Freeman Speaks On The GERD: An Engineering Marvel-A Necessity For The Nile River Basin

May 12, 2023

Watch the 60 minute video above. On April 13, 2023, Dr. Brook Hailu, of Nahoo tv, interviewed me on the weekly broadcast, Voice of The Diaspora . We had an extensive discussion on the GERD, Ethiopia, Africa, geopolitics, and human crieatvitiy in economics. With the creation, and self financing of the GERD, Ethiopia is breaking through the mentality that African nations will always be poor and underdeveloped.

Watch the 20 mimute video below. Lawrence Freeman, was the lead presenter in the book launch of a new book on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam-GERD, at . Georgetown University, Washington DC, on April 29, 2023

Read my earlier posts:

New Book on Ethiopia’s GERD: Historical Battle of the Nile-Colonialism vs Development

GERD: Utilizing the Blue Nile to Create Energy for Development in Ethiopia & The Horn of Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Nuclear Energy Safe & Efficient-Every African Nation Should Have Multiple Nuclear Power Plants

Alec Soth/Magnum Photos: Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Station, California

May 2, 2023

Nuclear energy is safe, clean, and the most efficient form of energy existing today. Almost a third of the nations of Africa have plans to include nuclear in their electricity grid. South Africa is the only nation with an existing nuclear energy plant and Egypt is constructing their first nuclear power plants in cooperation with Rostrum.

The massive lack of energy throughout Africa is the biggest single impediment to advancing the economies of African nations. My rough calculations are that Africa nations combined with require a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts (1 gigawatt equals billion watts) of additional electricity to upgrade their primarily agricultural and resource based economies to modern industrialized societies. This cannot be achieved without nuclear energy. This is not an option with the population of Africa projected to reach 2.5 billion in the next 30 years. That is why I am suggesting that each nation must have one or more nuclear energy producing plants. The naysayers and zero growthers are wrong.

The article below exposes the fraud of fear mongering about nuclear waste. Let us end this anti-scientific propaganda and move forward with technologically driven progress.

Opinion | Nuclear Waste Is Misunderstood – The New York Times (

Nuclear Waste Is Misunderstood

by Madison Hilly, founder of the Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal.

On a visit in February to the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in Japan, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York did something refreshing: She discussed radiation exposure and nuclear waste without fanning fear. The radiation she got from her visit — about two chest X-rays’ worth — was worth the education she received on the tour, she told her 8.6 million Instagram followers. She then spoke admiringly of France, which, she said, “recycles their waste, increasing the efficiency of their system and reducing the overall amount of radioactive waste to deal with.”

Progressive lawmakers, along with environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, have historically been against nuclear power — often focusing on the danger, longevity and storage requirements of the radioactive waste. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said, “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to add more dangerous waste to this country and to the world when we don’t know how to get rid of what we have right now.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts echoed these concerns and pledged not to build any new nuclear plants if elected president.

So it’s no surprise that many Americans believe nuclear waste poses an enormous and terrifying threat. But after talking to engineers, radiation specialists and waste managers, I’ve come to see this misunderstanding is holding us back from embracing a powerful, clean energy source we need to tackle climate change. We must stop seeing nuclear waste as a dangerous problem and instead recognize it as a safe byproduct of carbon-free power.

Why is nuclear so important for reducing carbon emissions? The countries that have cleaned up their electricity production the fastest have generally done so with hydroelectric power, nuclear, or a combination of the two. The distinct advantage of nuclear is that it requires little land and can reliably produce lots of power regardless of weather, time of day or season. Unlike wind and solar, it can substitute directly for fossil fuels without backup or storage. The International Energy Agency believes it’s so crucial that global nuclear capacity must double by 2050 to reach net-zero emissions targets.

For this reason some U.S. investors, policymakers and even the movie director Oliver Stone are calling for greatly expanding our nuclear capabilities. The Inflation Reduction Act is now rolling out credits for the 54 plants currently in operation and incentives for new ones worth tens of billions of dollars. States across the country are overturning decades-old bans on nuclear construction and exploring investment opportunities. A demonstration project in Wyoming is underway to replace a retiring coal plant with a nuclear reactor.

There are many legitimate questions about the future of nuclear — How will we finance new plants? Can we build them on time and under budget? — but “What about the waste?” should not be one of them.

