Freeman Interview: “Living Conditions in Africa Today Are Morally, Politically, and Economically Unacceptable”

Listen to my 45 minute radio interview: TNT Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022, beginning at 5 minutes 50 seconds

July 16, 2022

I discussed the following subjects concerning Africa:

*Unacceptable living conditions in Africa today

*Fraud of the “green transition” to prevent industrialization

*Importance of China’s infrastructure investment in Africa

*Lack of U.S. development policy for Africa

*Current destabilization of Ethiopia using ethnicity

*Potential of BRICS plus

Listen to 45 minute discussion on TNT Radio Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022

Read my earlier posts:

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: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Dark Forces Manipulating Ethnic Based Militias to Destabilize Ethiopia – American Analyst

July 12, 2022

Addis Ababa, June 26, 2022(Walta) – The ethnic national militias manipulated by dark forces from outside and inside the country want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized, an American political-economic analyst told ENA.

Lawrence Freeman strongly argues that the recent massacre against civilians in the Oromia region is a result of ethnic polarization used as a weapon by people inside Ethiopia, governments outside the country, and intentional forces.

“The massacre that occurred against the Amhara in Oromia (Region) is committed by ethnic national groups manipulated from outside of the country and inside the country by dark forces that want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized,” the analyst noted.

According to him, the dark forces outside of Ethiopia and inside the country which do not want to see a stable, prosperous, and sovereign Ethiopia have exploited this.

The analyst contends that as a result of a project to destabilize Ethiopia, ethnicity is being manipulated in Ethiopia “because there are political forces that want to weaken Ethiopia and you should not discount the fact,” Freeman pointed out.

Asked about the recent attacks in Wollega against civilians by militias, he responded that foreign forces are using these militias to destabilize the nation.

Given the perspective regarding the recent ethnic-nationalist forces that are being supported by outside and inside enemies of Ethiopia to threaten the country, the analyst pointed out that the third-filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could be an immediate cause.

“Within weeks ahead, it is going to be the third filling of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has been opposed not just by Egypt and Sudan but also by the West. This dam produces electricity and could become a game-changer in the Horn of Africa and some people don’t want that to happen. If you have people fighting each other and constant internal conflict, then you have an unstable government that can easily be manipulated for outside political purposes.”

Speaking on the commitment of the Ethiopian government to peace and to solve the conflict in northern Ethiopia, the analyst is doubtful about the seriousness of the terrorist TPLF which demands concessions.

He blamed Western nations and media outlets for their failure to support the government from the outset. They instead supported the TPLF.

He further stated that there is also a belief among the people that those powers might have changed their position now to having a weakened government in Ethiopia.

The ethnic-nationalist terrorists and militia like the OLF-Shene and TPLF are now carrying out these attacks and disruptions which are all intended to weaken the nation-state of Ethiopia, Freeman elaborated.

Ethiopia’s leadership needs to embark on a process, actual discussion on the cultural-political history of Ethiopia and what the nation-state means to citizens of Ethiopia, the analyst recommended.

Freeman explained that it is because right now there has been an eruption of conflicts going on between extremists and various militias based on ethnic identity.

As a strong nation-state is now essential for the continuation of Ethiopian society and its economic development for generations, the government needs to have a much broader approach to this dialogue conception.

“First, people are going to have to discuss the difference between an ethnic grouping and the citizens of the nation. They are fundamentally different since there’s no equality between the ever. The discussion has to be also held throughout the country. The second thing is to unite the people. Ethiopia has a mission for its nation. That would unite people together.”

In his statement about the attack in western Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday that there is zero-tolerance for horrific acts claiming lives recently in both Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regions by elements whose main objective is to terrorize communities.

Earlier he told the House of People’s Representatives that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.Tags: Lawrence Freeman)

Watch excerpts of my video interview below on Addis Media Network

Read my unique and provocative analysis in my earlier post: Ethno-nationalism Threatens The Very Existence of The Ethiopian Nation-State

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: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Ethno-nationalism Threatens The Very Existence of The Ethiopian Nation-State

July 4, 2022

On Saturday-July 2, I was pleased to participate in a zoom conference sponsored by the American Ethiopian Political Affairs Committee (AEPAC) on the effects of ethno-nationalism in Ethiopia. In a brief presentation, I discussed the need to eliminate ethno-nationalism for the preservation of the Ethiopian nation-state. My analysis and recommendations are unique, provocative, and challenging.

