In the beginning of US’s financial crisis in 2008, government and financial organizations quickly find out the problem they are facing is not just which Financial organizations are bad but the same bad organizations are too big if they fail they will create a chain of problems to other government and private sectors and thus they are named organizations that are ‘too big to fail’. As any responsible and savvy governments do, the US governments have to hold its nose and support the very financial organizations that are primary reasons to the financial meltdown. Today the economy is doing good and of course as we all know, little to none of the leaders in this companies were held responsible. This is the beauty of creating something too big even your critics have to save you from falling.
Now let me take you back to Ethiopia, a country of 100 million strong, the new darling of Western donors for the amazing 10% growth they claim. A land, they say, open to business with vast cheap land and millions of young men and women ready to be exploited with dirt cheap price. From far away and pages of Bloomberg and the economist, Ethiopia is an attractive place to invest, a success beyond imaginable. In reality, the story is quite the opposite.
In reality Ethiopia is a country that was led by the most undemocratic government that rose to power by guns and ammunition’s. It is a country that is being led with the same party for more than 27 years. Every year, their grip on power get tighter and tighter. The last election they won 100%. The country also has a very bad record when it comes to human rights and specially respecting the freedom of speech. Ethiopia sits on the top of the world record for arresting journalists and for crushing descendants and for intimidation of Journalists. The so-called opposition parties are so weak by design they don’t even have a single seat in the parliament. Every time a party trying to put its mark down, they will be faced with the anti-terrorism act and be thrown to prison. A government that denied having political prisoners for years, finally admitted having them by its Prime Minster and more than a 1000 of them walk out of prison crushed and skinny.
An array of hope
In March of 2018, The then PM Hailemariam Desalegne, announced he will resign as a Prime Minster to allow change to take effect. HaileMariam who was considered a rubber stamp to the TPLF part of the EPDRF suddenly opened up an precedented opportunity for change within his party. He later explained the set up of central committee hinder him and his party within EPRDF to make a reasonable change since his idea fail time and again due to the majority vote. By suddenly resigning, he opened up a chance to let change maker young leaders compete for his seat. April 2nd 2018, a young charismatic leader by the name Abiy Ahmed swore in as a new Prime Minster. Some including me were hesitant to embrace him at first. A young, unknown, too-good-to-be-true, sharp talker seemed like another stunt EPRDF pulled out of their hat. Boy we know they pulled a lot of stunt in the past and no one willingly accept their next offering. Yet in his first speech to the nation he said monumental things that reached even those that gave up in their country. His speech shine a light and went to places that no one in the past 50 years went to. Reaching out to opponents and addressing them as fellow citizens with different opinion. Speaking about the short coming of his government and reminding citizens about the responsibilities and conduct of his administration. Then we said, “talk is cheap”. It was not long after that he started making us looking like fools. Talking is cheap alright but this men is not just talk. He freed political prisoners from every corner of the country. He apologized and publicly admitted human rights violations by his government. He reached out to opposition parties and took selfies with former prisoners that was considered “terrorists” and thrown to a gulag never to see a daylight. He invited back opposition leaders in exile and roll a red carpet to them even when they still criticize and scold him. He lifted the state of Emergency and opened the country for business. He agreed to accept the border ruling with Eritrea and make a peace with a neighboring country without any envoy or middle men. He simply stretched his arms and flew to a country that was in a war footing and embrace the leader and the people. His action help families unite after decades and normalize the horn of Africa. He then appointed his cabinet and half of them women. Named a new President, first women president of the nation. He did all of these things while he was going an precedented opposition and continuous skirmishes and conflicts in the country . He scaped a grenade attack while making a speech. Soldiers came to his office with their guns in tow, to take him out of power. Above all, he dealt with the empty bank account and the mounting loan of the country. The thugs and looters of the nation not only committed a cardinal sin of stealing from their country, now they are being obstacles to the positive change the country making.
Back to the old day of looting
While the country being led by thugs and refurbished warlords with a new suit and briefcase. They aligned themselves with Western leaders and acted as agents of change that denounced terrorism while they terrorizing their own citizens. While Ethiopian leaders appear to look democratic and change agents to their foreign supporters, they embezzled the country and loot in every way possible. From service industry to manufacturing, From tourism to road construction from the board of directors to the middle man they put their cronies in power and sucked every tit of the country that happen to have milk in it.
Too BIg To Hide
Now unbelievable stories of corruption and human rights violations are being reported by the national medias and big infrastructure projects like the Hidase bridge stood incomplete since their budgets are spent without the completion of projects. The country needs to come to grips by dealing with the elephant in room. Big conglomerate businesses like EFFORT (the Endowment Fund For the Rehabilitation of Tigrai) which encompasses Construction, Textiles, Agriculture, Mining, Transportation and Pharmaceuticals need to be revisited and properly audited by following the money. The deep reaching tentacles of these companies and their monopoly in the economy of the country needs to be discussed and vetted openly so every single tax payer of the country know how these companies able to prosper and control the lion share of the economy in the back of ordinary citizens. This not to single out EFFORT but it can be used as a glaring example of the too big to hide organizations. If EFFORT have nothing to hide, it benefits its subsidiaries to be transparent in the age of METEC style corruption. If that didn’t come to path, I am afraid their loots and companies are too big and their presence are major, they can’t even able to hide them from the angry eyes of their citizens. If too big to fail worked for US companies, too big to hide will work against corrupt officials and groups. When the judgment day comes, we all know where the looted property of the poor nation went.