One of our few cultural references to nuclear waste is “The Simpsons,” where it appeared as a glowing green liquid stored in leaky oil drums. In reality, nuclear fuel is made up of shiny metal tubes containing small pellets of uranium oxide. These tubes are gathered into bundles and loaded into the reactor. After five years of making energy, the bundles come out, containing radioactive particles left over from the energy-making reactions.

The bundles cool off in a pool of water for another five to 10 years or so. After that, they are placed in steel and concrete containers for storage at the plant. These casks are designed to last 100 years and to withstand nearly anything — hurricanes, severe floods, extreme temperatures, even missile attacks.

To date, there have been no deaths, injuries or serious environmental releases of nuclear waste in casks anywhere. And the waste can be transferred to another cask, extending storage one century at a time.

With this kind of nuclear waste, I’m not referring to water containing the radioisotope tritium that nuclear plants regularly release. Antinuclear activist groups like to scaremonger about this, despite the fact that you’d need to drink over a gallon of the treated water being released from Fukushima to get the equivalent radiation exposure of eating a banana.

But what about the spent nuclear fuel — isn’t it radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years? The way radiation works, the waste products that are the most radioactive are the shortest-lived, and those that last a long time are far less dangerous. About 40 years after the fuel becomes waste, the heat and radioactivity of the pellets have fallen by over 99 percent. After around 500 years, the waste would have to be broken down and inhaled or ingested to cause significant harm.

Compare this to other hazardous industrial materials we store in less secure ways that don’t become less toxic over time. Take ammonia: It is highly toxic, corrosive, explosive and prone to leaking. Hundreds of ammonia-related injuries and even some fatalities have been reported since 2010, and we continue to produce and transport millions of tons of it annually by pipelines, ships and trains for fertilizer and other uses.

Yet because nuclear waste seems to pose an outsize risk in the imaginations of many — especially those who lived through the Cold War — the conversation veers toward permanent solutions, like burying it deep underground in a facility like the proposed Yucca Mountain project in Nevada. There may be other benefits to consolidating spent fuel in a central facility, but safety is not the primary concern.

By failing to construct such a facility, some worry that we’re saddling the next generation with the burden of waste management. But as a young person in my 20s expecting a child this year, I feel very comfortable with the way we manage nuclear waste, with making more of it and with passing this responsibility on to our kids. I hope my daughter’s generation will inherit many new nuclear plants making clean power — and the waste that comes with them.

The waste should really be a chief selling point for nuclear energy, particularly for those who care about the environment: There’s not very much of it, it’s easily contained, it becomes safer with time and it can be recycled. And every cask of spent nuclear fuel represents about 2.2 million tons of carbon, according to one estimate, that weren’t emitted into the atmosphere from fossil fuels. For me, each cask represents hope for a safer, better future.

Read my earlier posts:

“Electricity is the lifeblood of a nation” Nuclear Energy Can Be A Solution To The Continent’s Dearth of Electricity

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

Africa`s Future Depends on Adopting Nuclear Power Generation

In the Next Decade, Nuclear Power for Africa Is A Necessity, Not An Option

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

U.S. Should Make the Right Decision: Support Economic Reconstruction of Ethiopia & GERD Completion

Economic Refconstruction and GERD Completion Key Tasks for Ethiopia

Addis Media Network-March 22, 2023

ETV Addis Dialogue-March 26, 2023

Watch my two interviews above.

Following the destructive two year war, Ethiopia needs to become unified with all citizens supporting the future of the Ethiopian nation state as one nation. The thorny issue of transcending ethno-nationalism and ethnic federalism must be undertaken with the expectation that it will be contentious and highly emotional.

However, we can look at two other policies that will help Ethiopia overcome the nation’s current acrimony. One is to launch a massive inclusive economic reconstruction program that will satisfy the economic needs of all its citizens. I estimate a $50 billion price tag to rebuild and expand all features of infrastructure, industry, and agriculture. Secondly, the completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will cause a resurgence of the patriotic spirit comparable to that of the victory of Adwa.

The administration of President Joe Biden, has launched what is being called a “charm offensive” with several high level government officials visiting the African continent this year. It is well known in Washington and across Africa that the underlying purpose of the density these visits is to counter China’s influence in Africa primarily, and secondarily that of Russia. However, these well publicized visits to the continent lack real substance. Also, factions of the administration and the State Department are still determined to pursue their agenda of so called human rights, democracy, and good governance, without any concern to reversing the deplorable conditions of life for hundreds of millions of Africans.

