout the dergue even about emperor HS Only God knows.
All I know is you are just YEKESERECH AROGIT SHERMUTA who can not hide her envy when other great women show success and achievment.

10/30/09 @ 23:39
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]


Well said. And I got the thing behind your name. See, not all of us in the diaspora are lost. In fact I beg to differ with your on how you and, if you are a Woyane supporter, your government can defend it self. it cant.

First: TPLF. The name says a bunch.
Second: The fact it was created by Shabia.
Third: How it manipuated its way in to power and what it did to the Ethiopian union. I am not only talking of Assab or Eritrea. Think Killil, ethnic division.
Fourth: Diaspora does not mean a certain type who are opposed to Meles/Tplf for every or no reason. It includes all of us and reasons like all of the above and then some.

Dr Elani was part of that group you and your government seems to trash at one time and look where she is to day, as are many well educated individuals who work for Ethiopia.

I could go on but as I read your post I see that you are well versed and you sound smart. I suggest you analyze/think hard before you write something because, we in the diaspora, ignore those who lumpsum all in to one bucket and call them ignorant but engage those like you who may have been wrongly informed by, for a lack of a better word… indoctrinated by some woyane cadres or was forced to join the “Eprdf” party for a better economic standing after graduating from HaileSelassie University. I know, its been called Addis Abeba university for a while… and wrongly so.

Anyhow, I do agree with many here that Eprdf has no business in business. How do you feel about that?

10/30/09 @ 23:41
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]

Just curios, nothing personal… Dere,

What is your degree in Derese? Are you a Phd in something? Economics may be? Since you know this lady to be a “Kuchbelu economist” you can probably enlighten us on how one comes to hold a kuchibelu Phd from Stanford or anywhere in the US for that matter.

Much appriciated will be your knowledgable reply.

10/30/09 @ 23:51
Comment from: Deme [Visitor]

Leba Dr. Elani,
The dictator told you to sell this fake ECX and you told us all kind of stupidity like we do not know our country. Please remember we have families and friends. We do not have to be the CEO ECX to know what’s going with the poor farmers.

An exaggeration the fact makes you silly, not educagted. It is very embaressing to say the least what you wrote. Unfortuntelly if you do not do these self congratulation, you’ll be in jail with Britukan.

Everyone knows we have a monkey court; not real one. You can tell that to gallable foregners. We have brother and sisters afraid to say any thing. If they do, they will be in jail too.

You are blaming the Seattle or some thing else; we live in a free society we get the news. No monopoly in ECX, as long as we do not talk about GUNA, you are right.

You are a parasite and worest than the Dictator Melese!! You know how to steal from the poor farmers and give to the Dictator. You also get you shares until the Dictator put you in Kaliti.

Everyone knows spaciality coffee not been sold to local traders. You force them to sell through ECX. If they do not they’ll be in jail. Thanks for your fake court. Most farmers they are selling Kchat instead of coffee.

Please stop your BS or propaganda. We do not need a lecture from a Dictator spokewomen.

10/31/09 @ 00:11
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]


She is doing the dirty job for your father, mother or brother/sister looters, thereby getting her own share. I BELIEVE her mind is bigger and better than yours, but going to college alone doesn’t make one the smart economist. Only few individuals going to Harvard Business School become CEOs and/or successful, while some who never step on college cumpus grounds could achieve great business success: Example, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Warren Buffet, Al alamudin, etc,.
I know you will be glad if I stop commenting because people like you who never finished high school will try to preach about the greatness of Woyanne to me and others. Tell me how you’re Ankobere and real human than me, the sub-human.
Of all my nature I don’t like insulting and belittling others, and I still respect you as a human being obsessed in defending Meles and co.

10/31/09 @ 00:18
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]

Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal [Visitor]

You can do the research yourself and avoid wasting ppl’s time…

If i am not mistaken The First Lady of Ethiopia has won a presitigeous award for her works on AIDs…The Award was given to her and other two African First Ladies at Howard University in the US…You can start there.

10/31/09 @ 00:35
Comment from: KUKU [Visitor]

Her intentions were good but tangled in the web.

