News Snippets from Addis.
In the midst of the oppressive summer weather, I have left Washington, D.C. That is why I have not posted anything for few weeks. I am in Addis, Ethiopia, experiencing the immense rainfall of winter in East Africa. In spite of the weather, Addis is in the middle of enormous transformation. Sometimes, it is difficult to fathom the depth of the positive change the city is going through.
- · The ruling Political Party (EPRDF), has unveiled a very ambitious, and challenging Five year plan called the “Five-Year Growth and Transformation Plan”. Anyone, and everyone that counts is either engaged with the discussion of the economic plan, or is in preparation for the Party congress coming up in the next few weeks. The economic plan is very impressive, but it is going to take all the human and material resources the country could muster just to come close to the envisaged goals.
- · On August 18, 2010, I went to watch the friendly soccer match between the Kenyan and the Ethiopian national teams, at the Abebe Bikilla stadium in Addis. The stadium is nothing to write home about but, the playing field is of an international standard. The Ethiopian football team, (Walias) is not ready for prime time. Of course, the team lost three goals to nil. What made it worse is the fact that the Ethiopian team was not competitive and the players’ careless attitude was sickening, and disrespectful to their adoring fans who deserve better.
- · Fidel is in the news. He called Daniel Estulin’s book, “ The secrets of the Bilderberg club” a “ fantastic story”. The book argues that “ this international group largely runs the world”.
- · A lot of progressives in the U.S. believe that it is high time that President Obama show his true political color. Professor Elizabeth Warren who chairs the Congressional oversight Panel of the Troubled Assets Relief Program,( TARP), has proved herself to be a true voice for greater accountability. If President Obama does not nominate Professor Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and fight for her approval, without question he would be on the side of his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Wall Street.
- · Talking about the latest U.S. economic data confirming a gloomier forecast issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve, John W. Schoen of MSNBC wrote: “ The outlook for the U.S. economy just went from half-full to half-empty”. HIP HIP HOORAY! for Neo-liberalism.
- · Finally, Chris Hedges writing on truthdig about Howard Zinn,”The People’s Historian” RIP,:” He was an example of how genuine intellectual thought is always subversive”. How thought provoking? Until next time, I am in the middle of listening to the music of Carlos Santana and Curtis Mayfield and reading “ the Zinn reader, writings on disobedience and Democracy”.
Professor Mekonen Haddis