If the current U.S. government and U.S. Congress are truly interested in promoting democracy, and human rights, rather than lecturing African nations, they should provide economic assistance to advance  development, beyond simply distributing aid. The most effective means to respond to China’s economic influence on the continent is for the U.S. government to issue long term-low interest loans for vital and lifesaving infrastructure. This policy of issuing government backed credit or public sector investment for essential infrastructure is not novel. It was how the U.S. developed our national economy under the leadership of such geniuses as Alexander Hamilton, and Presidents Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.

For example, compare U.S. leadership for Africa 60 years ago to that of today. Vice President Kamala Harris while she is in Ghana, is enjoying many photo opportunities while offering $100 million to all of West Africa. Six decades earlier, President John Kennedy collaborated with Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, to construct the Volta Dam energy and aluminum smelting complex. For the U.S. governement to supportively impact Africa, and Ethiopia in particluar, it should reject the dictates of the “human rights mafia” and return to our better days of US-Africa foreign policy.

Read: Americans Stress for Robust Relationship Between US, Ethiopia from Ethiopian News Agency-ENA

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Interview With Lawrence Freeman: Strategic Importance of Africa For The World

The Mel K Show, February 24, 2023

Watch my interview above.

March 10, 2023

In this interview, I explain the strategic importance of the African continent for the global economy in this century. I advocate for a complete reversal of U.S. policy or Africa. It is past time for the U.S. to stop complaining about China and correct our own foreign-economic policy toward the nations of Africa. What African nations need most is: long term, low interest loans for the financing of vital infrastructure projects. China and other nations are contributing to this type of development; the U.S. is not.

The U.S. has lost its commitment, its vision of helping the nations of the Global South, especially Africa, to develop. Instead, they give speeches on the need for their Western version of  democracy and good governance, when Africans die every day due to poverty, brought on by the lack of infrastructure. Africa is suffering from the lack of electricity, high-speed railroads, roads, hospitals, etc. The private sector is essential for economic development, but it will never finance the infrastructure required to build modern industrialized economies in Africa.

In my interview, I also discuss my visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and its significance for Africa. Ethiopia’s financing and building of the GERD, which will generate 5,150 megawatts of electricity for the Horn of Africa, can be a model for other nations.

The U.S. and the West have to move away from the insane geopolitical doctrine that views the world as a zero-sum game, which carries overtones of racism and colonialism for Africa. The true measure of the success of U.S. policies is: do they lead to an increase in the material standard of living for Africans.

The foolishness of U.S. and Western policies towards Africa is that they are shortsighted and economically thoughtless. With Africa projected to have one fourth of the world’s population by 2050, the largest number of youth, and the biggest potential workforce in the world, not to develop Africa nations is just plain stupid. The African continent can be the center of economic commerce or a breeding ground for coups and violent extremism. That future is being decided by what we do today.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Jeffrey Sachs Agrees With Me: Financing Infrastructure Essential for Africa’s Development

Watch this video of Economist Jeffrey Sachs addrressing the African Union (coutersy of

Jeffrey Sachs and I agree 100% on the absolute necessity to provide long term-low interest financing for infrastructure in Africa. The global financial system, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the so called international rules based order, do not understand the importance of building infrastructure in Africa, or they don’t care, or they want Africa to remain underdeveloped.

I, like Professor Sachs, understand, that the only way forward for African nations is; development: massive investment in physical and human capital. Democracy and good governance are empty constructs, cynically meaningless words, without economic development. If one genuinely desires democracy, than you must have abundant electricity! Without real, physical economic growth, which is not possible without financing trillions of dollars of infrastructure, African nations will not realize their potential in this century.

This requires a new paradigm based on development, which I have been advocating for decades.

Excerpts from Prof. Sachs, speaking before the African Union, on February 17, 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

And that is that African governments should take on a lot more debt and use it to keep the kids in school, to build the electricity, to build the rail, to build the transport systems because it can`t wait. And if you do it right the growth will be rapid, so what looks like a lot of debt today , 25 years from now won`t be very much debt at all.

But the problem with my analysis obviously is that I believe that Africa needs financing on 30 year borrowing , not on 5 year Euro Bonds, which is nonsense! Because development is a 30 year process

But you have lots of sources of capital and by the way, the cost of a thirty year loan , AAA is 3%. Imagine if Africa could finance its development at 3%. 30 year borrowing. Believe me , the issues would be finished! Because you would be on your way, this would be the biggest construction site in the whole world history, roads, power, housing, new factories.

