By Macky Sall
DAKAR – This week, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia’s capital and a city full of symbolic importance for all of Africa, will host the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. Most developing countries hold high expectations for the conference. They hope it will offer new means to improve social welfare at a time when financing their development needs has become increasingly difficult.
The top twenty three reasons
In March 2015 Dr. Birhanemeskel Abebe, a renowned Ethiopian academician, came up with “Top Ten Reasons why Afaan Oromo should be the federal working language”. His observation reminded me of my own M.A. thesis defended in 2003 Ethiopian Academic Year at Addis Ababa University (AAU). The title of my thesis was “Ethiopia’s Choice of Federal Working Language and Its Implications for Non-Amharic Languages: The Case of Afaan Oromoo”. The overall thesis was devoted to theoretical understanding of the general principles and international comparative experiences, and practical consequences of choosing working language/s in multilingual countries. It explored the reasons used (and should be used) for adopting working language/s. In this brief reflection, I would like to build on the ten points raised by Dr. Birhanemeskel based on the major findings of my thesis.
Roel van der Veen, for Addis Standard
Development in the non-Western world
In the 1870s Japanese public intellectual Yukichi Fukuzawa shocked his audience by stating that he thought Japan should leave poor Asia and join the modern world. Japan in those days was going through a phase of rapid change, which would eventually lead to Japan becoming a modern nation and the leading nation in Asia. Yukichi Fukuzawa, who founded a university and Japan’s first daily newspaper, travelled extensively in America and Europe, and his books about the development of the West became bestsellers in Japan. The provocative, brave ideas of Yukichi Fukuzawa angered many Japanese, but more important, inspired millions of his countrymen to support Japan’s modernization effort, thereby improving people’s lives. How does this story of 150 years ago in a very different part in the world, connect to Ethiopia and Africa?