10/31/09 @ 01:22
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]

Why do you think 95% of those small business start-ups with detailed theoretical plans fail within their first year? Lack of practical experience and background of the bussiness they are initiating even if they are dedicated. For Dr, Elleni, her western theoretical background and dedication to implement it alone will not be enough, since all educational background assumes all legal, adminstrative, participation, enforcement of laws, etc., to be ideal working environment where the law of the land is partcipatory of all in EQUAL TERMS. This assumes a level playing field for all where economics, not politics, is a guiding light. In addition, the infra-structure necessary for the commodity trade should be a priority and should not be limited to the exchange office and close proximity. Otherwise, the middle man/woman still plays the major role in the market structure.
Regarding your belief that theoretical background is sufficient to understand the life of REAL POOR or commodity marketing thoroughly, let me give you my own example: I was trained in agriculture in universities in Ethiopia and abroad, and doing research to improve the less-productive farming practices on specific crops and when we approach the farmer with our research recommendations we find it to be non-practical. The reason is, the research recommendation was based on relatively ideal condition (tractor-tilled land, all chemicals used, more than enough labour employed on a small plot of land to do the research, irrigated and harvested carefully ) and only one parameter (subject of interest) is focused on. Do you think this research technology is directly transferreable to the farmer? Can he have all the basics the researcher used while studying the response to a single parameter of interest? The answer is no. The same is to the EXCHANGE. All the basics (laws) of free market and adequate infrastrucure(including technology) should be available in the first place.
Regarding your comment if I have direct issue with Woyanne, I HAVE NONE. I left the country during the Dergue time (who imprisoned me as a teenager) and visited Ethiopia almost once/ sometimes twice a year, under Woyanne rule until now. My leaving during Dergue time has nothing to do with politics, but educational opportunity and returned back, served for few years and left again.

10/31/09 @ 01:24
Comment from: visitor [Visitor]

It is I think for the third or fourth time that publishes Eleni’s self-praising articles. 75% of Eleni’s articles talk about herself. That is a more than enough justification to question the credibility of the person. At least that shows that she is surprised by even her modest achievements. She told us that she was once a team leader for East Africa wide coffee meeting. Wow! Really? That makes her what? She also worked for IFPRI and the World Bank! What else is in her CV please? Somebody please tell this doctor that she looks big because the poor country Ethiopia is too small!!! In an impoverished country like Ethiopia a three- meal-day is not within a reach for millions of people let alone to go to school and earn a high school or a college diploma. Therefore, it is not surprising for some one like Eleni with a Stanford education brags about her achievements. What she needs to be reminded of is that those who didn’t go to school didn’t go because they didn’t have the opportunity. Eleni may be one of a lucky few to have come from an elite family and have some education. But her life has not been a kind of work and success story. Her contribution for her growing up is minimal; even for her move from another college to Stanford. Her academic achievement may not be bad. But I have not seen any ground breaking or frontier shifting work. As far as I know she doesn’t have any authority either in any other field within the realm of development economics or in her specific area of concentration-agricultural marketing. Although she may be the first to come out and tell the Ethiopian people that she is so special, she is not the only person to go to school and finish a certain program. There are so many others who went to Princeton, Berkley, Chicago, MIT, Yale, Harvard…and studied hard sciences. They never came out in public media to tell us how wonderful they were and how we should look at them and call them by adding the Dr. title before their first name. I hope that these people will never come out and embarrass themselves and their fellow citizens. My gut feeling is that Eleni will be not only the first but also the last person to write this self-praising stuff.

Eleni also want us to look at her as a heroine who sacrificed a lot to do good for ordinary farmers. Hmmm …that is not even a humanitarian work. Is it? She changed jobs and she went for a greener pasture where she wanted to be paid in cash and in cheap visibility. She appeared on a couple of local newspapers and TPLF controlled TV and told the public that the work is something that the world has never seen before. A freind told me that she also compares her work with the Noble Laureate Grameen Bank founder Yunus. If that is true she is worng again. Unlike Eleni’s TPLF led business, Grameen Bank has important innovations that make this successful micro credit scheme unique. Commodity exchange is not new, however. It has been there for centuries and is now all over in developed and developing countries.

Guys, this woman looks big because she is selling herself aggressively and shamelessly and she is based in Ethiopia. As Eleni herself very well know, not more than ten people would have known her if she stayed in the other side of the world. Trying something that was not there in the country is a good idea, I think. But what makes her work trash is, first and foremost, her cheap self-praising words!!! Second, her infamous association with TPLF. How can you work with TPLF if you are not a mediocre? dottore?

10/31/09 @ 02:16
Comment from: DragonFire [Visitor]

is there such a thing as UNREAL, WEALTHY farmer? ehh Ms Eleni?

woy gud

10/31/09 @ 04:27
Comment from: [Member]

Eleni ia one of those worthless tigreans who are blind to justice and Ethiopia’s long history. Eleni should have opposed the landlocking of Ethiopia and the giving away of Ethiopia’s sovereign land. Eleni and other tigrean elites have joined the eri-tigrean maffia. Eleni is an enemy of the people of Ethiopia and Tigray. A school child can do the job she is doing. It is saddening to see such women as Eleni collaborating with Shaebia agents. If Eleni was serious about changing Ethiopia, she should have campaigned foor the release of Birtukan Midkessa.