Now the problem is that Africa right now borrows at 13% on 5 years. This Euro Bond stuff is useless, worse that useless! I wouldn`t take any borrowing with less than 20 year maturing, anything. Because you cannot run development on a year by year basis. And that is what Prof Oromo was just showing, all these [up and down/high and low] swings are just finance swings. Commodity prices are high, finance is easy, you borrow, commodity prices come down, finance is tough, then austerity. All that Africa is suffering is finance swings. (All emphasis original)

Read the full transcript below provided by PD Lawton, created of the blog:

Read my earlier posts:

My Thoughts: Poverty & Ethnicity Kill Democracy in Africa

Alexander Hamilton’s Credit System Is Necessary for Africa’s Development

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

GERD: Utilizing the Blue Nile to Create Energy for Development in Ethiopia & The Horn of Africa

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam-GERD, built on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River will be completed in 2025 with an installed capacity to generate 5,150 megawatts of electricity. This will not only provide increased access of electricity to the Ethiopian population, but supply much needed energy to the nations of the Horn of Africa as well.

January 16, 2023

On December 19, 2022, I was given a VIP tour of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, known as the GERD. It was an exciting and joyful experience for me to examine this massive infrastructure project constructed by an emerging sub-Saharan African nation. It is proof that humankind is capable, nay obliged, to intervene upon the physical universe for the betterment of the human race i.e., progress for our civilization. The GERD, when completed, will generate from its thirteen turbines a total of 5,150 megawatts (MW) of electricity for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The GERD is a dam for development. Already, with just 750 MW being produced from two of the GERD’s functioning turbines, Ethiopia is already exporting electricity to Djibouti, Kenya, and Sudan. Additionally, Ethiopia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Sudan to sell electricity.

Upon completion, the GERD will be the largest hydro-electric dam on the African continent and the seventh largest in the world. For this accomplishment, the Ethiopian people and their leadership should be praised for initiating such a grand endeavor over a decade ago, that is today contributing to the transformation of the African continent.  

The GERD left, author being briefed the Deputy Project Manager

A Source of Pride

The GERD is located at the Guba district in the Benishangul-Gumuz regional state of Ethiopia, 20 kilometers (km) (13 miles) upstream from the Sudan border, a driving distance of 729 km (453 miles) from Addis Ababa. Construction began in 2011 to capture the hydro-energy potential of the Blue Nile, a winding river of 1,450 km (910 miles) flowing down from Lake Tana, nestled in Ethiopia’s dense range of mountains. The Blue Nile, which joins the White Nile in Sudan under the bridge connecting Khartoum and Omdurman, provides over 80% of the volume of Nile waters that flow north through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Ethiopians, refer to the Blue Nile, which contains 70% of the country’s river systems, as Abay River. “’Abay’ is derived from the Ge’ez word for ‘great’ to imply that it is ‘the river of rivers’.”* 

The Ethiopian people self-financed the $5 billion cost of the GERD. No international loans were issued by Western financial institutions. Nor did China provide any financial assistance, contrary to those maligning China’s relationship with Ethiopia and with Africa. As a result, the GERD is sovereignly owned by the Ethiopian people. It is a well-deserved source of pride and national identity, much like the victory of Menelik II against the invading Italian army at Adwa, on March 1, 1896. Recognizing this accomplishment, I have suggested that upon completion of the GERD, Ethiopia should establish a new holiday that will be called, “GERD Day.”

The author standing in front of a painting of the completed GERD pointing to the Amharic words that mean “Our Pride.”

Humans Create Wealth

Standing at the top of the dam’s wall, the GERD, erected between two mountains, with its vast reservoir, is resplendent in its beauty. However, it is more than simple splendor. The GERD is a potent demonstration of the power of human creativity, and humankind’s harmony with the physical universe. All infrastructure is the product of human intervention. We human beings alter the physical universe by creating improvements. This noetic-creative process of the mind is actually transforming our planet, and implicitly the universe, for the advancement of humankind . It is the lack of infrastructure that is killing  Africa and harming my United States as well.

