The Tigrean Minority Junta to control the Ethiopian economy under the guise of privatization?

7 mins read
5
By Aschalew Aberra
My take on the executive committee’s decision to liberalize the Ethiopian economy.

There are several school of (economic) thoughts that discuss the pros and cons of liberalization of the economy by privatizing government owned companies,  commonly known as parastatals.

There are mixed experiences (both good and bad) as a result of privatizing the economy in eastern Europe after the collapse of the then Soviet Union.

Even if it is not considered as a panacea to improve the economy of any nation, there is a general belief among many economists that private economy provides better services and garner more profits as a result of effective management and operational  efficiency.

More than anything else private economy plays a huge role in advancing and sustaining democracy. In a private economy people will have a better participation in politics without fear of retribution.

When it comes to the Ethiopian situation, all of the utility companies such as power, water, communication, are currently owned by the government, which resulted into weak or in some cases non-existent  services. It is high time that these companies should  be transferred into private hands. But they should be regulated by the state. Even in USA utility companies are regulated.

I don’t think there is too much opposition in the very principle of liberalizing the economy.

The bone of contention is not the liberalization per se, as some people try to spin it.

It is an open secret that currently, next to the government the majority of the economy is controlled either by the party affiliated EFFORT company or by the government affiliated Saudi tycoon, Mohammed Al Amoudi.

EFFORT,  not only better suited to make the local money available for purchasing the parastatals, but they also have a well established relationship with potential buyers from China or other foreign owned companies due to the goodwill they have established in dealing with these foreign companies in various transactions in their capacity as government officials.

The bone of contention is associated with the high probability that these two government affiliated entities will eventually control the economy under the guise of liberalizing the economy.

There won’t be any guarantee that the South African situation won’t be repeated in Ethiopia. After the collapse of the apartheid system in South Africa, the white minorities and the Indians still control the majority of the economy, hence they indirectly control the political situations behind the scenes.

By the same token, the transfer of these  state parastatals into the hands of EFFORT, will result in enabling the tigrean minority junta to control the Ethiopian economy hence indirectly control the politics for the foreseeable future.

The other concern is: as officially admitted by the PM himself there is an organized and systemic corruption in the nation at large. The question is how could the public be expected to trust these corrupted politicians to conduct a fair transaction of these huge companies such as the Ethiopian Airlines?

One more concern would be, most of the government officials are appointed not because of their merits, but because their ethnic backgrounds and their political affiliations. The question is: even if we assume that these officials have the will to do the job, will they have the academic  potential and the experience to strike a good deal for the nation without being outsmarted by the multinational companies who are equipped with high caliber professionals with international experiences in handling major transactions?

More importantly, it is an open secret that the incumbent government didn’t come to power thru free and fair election, hence the people didn’t afford them the mandate to sell publicly owned companies.

In my opinion  prior to the commencement of thevprivatization process, the following major actions should be taken:

1. Political reform should take place before any major economic reform is carried out.

Meaning, democratic institutions should be established first followed by free and fair elections meant to form a government of the people by the people to the people.

Let the economic reform be one of the agendas for a debate among political parties during the next  election.

2. All companies owned by EFFORT  should be properly audited and they should be transferred to their rightful owners – the Ethiopian people. They should also be forced to pay all their public debts or face confiscations.

These companies should be legally barred from participating in the procurement of the parastatals.

3. A group of highly educated Ethiopian  professionals (devoid of their ethnicity or political affiliations)  having a vast international  experience in major financial transactions should be recruited in order to oversee the transaction process.

4. A share market system should be established in order to allow the general public to buy and sell shares of these companies.

5. In addition to the privatization option, leaving the parastatals under the ownership of the state while letting them operate with pure market principles (without the involvement of state officials) should be considered as another viable option.

Even in USA, there are several state owned universities and hospitals that are efficiently run with the same  market principles as the privately owned companies are functioning.

to be continued ….