Eleni is equally responsible as the TPLF-EPRDF thugs for the famine and starvation of millions of innocent human beings in a world where food is plenty except in Ethiopia.

10/31/09 @ 04:35
Comment from: Tagash [Visitor]

While going through some of the postings on this blog, I can’t help but kneeling down on my knees and praising the lord!

Praise be to God for giving us EPRDF and its leaders as our leaders at this critical juncture of the history of our beloved land.

And thank you Lord for the definite prospect of having them as our leaders for very many years to come.

Thank You Jesus!

10/31/09 @ 05:05
Comment from: Zenda [Visitor]

Apparently this article is written for people who are intelegent and who can understand English language well. Unfortunatly, most of the readers here are semi literate hoodlums, who are engaged in all kinds of manual labour and claims to be all know it all politicians. The content of the article is of no use for them, if the name of the writer sounds Tigrian the response is very easy to predict. I don’t know why Dr. Eleni bothers to explain anything for these hateful people. Last time she had tried to, unadvisably, explain that she infact is an Amhara by citing the names of her ancestors. It was not enough for those Amhara tribalists who wanted to know of the tribal origin of her hausband too.

Dr. Eleni you can’t win from those Amahara tribalists whose daily dosage of protein is hate and envy of any other tribe in the country. Look, we Sotherners will judge you only on your work and their results. I admire you inparticular for going back home and work even with less salary. Many of these hateful tribalists will never go back and work under any government.

10/31/09 @ 07:45
Comment from: LILI [Visitor]

Agerkin atikda malet
Ewnetegnaw tirgumu
Bedenb adirgew kesemu
Min meseleuot
Aihunu Socialist
Kadia….Deluded Tehonu
Hulu negerwon endesew adergo
Hulu negeruon yesew asmesilo
Bedenb saiasibu miskin sigedlu
Yikribuot endaibelu…
Freedom victim’uo
Socialis’tim ersuo
Gudayou beshta new
Yesew misameslew
Feradg yelew…Hulu Baria
Socialistun free…freewin socialis
Asdergo askemito Be’mafia hit list “double standard”
Gudayou ke’ne new
Aidelem date
Kifatim yelebet
Endiaw semina werk
Semina work….

Getaw Dagna…
erswom bale srtandard
Aethiopiam Bale Gud
Aethiopiam Bale “GOOD”

10/31/09 @ 10:52
Comment from: [Member]

Stay focus; do not be pompous
make history; do not fall to bribery

10/31/09 @ 11:07
Comment from: [Member]

Jemes kebede, what a great comment,that is how we can learn from each other,unlike some people whose agenda is self rightious politics,where if you support the woyane regime, what ever you do for the country,you are always their enemy.
As you put it in words let ECX talk for itself.we know it takes a lot to implement such a system smoothly.nobody can tell in this short time whether it made a change in the farmers’ lives or not.all we know is it is a good start for the future.
Yes let’s hear about our big commodity THE GOLD.

Yes I believe the real poor farmer will rise up to the challange and take control of the flactuating market.
Ofcourse what the farmer needs is education and guidance.information is the main important factor.

10/31/09 @ 11:28
Comment from: Big Deal ! [Visitor]
Big Deal !

LEt there be a pledge taken by all Ethiopian politicians, not just to uphold the constitution of the country but to NOT SHORT-CHANGE THE POOR OF ETHIOPIA.

Free trade capitalism can only handle so much. Unless there is a society built upon the basic Judeo-Christian principles of the Ten Commandments, Ethiopians are doomed.

10/31/09 @ 14:02
Comment from: Seleme [Visitor]

. . .I wish you will not become a “shock absorber” or a “chopping board” under this present regime. . .

. . .show us that you will beside with our poor farmers and not under the command of a dictator and his greedy looter cronies. . .then, and i am sure you will attain your goal. . .

10/31/09 @ 14:11
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Tolla (visitor),

What about this question form:
“mershiti [Visitor]” to you on 10/30/09 @ 16:54

“if people like eleni are not heping this poor country who do u hink can hp"?

with all respect.

10/31/09 @ 15:05
Comment from: abe [Visitor]

No body listens Diaspora politicals and radio just for fun is good.Diaspora therpay contines we relax our mind .Thanks diaspora .Don’t forget to help poor families .Dr.Eleni is the best of the best maybe one day she will be “Cnn hero". Dr God bless you .thanks Nazret .com GO bless you too.

10/31/09 @ 17:23
Comment from: Yitayal [Visitor]

Simn man yaweTal bilu Melak! Alu yibalal.

10/31/09 @ 18:17
Comment from: ankober [Visitor]

could you please tell me where you get the info of the 95% garbage.from olf site?