The modern form of Lake Tana is estimated to be 5 million years old. Therefore, it is reasonable to estimate, that the Blue Nile, which emanates from Lake Tana’s waterfalls, is millions of years old as well. Thus, the Blue Nile has flowed into the White Nile, unexploited for millennium, before creative Ethiopians willfully decided to make this “lazy river” do some work i.e., produce energy for the progress of civilization.

The GERD situated between two mountains over the Blue Nile River

Given the staggering paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa, this injection of  5,150 MW is essential to preserve human life, which depends on energy for all its productive activity. The GERD will significantly improve Ethiopians access to electricity, which is currently estimated at 50%. Energy from the GERD will contribute to powering the industrialization of Ethiopia and will also benefit the greater Horn of Africa.

It is all but impossible for any visitor to the GERD not to marvel at this engineering achievement, but for me, it has additional significance. As a physical economist, I understand the vital role that infrastructure performs in a successful economy. Unlike simple financial transactions, services, and even tourism, all of which macro economists include in computing the GDP of an economy, hard infrastructure is unique. It  inserts value by enhancing the productive process, which results in the  creation of additional wealth for society. Infrastructure, a physical input, increases productivity, enabling  the economy to expand (produce more tangible wealth) at a faster rate during the ensuing production cycle. All economies function on and within a given integrated infrastructure platform. A more technologically advanced platform creates more wealth and profitability for the entire economy/society. An economy without energy, a density of paved roads, and railroads per area, is doomed to create misery and death for its population.

Thus, the GERD, a human intrusion into nature, not only produces desperately needed energy, but raises Ethiopia’s infrastructure platform to a more advanced level that will permeate the entire productive process of the economy.

The author examining the control panel above, and in front one of the operating turbines below.

A Scientific-Engineering Wonder

The height of the dam is 145 meters and is 645 meters above sea level. Its length is 1,780 meters. The reservoir surface area is 1,874 km squared, and will hold 74 billion cubic meters of water. When the water level in the reservoir reaches a height of 640 meters above sea level, it will start flowing into the power generation structure of the dam. There will be 13 independent waterways supplying water to the turbines below through installed pipes, 8.5 meters wide. This directed water flow will rotate the turbines, producing a maximum of 400 MW of electricity per turbine. The water from the reservoir will descend by gravity 123 meters from the head (where the water enters) to the turbines below, at a flow rate of 330 cubic meters per second. These two parameters determine the potential electrical power that can be generated through rotating the turbines 125 times per minute across a magnetic field. U.S. based General Electric (GE) is supplying 5 of the 13 turbines. Presently there are two GE made turbines producing 375 MW each, which has added 500 MW of electricity to Ethiopia’s national grid. This has enabled Ethiopia to export 275 MW of electricity to its neighbors; 75 MW to Djibouti, 100 MW to Sudan, and 100 MW to Kenya. Both these turbines went into operation in 2022. The additional 11 turbines will produce 400 MW each, yielding a total output of 5,150 MW, with average annual energy production about 16,692 gigawatt hours, generated from the GERD.

Building new pipes above to carry water to new turbines being built below

The GERD Is For Africa

The GERD will insert over 5,000 MW of renewable electricity into an  African sub-continent starved for power. With its already existing sources of energy, the GERD will make Ethiopia second to South Africa in generation of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. While this amount of additional electricity is desperately needed, my calculations are that to transform African nations into modern industrialized economies, a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts of power has to be added to national grids. It would be wise for more African nations to emulate Ethiopia’s bold visionary initiative. This is the pathway for poverty and hunger to be finally eliminated on the continent.

There is no danger to downstream nations from the GERD. Ethiopia has extended the time it will take to fill the GERD’s reservoir beyond the original plan of 3 to 4 years, in order to mitigate any substantial reduction in the flow of the Nile River. Annual fillings will continue until achieving completion. Ethiopia is making every effort to maintain the flow of the Blue Nile while this huge reservoir is being filled yearly during the June and July months of the rainy season. After 3 fillings (2020-2022), the reservoir now holds 22 billion cubic meters of water. Sudanese officials report no noticeable decrease in the water levels of the Nile traveling through their nation.

The author being interviewed by Ethiopian News Agency

The GERD will regulate the flow of the Nile, preventing both deadly flooding in Sudan, and the dwindling of the Nile during drier seasons. The GERD will have three spillways with a discharge capacity of 19,000 cubic meters per second to prevent flooding of the Nile. At the higher altitude of the GERD’s reservoir, evaporation, which can account for 10% of the Nile’s total volume of 84 billion cubic meters, will be reduced. Due to the size and depth of the GERD’s reservoir, there will also be a reduction in the transfer of sediments from the Blue Nile.