5 Comments

  1. “More than anything else private economy plays a huge role in advancing and sustaining democracy. In a private economy people will have a better participation in politics without fear of retribution.” Democracy and Capitalism are not the two sides of a coin. A profit based economy will make profits whether in fascism or nazism or even social democracy of the west. Even China is beating most of the world in profit making. Do people have “better participation in politics”? This is a facade and a dupe at worst and propagandist at best. Ask Venezuela and Nicaragua who have a much better people participation in politics but they are being strangled by, guess who? Trump will give you the answer. Any way, it is no secret Woyane enterprises will be the biggest beneficiaries of the “theft and blunder” of Ethiopia’s assets. Ethiopia’s resources should not be divided up into the wolves from both inside and outside to the detriment of the future of the children of Ethiopia. I am afraid both the pro and con sides of the government are on the same side of blundering Ethiopia’s resources in a duplicitous equalizing of democracy with profit. The losers are Ethiopia’s 99%.

  2. For Ethiopia every day that elapses stirs the destructive impulses of the suicidal Woyane occupations with greater intensity.

    Ethiopians should not relent their vigilance because of the sham election of a new PM, even if we take it for granted that he is decent Ethiopian.

    Our efforts, be as groups or otherwise, whether we are at home or in the diaspora, should be geared towards bringing to books the atrocious Woyane Tigres and their willing accomplices in treason and genocide.

    Their Tigrai will be no safe haven for these scum of humanity. They will be taken out even if they think they can find safety in the rocks and boulders of their territory. The very soil that bred these beasts will hopefully surrender them when the day of reckoning beckons. Of course, we are not talking about the annexed swathes of Afar, Gondar and Wollo from which they would be expunged ruthlessly sooner than later.

  3. I think first thing fist, firs there must be rules and laws, a constitution that protects every citizen.

    There things you can privatize. The only thing those can be privatized are services. You can privatize for example internet, mobile services, and other services that can be privatize. The privatization must be only to citizens. Privatizing to foreign citizens is wrong. Ethio-Telecom is not only a national Jewel asset, but also a national permanent sovereign security. You privatize telecom means you have no national security. Thus giving away telecom even the services to foreign citizens is wrong. For example, USA telecom is only for USA. That is only services, the government controls everything. The same in Canada. The telecom is under government and only service is owned or privatized only to citizens. There is a single American or British private company in Canada. NO vodacom UK, no MTN South Africa or no Americans. Only Canadian, Bell Canada, Rogers, other small Canadian companies provide internet, and mobile services to Canadians. Whatever privatization is planned, it has to be exclusively reserved to citizens only. Please stop this minority propaganda. Please stop this non sense or hate propaganda. Stop being Tigrie phobic. Get out from jealousy, and being racist. Stop attacking Tigreans. If you have evidence expose bad business. Anything short of that is jealousy, typical Habesha menkegnea. Leave the TPLF alone if you can not specifically attack them using evidence supported argument. The minority has done many good things. They have resurrected Ethiopia from deep shit of poverty. You must know when you minority you are attacking the whole Tigrai. But the Tigreans , the minority has done more than their share to lift the country from the deep shit we know. Stop this hate propaganda, minority propaganda. We do not give shit our number. Number does not matter. The Jews are few in number, 7 million? but their contribution to the world is more than their share. Not perfect, but the past 27 years has many changes in Ethiopia which is there for everyone to see on the ground. Please stop hating and attacking these people. You have killed so many so far. Please stop being poisonous. If there are wrong things? expose them by supporting by hard evidence.

  4. Aschalew aberra debedb ye debeb lij Gimatam
    sTOP insluting and humilating the entire Tigray and Tegraus. yOU AHVE NO EVIDENCE APART FROM YOUR FABRICATED STORY; wOYANE KILLEd 30 miillion amharas which is false in its entirety. You could call me anything you want but you can’t change the reality and who I am. I am not a 6 grader like most of you out there. You do spent morethan 20 years to speak english which is very funny to share and to learn.Dedeb hula!!

    Stop whining . You have pile of insults .Since your upbriging was very ugly from bad boys!!!

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