10/31/09 @ 19:50
Comment from: yenegwe sew [Visitor]
yenegwe sew

Dr Eleni, I rely admire your work to make a change on the life of others. It is not only you but also others how are working to change others life. For the heaters you don’t have to worry a bet. They are betting their hollow drams and make their useless noise any way. Some body has to be the igniter of the torch. You are that individual. Let me coat if I may. From the book I add Mayer “Thousand years ago the first man discovered how to make a fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brother to light. …. “That man. The unsubmissive and first. Stands in the opining chapter of every man kind has a recorded about its beginning.” So my dear sister keeps up the good work.

10/31/09 @ 19:58
Comment from: ethiopiawi [Visitor]

ethiopiawyan wendmoche ehtoche bzu aweran wedednm telanm Eleni yemetachw yeweyanen zerefa beteshale huneta lemamechachet endehone bateqalay hulachnm yegeban meselegn.
slezih lemn kemawrat wedesra antelalefm.
birtukan mideksa yemtbal qorat ethiopia be/esrbet alech ahun lezih article comment lemestet yefejebachihun gize yahl lebrtukan btawlut maletm yeteleyaye dgaf btsetuat.leteleyau selamawi selfoch lay bemesatef bntebaber ende/ginbot7 aynet drjtoch gebten bnsatef ende/Eleni aynet yeweyane edme arazamiwoch endaysakalachew erasum weyane edmewn masater enchlalen.

10/31/09 @ 21:05
Comment from: Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal [Visitor]
Shegaw - Yayew Hulu Yidenekal

addis zemen [Visitor]

Unlike you I ask question when I go and visit Ethiopia

For example There was a huge warehouse built in the province of Harargue, I asked to whom it belongs and what is the warehouse for- The response came as it Belongs to Ogass Hassan - then I asked who, what ethnic group and what was he exporting - right there I have learned the bio of the man - He was an Issa Somali from Harguessa, he was one of the coffee exporter during Haile and Dergue and even Meles times - I asked who else was exporting beside him and I learned about the name of others the exporters and I asked why he was not in the Khat business and I learned about who were the shareholders of Khat company etc… See if you ask questions, especially during Bercha you will learn a lot. But you when you go to Ethiopia all you do is be invited to your lousy family tables and go from club to club. I am different I am curious and I am not afraid of asking questions

10/31/09 @ 21:23
Comment from: selam [Visitor]

everybody need to leave her alone. she workes day and night to improve ethiopia’s economy. she has done nothing wrong. stop comparing her with meles and just do your work.
GO Elini

10/31/09 @ 22:07
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]

Yes. It is a good question, where is the GOLD?

10/31/09 @ 23:25
Comment from: James Kebede [Visitor]
James Kebede


Why don’t your try writing in Amharic. It is easy.

Adis Zemen,

10/31/09 @ 23:41
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]

It is quite disheartning to read some of the comments here. But we deal with this day in day out in real life hence the sigh filled expression, “aye yehabesha neger.” So, this is about the ECX and at the helm is a distinguished intellectual and a hard working “ETHIOPIAN” lady who really knows what she is doing. I trully doubt she is “gullible” though she may not want to involve in politika. Seems like she is one of the wise ones. They leave the comodity business to her, she leaves the politika to the politikegnoch. I see no problem with this arrangement. Its like let the doctor do the doctoring, the lawyer do his dirty work and the judge… well not this one but yo’ll got my drift, right?

Dr Eleni is not Eprdf. She is one of the few true Ethiopians who left her life of comfort in the West and is doing what none of her bad mouthers here even dream or dare of doing. Those of us who can hardly put a proper sentence to gether have the audacity to criticise a learned individual who is one of the pioneers of the future of Ethiopia. Some even outlandishly accuse her of having a fake PHD, “kuchibelu Phd” to be exact. How far do we have to go to get accross our hate to our own divers ethnics?

Do some of you guys even consider the fact ethnicity is not a factor in this issue? It is rather ironic to see both sides blaming the other for doing exactly the same thing which is, bashing the others ethnic group as a whole as opposed to the idiot who posts idiocy. No wonder they say “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” It is simply a challenge for habesha to let go of the old ways, to respect others for who they are and to raise issues for how they think with out bundle mixing ethnicity to it. Shame, shame… shame to read what is written here. No wonder shabians are having easy pickings when they find us devided. Last time, they had TPLF and look what damage is done and now to divide us even more, they got OLf/ONLF. I think it is about time we stop this nonsence, come together and do the right thing. Yo’ll should know we are becoming our own enemy as if we do not have these mad shabia dogs running loose all over.

Think Ethiopia first.