The drainage area of the Nile Basin includes 11 African nations whose total population is over 400 million and growing, with Egypt and Ethiopia accounting for over half of the people. A long term development plan that provides for the well-being of the people residing in the nations of the Nile Basin, should be established. However, we must be cognizant that the waters of the Nile River are not sufficient to provide for the expanding population of the region. Other alternatives must be sought.

For future generations of the Nile Basin nations to prosper, we should create the equivalent of a second Nile River through nuclear powered desalination. Nuclear power plants can be built along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. This would deliver millions of tons of fresh water and provide thousands of megawatts of electricity to the Nile Basin nations. Application of nuclear energy, would also crucially upgrade the infrastructure platform of a large section of the African continent by introducing advanced nuclear technologies. Many pessimists will complain that this is impractical and will never happen. In response to these naysayers, I say: let us aspire to the same audacious optimism of Ethiopia when they conceived of creating the GERD where only mountains and the Blue Nile existed.    


Schematic diagram of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

The U.S. Should Support Ethiopia & the GERD for Post War Reconstruction

Speaking with students after my lecture at Addis Ababa University on December 22, 2022

Viewing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, December 19, 2022

January 4, 2023

Below are several interviews I conducted on my visit to Ethiopia, from December 11 to December 23, 2022, during which I visited Alamata, Amhara, the GERD , and lectured at Addis Ababa University.

Watch: Talk to OBN for in-depth interview

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Freeman Interview: ‘Fighting the Fight’ for Ethiopia, Africa, Justice, and Economic Development

Lawrence Freeman with Dr. Brook Hailu of nahoo tv, December 22, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This hour long interview above provides an excellent overview of my thoughts concerning Ethiopia, Africa, and US-Africa relations. Topics discussed include:

  • Economic development
  • Ethiopia’s agricultural potential
  • Ethiopia as an economic model
  • Ethno-nationalism
  • Importance of capital intensity and infrastructure
  • Credit and the public sector
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • China’s approach to poverty
  • Railroads and electricity
  • My visit to Northern Ethiopia and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • Africa, the center of politics and commerce in this century
  • U.S.-Africa Summit

Lawrence Freeman looking over the huge beautiful reservoir and ongoing construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam -Dec 19, 2022

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

For the Sake of Humanity-Let Us Bring Into Existence a New Paradigm of Development in 2023

Lawrence Freeman with a grain seller at the Alamata market in Amhara, Ethiopia on December 17, 2022

December 31, 2023 My New Year Message

It is well past the time that civilization should establish a higher scientific-cultural existence based on reason and love of humankind. It is unacceptable for large sections of humanity to live in abject poverty, threatened by starvation. The physical universe and the planet upon which we live is organized on a creative principle that coheres with human willful creativity. If we apply the full potential of our creativity, there is no limit to growth of the human population, both qualitatively and quantitively. The foreign policy of every nation should be precisely the same: the material enrichment of its citizens and the nurturing of the creative process of every child born. Thus, all nations and all peoples have the same shared common interest, motivating all nations to work together for the prosperity and peace of their citizens and future generations.

Ten Principles of a New International Security and Development Architecture

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, presented the following summary comments on a new paradigm of security and development, which I share in large part. Reprinted with editing from EIR magazine.

The new paradigm which will be characteristic of the new epoch, and towards which the new global security and development architecture must be directed, therefore, must eliminate the concept of oligarchism for good, and proceed to organize the political order in such a way, that the true character of humanity as the creative species can be realized.

These ideas are meant to be food for thought and a dialogue among all people concerned to find a basis for a world order guaranteeing the durable existence of the human species.

First: The new International Security and Development Architecture must be a partnership of perfectly sovereign nation states, which is based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the UN Charter.

Second: The absolute priority must be to alleviate poverty in every nation on the planet, which is easily possible, if the existing technologies are being used for the benefit of the common good.

Third: The life expectancy of all people living must be prolonged to the fullest potential by creating modern health systems in every country on the planet. This is also the only way how the present and future potential pandemics can be overcome or be prevented.

