aragaw wrote:Welcome back Jason,
Could you please give us your take on the life of ordinary people? Has that improved in any way? Are people able to feed themselves and their families considering the economy is improving? Have you traveled beyond Addis and what has changed for the poor farmers and their families.
It really is hard to provide you with accurate information, I will try my best...
Sure there is still pockets of the old neighborhoods in Addis Ababa in such places like Eribekentu, Cherkos, Kazanchis still are slums but also i noticed the government is moving folks from Kazanchis to newly built condominiums in Addis. It's a win win situation for the country and for the people because most people find it to be lucrative to be moved from the slums to condos. I hear a lot of folks once they get the apartments, they sub lease the property to renters. I thin in my view based on what i hear, everyone is a winner. In places mentioned above, the investors already started to build modern commercial building as we speak. This sort of things are happening all over Addis Ababa.
As for the economic opportunity for ordinary Ethiopians, so much changed from the past. Today more than ever in Ethiopian history there are millions of people are currently employed in various trades. There are more workers, business owners, millionaires and graduates and aspiring professionals than ever before. And i think given the literacy rate in Ethiopia, it's amazing. What also impress me the most is most folks i met no longer see government as their means of getting ahead in life. They believe in hard work and sacrifice would pay off eventually for the generations to come. The farmers i saw in southern part of Ethiopia are doing excellent. most farmers who farm on 100 hectars or more are earning on average a million to 5 million birr net profit a year. Farmers today are smarter and efficient, they grow their crops based on demands. Today 1 killo onion from "Masa" alone could cost up to 10 to 15 birr and since most of them pump a water from Awash river using a water pump and a drip sytem, they can produce 3 times a year in their land. Today they no longer wait for a rain to drop thanks to better technology.
As for the country side, i spent my time in southern part of Oromia in places like Adama, Asella, Ziway, Shashemene, Hawassa, Gambela, Bale, Jimma, Sidamo and Harerge. And i have seen miles and miles off commercial farming done by foreign and native investors. I find it extremely fascinating to witness such a huge development and all the talk about the land grab is pure Dispora crap. The government doesn't discriminate against Ethiopian investors, but actually encourages it. I've seen many Ethiopians who moved from Abroad and who started commercial farming and they are doing just fine. These folks are creating thousands of full and seasonal jobs for the locals. Sure some locals lost their land when they failed to farm commercially but also I've seen in my own eye foreign investors loose commercial farms due to lack of activity on the land. Eviction policy is not just for ordinary folks rather it a policy of Oromia, Amhara investment office to lease unused land to potential investors.
Inflation is a problem in Addis Ababa but outside Addis commodities tend to be cheep. I've no idea about the northern part of Ethiopia but the south seem to be doing just fine.
Well my friend i encourage you to visit your homeland to see it for yourself.