I suggest Ethiopian leaders and thoughtful citizens review my remarks printed below, which can serve as a foundation for Ethiopian policy, moving forward.

Read my presentation below:

Let me start by thanking the American Ethiopian political affairs committee for allowing me to make this presentation today.

I will begin with some challenging conceptions that people may consider irrelevant to our discussion today, but for me these are principles that are very relevant to the aims of this conference. For sake of brevity, I have organized my presentation into four crucial topics, followed by recommendations.

  1. What Makes Us Human?

Human beings are the only species endowed with the unique quality of the creative imagination, in shorthand creativity, or what  Plato called “hypothesizing the higher hypothesis.” With this exceptional quality of creative thought, intrinsic only to humankind, we human beings are capable of discovering the scientific and cultural principles of the universe that we ourselves live in. It is by applying these discovered  principles that we transform the universe. Humankind has progressively altered the physical universe, making it more propitious for the growth of the human race, both qualitatively and quantitatively. This is not conjecture, but the truth. How did the human species, that once populated the African continent with thousands of “hunters and gatherers” come to transform our planet with eight billion people? Through our innate powers of discovery.

This quality of creative mentation is fundamental to what we call human nature, and it is universal. It is the prevailing quality that defines each one of us as a human being.

There are of course differences among us in language culture and geography. However, we human beings are identical in our potential for creative thought; in our potential to make contributions in  discovering the Creators laws embedded in our physical universe.

Thus, we are as human beings far more similar than we are different. Our likeness is universal, our differences insignificant.

  1. The Importance of The Nation Sate

Human beings willfully begotten the Nation State. From centuries of dialogue and discussion, we made the conception of the Nation State a reality and codified it in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. Humankind established the Nation State as human law, because it was understood to be a necessary institution for the continued existence of civilization. Without the existence of the Nation State, society would not continue to progress.

The Nation State is the means for people to self-govern, to deliberate for their future. Nation States provides the continuity of the citizen’s contributions over generations, from the past to the future. The Nation State has the responsibility to protect and nurture the powers of human creative thought for the benefit of all its people. The Nation State therefore must be sovereign from internal and external assaults on its existence.

The Nation State must be inviolable. It may still be an imperfect institution, but it is the most advanced institution we human beings have invented, to advance our humanness, and protect the rights of our citizens. The nation state must be preserved and defended until we create a more perfect organization of society.

Ethno-Regional Federalism of the former ruling ERPDF coalition party failed.

  1. Ethno-Nationalism is Contrary to The Nation State

A sustainable Nation State transcends all local interests and transcends ethnicity.

Ethnicity can and should contribute to the beauty and enrichment of a civilization. Ethno-nationalism is entirely different. It functions as a cancer on society, which if allowed to exist, will undermine, and eventually destroy the Nation State. Ethno-nationalism usurps the power of the sovereign Nation State by insisting that as an ethnic group it should be treated as if it were a nation. Ethno-nationalism is inherently racist and discriminatory because it separates people of the same nation according to biological and geographical distinctions. Human beings are not defined by their blood-lines! It creates antagonistic ethnic based fiefdoms in false competition with each other for power. While the Nation State exists to provide for the general welfare of all its people, the followers of ethno-nationalism seek the aggrandizement of the interests of their ethnic group. Those supporting ethno-nationalism whether they know it or not, are advocating the destruction of their nation, in this case, Ethiopia.

In my study of African history, I have found that weakened Nation States contributed to the lack of economic development for that country. I was horrified and saddened when I first arrived in Nigeria in 1994, to view the reality of ethnic competition and its effects on the nation.

  1. Africa’s Future

The present 1.5 billion people living on the African continent should be organized into viable Nation States, which are not a mere collection of ethnicities. I was told when I was in Nigeria that the country had 250 different ethnicities in addition to the three dominant ethnic groupings. This reality is still affecting Nigeria today. There are a reported 3,000 different ethnicities across the African continent. We must work to establish on the African continent, Nation States that are politically and economically sovereign. The people of each nation should determine their future through deliberations, debate, and discussion of ideas. There can be no claims to ethnic superiority or a historical right to political control. As President Lincoln said when he was campaigning to lead the USA, the nation must protect equally the lives of all its men and women.