Fourth: Since mankind is the only creative species known so far in the universe, and given the fact that human creativity is the only source of wealth through the potentially limitless discovery of new universal principles, one of the main aims of the new International Security and Development Architecture must be providing access to universal education for every child and adult person living. The true nature of man is to become a beautiful soul, as Friedrich Schiller discusses this, and the only person who can fulfill that condition is the genius.

Fifth: The international financial system must be reorganized, so that it can provide productive credits to accomplish these aims. A reference point can be the original Bretton Woods system, as Franklin D. Roosevelt intended it, but was never implemented due to his untimely death…The primary aim of such a new credit system must be to increase dramatically the living standard of especially the nations of the Global South and of the poor in the Global North.

Touring the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a grand infrastructure project that will generate energy for the Horn of Africa, December19, 2022

Sixth: The new economic order must be focused on creating the conditions for modern industries and agriculture, starting with the infrastructural development of all continents to eventually be connected by tunnels and bridges to become a World Land-Bridge.

Seventh: The new global security architecture must eliminate the concept of geopolitics by ending the division of the world into blocs. The security concerns of every sovereign nation must be taken into account. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction must be immediately banned. Through international cooperation, the means must be developed to make nuclear weapons technologically obsolete, as it was originally intended by the proposal which became known as the SDI.

Eighth: In former times, one civilization at one corner of the world could go under, and the rest of the world would only find out years later, due to the length of distances and the time needed for travel. Now, for the first time, because of nuclear weapons, pandemics, the internet, and other global effects, mankind is sitting in one boat.

Ninth: In order to overcome the conflicts arising out of quarreling opinions, which is how empires have maintained control over the underlings, the economic, social and political order has to be brought into cohesion with the lawfulness of the physical universe. In European philosophy this was discussed as the being in character with natural law, in Indian philosophy as cosmology, and in other cultures appropriate notions can be found. Modern sciences like space science, biophysics or thermonuclear fusion science will increase the knowledge of mankind about this lawfulness continuously. A similar cohesion can be found in the great works of classical art in different cultures.

Tenth: The basic assumption for the new paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul, and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and that of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion, and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.

A new world economic order is emerging, involving the vast majority of the countries of the Global South. The European nations and the U.S. must not fight this effort, but by joining hands with the developing countries, cooperate to shape the next epoch of the development of the human species to become a renaissance of the highest and most noble expressions of creativity!

Read my earlier post: The West Votes against Development at United Nations

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

The West Votes against Development at United Nations

This article below locates precisely the problem with the foreign policy of the West and the United States in particular towards the developing sector-the Global South. The U.S. lacks a commitment or even an understanding of the importance of economic development. This has been the failure of U.S. policy toward Africa since the death of President John Kennedy; lack of vison and moral devotion to develop the world’s population. This is what I am fighting to provide. The world needs a new paradigm to eliminate poverty and ensure peace and stability. This new paradigm or New Bretton Woods must have as its foundation, economic development. Below you will find my lecture on the intentions of President Franklin Roosevelt for the creation of his Bretton Woods.

by Clifford Kiracofe, Dec. 26, 2022, reprinted from China Focus

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges”.

Western countries, joined by South Korea and Japan, voted this month against economic development and poverty reduction resolutions considered by the United Nations General Assembly. The stance of the Western countries and partners reflects the power of finance capitalism and its longstanding support for neoliberal economic policy to the detriment of developing nations.

The United Nations General Assembly Second Committee (Economic and Financial) recently adopted 38 of 41 resolutions. The West and partners voted against two resolutions of special importance. The first vote was 123 for to 51 against on the resolution “Eradicating Rural Poverty to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The second vote was 123 for to 50 against by the West and partners (Turkey abstained) the perennial resolution “Towards a New International Economic Order (NIEO).”

Clearly there is a stark division between the West and its partners and all of the “Rest”. Put in another way, the votes reflect the increasingly sharp contradiction between the developed “North” and the developing “Global South”. Two major powers, China and Russia, align with the Global South.

A wide view of the General Assembly’s 53rd plenary meeting, discussing reports of the Second Committee on Dec. 14, 2022. (UN Photo)

Failure of the Bretton Woods System

The international financial architecture erected in 1944 to serve the devastated post-World War II international community did not live up to its promises. Instead, it became machinery to impose finance capitalism around the world and to oppose alternate development models.