11/01/09 @ 00:02
Comment from: Yeha [Visitor]

Dr.Eleni is doing what she could do to enhancing her country as much as she can. Though, so many forgotten sick diaspora trying to attacked her or discredit her a remarkable activity in Ethiopia.

Please doggy parking lot thief why don’t you do something like her to changed your country instead of agitating for some body who doing their best for supporting their beloved country? eye mesking diaspora hulu gezie cheger.I am afraid you may call her she is another woyane.

Brother Extraterrestrial,
you are looking good bro. Please don’t hesitate to exposed the ill (Tenkqui) diaspora whose accustomed to thiefing an American parking lots.Have good night.

2010 Election is for EPRDF.Yeha

11/01/09 @ 01:05
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]

Mershiti & extraterrestrial,
I got the message. I read the posting, but thought it was answered already by me and others. Every one working for a living in Ethiopia is contributing directly/indirectly for the dev’t. I do not understand the point that Dr, Elleni is in ETHIOPIA as an investor (i.e. with money) and also as an economist engineering the EXCHANGE. Mershiti, please clarify the point that Dr. Elleni is different from other intellectuals in ETHIOPIA having money!!!!! Regarding the poverty vis a vis commodity exchange, the commodity should be plenty to reach the Exchange in the first place!! Did anyone remember the amount Woyanne recieved by exporting coffee in recent years: about $500 million. Even during the Dergue time where the dollar was much stronger (the exchange rate was much lower than this days), Dergue was collecting over $750 million every year!! What happened: local consumption is higher and fetches higher earning to the farmer and small business than sending it to the exchange, Contraband due to, again, better pricing and earning, Less area under coffee cultivation as no new dev’t exists and farmers are uprooting the older trees for better cash crops, and finally the harvest is from older and unproductive trees, sometimes unprunned stocks, yielding less as older plantations don’t have real owners being confiscated during Dergue times.
To answer the question who can help Ethiopia, it is everybody who believes he is serving right and practicing it. The gov’t has to lay laws that promote hard work and its benefits and abide by it. Step by step adoption of technology, marketing and infrastructure should be in place before day dreaming. Let me give you a simple example: A breeder develops a hybrid that resists a specific desease and releases this disease resistant variety. Can the farmer use it outright in Ethiopia? Absolutely no. Why? We have to have a cosistent supply of the hybrid seed that are multplied by qualified commericial scale farms each time to replenish what has been used to maintain the trait the hybrid was selected for. Any farmer can not do the multiplication as it requires a specialized skill to cross the two parental lines carefully to get the F1 hybrid seed material. This is time consuming and expensive process. The farmer should be able to maximize yield from this hybrid seed by using all possible improved agricultural practices including mechanization which requires larger parcels of land. Here, the gov’t, the researcher, the farmer, the merchant, and others play a closer role to benefit each other. That’s how we improve the abundance of commodity and then find a market for it later!!!!!!

11/01/09 @ 01:59
Comment from: Ali roble [Visitor]
Ali roble

I was reluctant for long time to comment her self-promoting and narcissistic polemics. But this time I decided throw in my two cents.

Listen folks, I think the coffee exports saga and miss Eleni is much-ado about nothing. It doesn’t add up economically, environmentally, developmentally, logically or otherwise. It is misleading notion best and dishonest propaganda at worst. It is just smoke screen for far sinister agenda and deception concocted by the Tigrian clique. First, there is no a single country in the world which progressed by exporting simple single cash crop, let alone agriculture sector per se. Crops like Coffee, banana, khat, etc. are called cash crops in agro-economic prospective. They are simply designed be quick extra for farmers along with other farming activities and unless states subsides they have no viable benefit in the medium and long term. To progress a country, all economic sectors should be diversifies so that there should never be dependency on single crop. If the whole country depends such activity it become what is called “ banana republic” in the impoverished of Latin Americas , where one international corporate, United Fruit Company in this case, can control the entire state apparatus and overthrow the governments at will with disregard of nation sovereignty and people’s will.

Furthermore, crops like coffee crops are labour and capital intensive, not mentions having detrimental impacts on the soils and health of the watershed. It is monoculture practice that damages and degrades the whole ecosystem due to pesticides, fertilizers and soil exhaustion and so forth Besides, Ethiopia with its increasingly sever and frequent starvations needs more staple food on the arable acreage than simple and fancy cash crops destined foreign entertainment. It is morally and intellectually demeaning, if not absurd, to talk about export notions when millions of the populations are facing imminent starvation. To my understanding, the main reason woyanne get involved in this scheme is because of many countries, unlike America, like Europeans, Canada and Australian have decided to pay lot of cash instead food Aid for the last ten years so that the recipient countries can set and invest their national priorities like famine prevention, social developments etc. So Woyane has decides to scheme the whole thing by pocketing the money. All they have to show for now is trick and treat just like Halloween and EXC episodes. Shame on you!

11/01/09 @ 04:46
Comment from: Jegna [Visitor]

How come she ECX doesn’t bring the fight to Starbucks and the World Trade Organization on behalf of these farmers?

“According to Oxfam, for every cup of coffee sold at Starbucks, farmers in Ethiopia only early about $.03, receiving a very small portion of the profits that their coffee generates from consumers. “Ethiopian coffee farmers often collect about 10 percent of the profits from these coffees. The rest goes to the coffee industry players that can control the retail price, the international importers, distributors— and roasters like Starbucks,” Oxfam stated on its Make Trade Fair website.”

You should be trying to fight the foreign importers; distributors and buyers not gouge the local exporters and farmers. The money is not in Ethiopia it should be the consumer you should try to go after, not the producers. That is why they stopped growing coffee. If the ECX actually got them a better cut of the profits from Starbucks and co it will have a lot more direct positive impact then all the other things the ECX is concentrating on.

11/01/09 @ 11:08
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]

Dear Eleni
Don’t worry about all these moron’s and The Eritreans wannabe Ethiopians who waste their time gossiping and hangovers claiming welfare check’s up her in the west.

Look u people stop bothering these good women at least she’s trying to work for Ethiopia, unlike u.

Hence For U all leftovers..go figure

11/01/09 @ 12:37
Comment from: gurkum [Visitor]

Idiot. Living abroad perhaps robbed her of her memory. Ethiopian coffee price has always been announced on the morning and afternoon radio broadcasts since Haile selassie’s time. Nothing new. don’t take credit for something you haven’t initiated, Dr. whatever. Bunch of self congratulating idiots

11/01/09 @ 13:45
Comment from: The Professor [Visitor]  
The Professor

I don’t care what party you are or what you think ECX is doing, we need a new type of farmer to feed the nation and also have extra to export. The current farmers:

1.They should go to prison,

2.Sent to Addis Ababa to beg,

3.Clean the 21st century machineries in for $1 a machine OR

4.Keep them in museum with their “Mofer & Kember” as they are special.

I know the truth hurts sometimes, but that is my proposal.

11/01/09 @ 15:03
Comment from: sentun ayenew [Visitor]
sentun ayenew

May be my comment looks out of this subject. But what I want to address is the root of all this irrational generalization. If any body working in our country for the sake of working or chouse to live for his family; have a genuine belief that he can change his environment by his work by teaching others. But the saddest thing is he/she is always labeled as one group or ridiculed because she /he doesn’t support their fanatic political out look or group. Like the other commentator above “Jemal” suggest we had seen this within deferent political group including the current government. DURGE, EPRP, MEISON, EPLF… How many peoples lost their life because they don’t want to be with any group but their true work. Not flow with the current. Because she believe on there practical work. not the philosophical or ideological argument change the life of their people. We can have different approach or for different problem. The mane purpose is how do we solve it. Looking from different angle. Not to destroy it because I can’t do it. We have to learn to agree to disagree. Dr Eline don’t have to proof she is amara or any ethnic group she is doing this because she believe she can change by sharing hear knowledge. By big an example. It need’s a grate courage and dedication. “Bea ebdoch catema thenegaw benor esu ebed yebalale

11/01/09 @ 16:16
Comment from: mershiti [Visitor]

thank u for your explanation, but the point i was refering when i said Dr Eleni is in tellectual with money i meant to ay she got lots of dollars from USA when she left for ethiopia for investment that makes huge difference in the business sector she is in as it will let her hire many individuals broaden her business creat new ideas of markets and etc which can help the contry along the way…..but the other intellectuals as we all know they live pay_check to pay_check lives so even though they have ideas to make business or create some idea thay struggle to effect it a they are just low in the purse….u know what i mean?
so i just like diaspora investors to get in to home country and contribute something provided that they DON’T CONSPIRE WITH WOYANES….
i hope i clariefied my point to you

11/01/09 @ 16:23
Comment from: anti-pride [Visitor]


Pro 11:2 tiebit sitmeTa, wirdetim tiketelalech

Pro 16:18 tiebit Tifatin, ye ebrit menfesim widqetin tiqedmalech

Pro 18:12 kewidqetu befit sewu libu yitabeyal, tihtina gin kibrin tiqedmalech

Egziher yistilign

11/01/09 @ 16:30
Comment from: alemawo(r)k [Visitor]


If you are not using short sighted phrases and ill feted methods to deliver your opposing views, you don’t have to worry; We’ll agree to disagree. As I have suspected, based on my posting(s), you have already categorized me into the camp of TPLF cadres. You can’t be more wrong. This is what I call a permanent dent on the politicizing of the Ethiopian elites. Differing views are always inspected for their origin and blindly stamped into a category like it is a God given. I may have benefited the ruling party unintentionally by criticizing the self defeating methods the diaspora opposition is using to promote their agenda(may I call it frustration?). I am by no means part of the ruling party nor a member of any movement. The only thing that drives my view is the fact that I don’t get indoctrinated by any beliefs and I follow my conviction that there are so many angles of looking at an issue. When EPLF/TPLF waged their guerrilla struggles, somehow it worked for them. Now in the 21st century, we don’t necessarily need to use their strategy against them. Times have changed and the problem with the diaspora strategy is, it is lagging in catching up with time. So, they like to formulate a struggle instead of driving a flexible yet firm strategy.

So, when I comment on a view, I merely refer to the shallow characterization of the ruling party. It is hardly possible to win the hearts of the Ethiopian people let alone the net surfers with the kind of views that are more of personal attacks than anything else. I agree, the government should have little to do with involving in businesses other than regulate them. So far, the way Dr. Eleni explained seems like it’s about regulation and help ECX in its early transformations. If one thinks otherwise, then approach it intellectually like some good contributers do on this forum. It is my right to analyze and strategies my opinion about any thing and this is one of them.

I hope you understand my thought pattern and do away with assumptions like I am any of your guess works about me in your post.


11/01/09 @ 21:30
Comment from: Ande [Visitor]

Dr. Eleni do not be discouraged by the negative comments that these uninformed readers are leaving. Keep doing your thing WOYANE TPLF GUNA FOREVER ELELELELELELELELELELELE

11/01/09 @ 22:28
Comment from: Tolla [Visitor]

Ankober Woyannew,

If the 95% is wrong, why not you tell us the correct one? I have never seen any comment from you that explains and elaborates to the best of one’s ability, but just insults!! Use this forum to teach or learn if you can, otherwise you will be rejected by me and concerned ones!!!
Regarding OLF, YOU STILL DO NOT GET IT. I labelled you woyanne, not because of your name (which you do not represent), but based on the contents of your posting. However, your tribalist mind never wise-up outside of name labels than the content of the posting! I leave it for others to judge. I always hated all LFs including your TPLF.

11/02/09 @ 01:17
Comment from: amina [Visitor]

Dr. we know you for best, we also know you what you have done for your country, live all those a negative and destructive people who also are their to give only a destructive job. yours is not such a kind of job that will give an attention and have time to chit chat with such kind of people who knows only how to talk just even don’t have the gut to send a single cents of money to the starved family of them, we the people here in Ethiopia knows you very well, and also have some information about you, keep going we really love you you are a young patriot.

11/02/09 @ 04:33
Comment from: Tazabi [Visitor]


Keep up the good work. To all he nay Sayers, all I say is “If you are not part of the solution , you are part of the problem.” Your empty talk and gossip will not help the Ethiopian coffee farmer get the fair price he deserves.What Eleni is doing, on the other hand, is the only way making sure the coffee farmer gets the best market price for the commodity he toils over day after day.

Once you have enough data I am sure you will skilfully demonstrate to the nay Sayers and gossip mongers the real impact of the exchange on the lives of farmers throughout the nation.

Goo job

11/02/09 @ 10:07
Comment from: EthioMAN [Visitor]


It is neither delibrate nor unintentional. I was just reading your post the way you wrote it. I also said, “IF” you are, NOT you are a Woyane. The reason is simple and it is in a single sentence in your post. “Poisnous Diaspora Opposition” That is what woyane uses against any opposition. I too will agree to properly disagree, I have in the past and will in the future do my atmost not to lable anyone by “not using short sighted phrases and ill feted methods to deliver your opposing views,” as you stated. And trust me I am not worried so, you don’t have to worry;

Appart from that, you as well as any Ethiopian, are entitled to your oppinion as you see fit. But those of us in the diaspora, I would like you to understand, are not poison to the Ethiopian issue. TPLF is, based on facts. I also know you know “diaspora” can not be used in a lumpsum analysis, it contains too many diverse thinkers.

It will be a big mistake to forget the 2005 elections when looking to 2010. As it is Eprdf/TPLF has positioned itself as the winner already. The facts are in the 2005 election results that those on power will hold it by any means. I am sure you will agree this is not a traz netek ababal. Those who do not learn from history(the past) learn nothing.

I would also like to assure you and all others that the spewing of anger through the internet is all those who have ideas but do not belong to any particular political group can do… for now. Some also state their views in a not so angry, poisionious way. I am not affiliated to any political group but I do see the wrongs done by all sides to the best of my ability and try to mention them in a not so short sighted way. I will do my best next time to make it clear that Ethiopia has but one enemy and it is Meles/TPLF. Trust me on that and all those who have their gaines attached to it will do anything to protect it. They will demonize all and every opposition to Meles. Hence the problem of desifering through the Tplf cadres and nots. Those who have their opposition based on hate/ethnic differences will continue to do their part by blaming those who work for their country, like Dr Eleni, as a woyane enabler. Who knows, maybe they too may have a point in what they say. Who is right… who is wrong?

Well, Alemawo®k, I am sure we will come to a better understanding in the future that any form of opposition that has its base in the common interest of Ethiopia and her unity, is not poisionious.
Thank you for your time and have a great day!


11/02/09 @ 13:52
Comment from: mimi [Visitor]

Dr. Eleni, Your are greatly appreciated, besides your actions are good examples for those of us who are tide and scared by these ill spirited Diasporas to do any contribution for our country.
Wish you all the success.
St. Paul, MN

11/02/09 @ 14:46
Comment from: justice 2010 [Visitor]
justice 2010

It is not a secret to the majority of Ethiopians and the rest of the world that the Woyane government has been the worst regime to the citizens of Ethiopia and the country of Ethiopia as a whole. From the get go,
Wyanes power abuse has been very visible everywhere in Ethiopia and still going on. Besides the opposition leaders being arrested by Woyane govt. and one of them still in jail as we speak; countless number of Ethiopian have been arrested, tortured and killed; many Ethiopian journalists’ rights have been taken away and many have been thrown in jail; many University Professors and teachers have been fired and at the same time, the govt, have denied these people business licenses; the Woyane govt. is exporting food to China while Ethiopians are going hungry and dying; Woyanes have given the most fertile land to Sudan; and so on and so on, too many too mention…

My question to Dr. Elleni is: what motivated and inspired her to work with the unfair, cruel, injustice
Woyane government that have abused Ethiopians and Ethiopia in so many ways than one?

11/03/09 @ 12:27
Comment from: ewnetun tenageru [Visitor]
ewnetun tenageru

I challenge all Ethiopians abroad to offer not in words but in deeds less than one percent of what this lady offers to further the improvement of life in Ethiopia. I am particularly asking the intellectuals with fancy degrees who keep on writing all this fancy articles on the Ethiopian blogs like to go and something simple like adopting an orphan or volunteering to serve, just for a couple of months, in feeding camps where the starving are rescued.

Our life is hard in its own way and asking more from us may be unrealistic. I know that Ethiopian expatriates can not be accused of child neglect. That is one area that we have excelled in. Our children have been stellar because we raised them right. But we all know that we have mortgages and car payments to make and retirements to fund etc. Therefore, it may be unrealistic to move back home. We can fund a life of a reasonable comfort and monthly letter of encouragement to one or two orphans in Ethiopia. We can get together and buy expired- books from school districts and ship them to our old school’s library. Every one of us can come up with a better but simple idea and impact our country one small effort at a time. Let us build Ethiopia brick by brick and not pretend that we can do better for her by being critics of the government. Governments come and go and they will never solve our problems.

11/03/09 @ 18:58
Comment from: alemawo(r)k [Visitor]


As much as you tried to enlighten me, I respond to your clear message by clarifying a few points that may have been misunderstood.

When I was referring to the diaspora, it was preceded by opposition; It means the strategy the diaspora opposition is following is not meant to be anti Ethiopian but to my opinion, it stems from the lack of understanding about how far we have come in history. If one does the same thing again and again, knowing very well that it is not timely, the motive will eventually turn into a damaging component of a movement; in this case it is no better than a poison since it actively plays against the smooth and peaceful transition of the country into the new century. I have my own ideas on things that work and things that are bound to fail at the onset. Ethiopians need to build on what the country has and not destruction and displacement. The opposition has failed to understand that and the diaspora opposition doesn’t even have a clue how detached they are. There needs to be a way not to be carried away with anger. I am sure you get where I am coming from.

The other thing is regarding the 2005 election. I clearly stated that it was an unfortunate situation for the country. I say that because I wasn’t in a haste to single out and blame a party other than wishing every party learned from it so that it doesn’t happen again. It is not my intention to be forgetful about it. Rather it would be much appreciated and do us all good if a vibrant opposition has also a consultative and compromising not to mention a conforming agenda instead of picking only on one event. That was what I meant to say. I very well know the heavy handed approach against what the government liked to call a riot.

Other than that I enjoyed the chatter. I guess as observers, we too could have a chance to contribute to making things better. I like to do what I know-write the way I know.

Have a good one.

11/03/09 @ 20:02



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