Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ethiopia’s Boom Times

(May 11, (Jacoinmag))--Ethiopia has a new nickname: “The African Lion.” Like China (“The Asian Dragon”), Ethiopia’s economy is growing: 10 percent annually from 2003 to 2014. But the moniker also has less savory connotations.

Ethiopia’s economic expansion is taking place against a backdrop of privatization, immiseration, and incursions on democratic rights. On the one hand, the government has undertaken huge infrastructure projects, like the construction of the two largest dams in Africa (funded in part by foreign investment).

On the other, it sells locally owned land to large multinational corporations at low prices and exiles or imprisons journalists critical of the deals. A journey through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, illustrates the shape development has taken — and the inequalities it’s created.

On palm-lined Taitu Street in north-central Addis Ababa, investors, politicians, and wealthy tourists meet at the glitzy Sheraton Addis, in the shadow of a constantly swelling skyline. New government centers, banks, hotels, shopping malls, condominiums, and luxury homes for the wealthy are erected at a steady clip. Read more from Jacoinmag »

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