The International Monetary Fund was supposed to help states with balance of payment and debt problems. The International Bank for Reconstruction (IRBD), later called the World Bank (WB), was supposed to focus long term on development following a post-war reconstruction. Over the years, both institutions failed in their purpose owing to a variety of factors.

At the Bretton Woods conference, delegations from China, India, and Latin American countries voiced their concerns for development. But the IRBD/WB gave its primary attention to reconstruction rather than to development.

Developing countries also expressed a desire for an international financial system that would be friendly to developing countries. This meant that states exporting commodities be given attention and that alternate development models be supported. Alternate development models included state-led industrialization.

The prospects for a development focus were dashed by the Cold War and the “East versus West” bloc confrontation. This bloc confrontation was framed not only in political terms but also in economic terms.  Thus, the antipathy of the West to various socialist models of development sharpened.

State-led industrial development was rejected. Significantly, the issue of financing development over the long term led to sharp debate over the degree of public and private financing.

Photo taken on Sept. 12, 2012 shows the logo of the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., capital of the United States. (Photo/Xinhua)

Decolonization, Development, and UNCTAD

During the 1950s and 1960s, the process of decolonization brought many newly independent states into the international community. Naturally, economic development was at the forefront for them. To address the issue of development, 36 developing countries in 1962 joined together to create the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The first meeting occurred in 1964 in Cairo. The key issues addressed were: terms of trade by primary commodity exporters, development financing, and export-oriented strategies. At the conclusion of the conference, UNCTAD was made a permanent body within the UN system.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of UNCTAD during the 1960s and 1970s, there were no major results for the developing countries. It is not surprising that the developing countries then banned together as the “Group of 77” (G77) to call for a “new and just world economic order”. As a result, in 1974, a special session of the UN convened to promote negotiations and new initiatives to promote economic development.

The negotiations were inspired by recommendations of UNCTAD and aimed to promote cooperation among developing countries. The international context at the time included global economic and monetary instability owing to the disintegration of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates as well as other factors such as the 1973 oil crisis.

Photo taken on Apr. 9, 2020 shows the Dar es Salaam Port undergoing upgrading of port berths 1 to 7 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Brandt Commission

In 1977, the “Independent Commission for International Developmental Issues” was established to research and make re commendations. The former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, was nominated by Robert McNamara, then head of the World Bank, as chair. The report of the commission was released in 1980 and was called the “Brandt Report”.

The Brandt Report focused on the North-South divide and called for measures to overcome it. Issues such as poverty, health, housing, and education were considered. Additional issues included women in development, hunger and food, disarmament, energy, monetary reform, industrialization, and development finance.

“A new century nears, and with it the prospects of a new civilization”, Brandt said in 1983. “Could we not begin to lay the basis for that new community with reasonable relations among all people and nations, and to build a world in which sharing, justice, freedom and peace might prevail?”

The Washington Consensus

In the face of the progressive Brandt Report, international finance capital mounted a campaign against it. One result was what came to be called the “Washington Consensus,” so-called “free market” policy prescriptions proposed during the 1980s and 1990s. This consensus was associated with the imposition of neoliberal economic policies globally. Such policy prescriptions include: austerity, reduction of government spending, privatization, deregulation, free trade, and monetarism.

People walk on Times Square in New York, the United States, Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

The decline in the West of a Keynesian consensus in the 1970s coupled with the end of the Cold War in 1988-89 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave triumphalist proponents of “market fundamentalism” major play.

Today, the Washington Consensus forms the basis of the international economic policy of the United States and the West, critics say.

The recent votes in the United Nations General Assembly underscore the North-South divide. The West appears to insist on the Washington Consensus and opposes alternate development models.

“New Bretton Woods”

The international community faces a severe recession beginning in 2023, according to some experts. A combination of factors is leading to such an international economic crisis. The economic slowdown in Europe began in 2018-19 and then was followed by the Trump Trade and Tech wars and by the Covid crisis. To these factors, an energy crisis, a supply chain crisis, and a food crisis has been added compounding the problems facing the international community.

In the face of the present international situation, cooperation is essential to meet unprecedented challenges. Various mechanisms, platforms, and processes have been created in recent years to address development. The Belt and Road process, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Union, and BRICS are important initiatives.

Today, a “New Bretton Woods” conference with an emphasis on development as well as on the update and stabilization of the international monetary system must be considered.

Read my earlier post on Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods: For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton