HomeOp/Ed (Page 51)


The government owns the numbers
Dear Editor,
I read your cover page story with great interest as it tries, not successfully though, to answer a question that is always in the back of mind, (Who owns the numbers? Feb, 2015). I said not successfully because your article, great as it was, didn’t push the limits to show your readers how the government is fabricating the country’s GDP. For example, how is that being done? Who are the main culprits of that? How are the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF & WB) negotiating their version of Ethiopia’s GDP with that of the government? Questions like these need to be thoroughly addressed. However, as a bold idea that has not been tried by the mainstream media in Ethiopia, I appreciate your efforts to throwing the right question, probably at the right time.

The one noticeable result of the 1998-2000 border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia is that both sides came out bad losers.

When, in May 1998, two brigades of Eritrean soldiers marched through an Ethiopian administered town of Bademe, a small and dusty town along the border with Eritrea, the pictures emerged didn’t alarm onlookers that it would take the two countries into a two-year civil war that claimed the lives of more than 70,000 from both sides.



Tuesday May 10, 2011was the day when Diriba Kuma, Ethiopia’s then minister of transport, told the public that Ethiopia had prepared a ten-year “national traffic safety strategic action plan,” for the years from 2012 – 2022. His announcement didn’t come out of the blue. In March 2010, the UN general assembly had recognized and discussed a topic long overdue, and was initiated by Russia: “The tremendous global burden of fatalities resulting from road crashes.” Following the usual discussions on the floor, the general assembly asked all member states to dedicate the period from 2011 – 2020 as “the Decade of Action for Road Safety” and work for it. It was aimed primarily at “stabilizing and eventually reducing” the unacceptably high number of causalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in countries all over the world.