In a true Republic, the government has the obligation to develop the creative potential of each and every citizen, and each and every child born. Each citizen has the obligation and the right to use his or her creative potential to contribute to the peaceful and prosperous future of their nation for generations to come. These are the conditions of government and citizenship which we should work to foster throughout the many nations on the African continent. I do not believe that Africa will prosper as its population climbs to 2.5 billion people in the next 30 years, unless we create strong Nation States and educated citizens who act in the interests of their nation, not their ethnicity.

Ethnicity should be muted and removed from the political arena

V. Recommendations

I suggest we use the following recommendations, which are not prioritized, to formulate the best policy for Ethiopia, moving forward.

  1. We must amend the Ethiopian Constitution.

The Preamble of Ethiopia’s Constitution properly emphasizes the conception of a united nation with a common purpose and goal for all its people: “advancing our economic and social development,”… “common interest….and the emergence of a common outlook,” and “to live as one economic community.” Article 14 resonates with the US Constitution, stating: “Every person has the inviolable right to life, the security of person, and liberty.” The same principle is echoed in Article 43 of the Constitution: The Right to Development. “The basic aim of development activities shall be to enhance the capacity of citizens for development and to meet their basic needs.”

The weakness of the Constitution begins in Article 8: Sovereignty of the People, where sovereign powers are divided up between “Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia.” This is an obvious compromise to ethnicity. In truth; there is only one Ethiopian people and only one Ethiopian nation. The divisions in Ethiopian society are made explicit in Article 39: “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right of secession……the right to a full measure of self-government…”

This separation of Ethiopians into multiple groups, outlined in the Constitution, is the seed for the conflicts gripping Ethiopia today. Ghana has outlawed the existence of parties which are based on ethnicity. Rwanda has taken a different approach for the same purpose.

  • A National Dialogue

I propose we conduct the national dialogue on the highest ideational plateau. We should have an inclusive, unfettered  discussion, which may be contentious at various points in time. The central theme of this national dialogue should be the conceptual difference between citizenship and ethno-nationalism. This disease of ethno-nationalism has plagued Ethiopia and many other African countries for years and  has to be addressed head on in the most straightforward manner. It is the only way that I can see that the citizens of Ethiopia can come to an understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the nation of Ethiopia. This will be a challenging and lengthy process, but I see no way to avoid this path.

  • A National Mission to Unite the People

Prejudices from ethnic and religious difference will not evaporate over-night. We should create a platform with the most propitious conditions for the shedding of these  biases over time. To help accomplish this, I propose that we articulate a national mission for Ethiopia, which will also be regional in scope.

Let the nation of Ethiopia adopt the mission to eliminate poverty and hunger. Ethiopia should also commit to become the economic engine for the Horn of Africa, to help the other nations in the region end the economic suffering of their people. With this shared mission, for the benefit of all Ethiopian people, we can create a common self-interest, fostering the collaboration of each Ethiopian citizen with the rest of society. We know that under the proper environment, Ethiopians will desire the best conditions for their lives and those of their offspring. With this common interest for development of the nation for future generations in the forefront, each Ethiopian citizen can locate his or her self-interest in the interest of the other. Even though prejudices may still exist, Ethiopians can accept working together for the common interest of creating a prosperous future for their children and grandchildren. All human beings are born good and have the potential noble for actions.

No doubt, this approach will also be challenging, but it can be effective over time in eliminating the hostilities that have developed from a history of division and ethno-nationalism.

My dear friends, I hope my modest contribution will help lead us to a better Ethiopia in the months and years ahead.

Thank you very much for listening. I yield back the balance of my time.

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: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. 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 Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Please watch my one hour and twenty minute presentation in the video above, and read the transcript.

June 10, 2022

President Roosevelt used the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to bring the U.S. economy back to life from the Great Depression. He intended to generate economic growth throughout the world with the creation of Bretton Woods. He had a Grand Design to end British and French colonialism following the end of World War II, and free the developing sector to become sovereign nations determining their own economic future.

My presentation provides the concepts for African nations to create economic growth. Using the principles of Alexander Hamilton and President Roosevelt, we can establish an Africa Infrastructure Development Bank that can finance the infrastructure necessary to end hunger and poverty across the continent.

I am available to present additional lectures on this subject. Also, as a physical economist and a consultant with decades of experience, I can provide unique insights on Africa development and U.S. policy towards Africa.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: A US President Committed to the Development of Humankind

Watch my earlier presentation on Alexander Hamilton: 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 the creator of the 0blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

May 22, 2022

Africa4Nuclear

The post below is provided by my colleague, PD Lawton, creator of the website: africanagenda.net

It is abundantly clear that African nations must become economically sovereign republics, and that is not possible without becoming industrialized economies with advanced agricultural and economic sectors. . For this transformation to occur, massive amounts of additional reliable, powerful energy is required. My estimations is that a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts of additional power is required. Without doubt, this will require the construction of nuclear energy plants across the continent. Listen to Princy Mthombeni, founder Africa4Nuclear

Read my earlier posts on this subject.

Nuclear Energy Challenges Western Colonial Mind-Set: Cheikh Anta Diop & John Kennedy Would Concur

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Mozambique is Obligated to Exploit Its Resources For the Development of Its Economy

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan 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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. 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. Threatens Ethiopia With HR6600 & S.3199: “You Will Do What We Want Or Else”

Interview with Addis Media Network – March 31, 2022

April 5, 2022

For all Ethiopians and those deeply concerned about the Horn of Africa, it is imperative that you watch and absorb the content of my two 30 minute interviews.

With the passage of both House Resolution 6600, and Senate Bill 3199, out of their respective committees, the U.S. government, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is poised to initiate the emasculation of Ethiopia’s sovereignty. This is not idle speculation on my part. The legislation cited above, if passed by both chambers of the Congress and signed by the president,  would allow the U.S. to conduct their own investigations in Ethiopia, with their handpicked personnel, violating Ethiopia’s sovereignty. If they found in their inspections that the Ethiopian government, in its defense from attacks by the TPLF in Tigray, committed violations of human rights, and conducted genocide and ethnic cleansing, which has been alleged since the beginning of this conflict, Ethiopians would suffer the wrath of the U.S. This would incorporate all kinds of sanctions, including the withholding of funds by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, freezing money intended for economic development, targeting government officials, political isolation of Ethiopia, and even the possibility of military intervention.

Do not believe U.S. politicians when they proclaim with false sincerity that sanctions are only meant for government officials, not to harm the people. Sanctions are a form of warfare. It is well known by all, that sanctions impose suffering, economic hardship, increase poverty, and can kill.

Sen Coons’ Threatens More Sanctions

Following the passage of S.3199 out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 29, Sen. Coons made obvious the explicit the intention of this legislation in his tweets:

While I’ve been encouraged by Addis’ announcement of a humanitarian truce and the TPLF’s agreement to a cease fire last week, I still voted to advance an amended version of the Ethiopia Peace and Stabilization Act (sic) to punish parties who continue to fuel the conflict. Here’s why:

If the humanitarian truce and ceasefire is upheld, this bill will not be necessary. I pray it won’t be, and as long as this peace continues, I’ll work to make sure this bill goes no further. However, my colleagues and I must be ready to pass this bill swiftly if fighting resumes.

For those, who believe that the Biden administration has a different policy for Ethiopia than that of the Congress, remember this. Sen. Coons is the closest colleague to President Biden in the Senate. He was also President Biden’s first envoy dispatched to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in March of 2021. I find it difficult to believe that Sen. Coons is acting contrary to the wishes of his president and friend.

It is incredibly sad that U.S. foreign policy, in much of the world is based on sanctions: causing more misery, more poverty, more insecurity, and fueling ethnicity; the exact opposite of ”Peace and Stabilization.”  .

Since the untimely death of President John Kennedy, six decades ago, the U.S. has abandoned the strategy  of development, and instead, has degenerated into threats, and sanctions.

Interview with OBN Horn of Africa-April 2, 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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. 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. Has No Right Under International Law To Violate Ethiopia’s Sovereignty With HR6600 & S-3199

Addis Media Network- English

March 29, 2022

The video above and the news story below are from an interview with Lawrence Freeman by Ethiopian News Agency on March 24, 2022.

The U.S. Congress is advocating resolutions that would dictate policy to Ethiopia, violating its sovereignty: HR6600 in the House of Representatives; and S-3199 in the Senate. The geo-political establishment is not done with Ethiopia and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. They will hound the Ethiopia over allegations of human rights abuses, rule of low, charges of genocide and ethnic cleansing in an effort to force the government to submit. Ethiopia has demonstrated its enormous potential, typified by the GERD and the Addis-Djibouti railroad. If the U.S. government was more intelligent and not under the grip of geopolitics, it would be supporting Ethiopia’s progress.

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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Defeat HR 6600, End Sanctions: Promote Development and Citizenship for Ethiopia

March 3, 2022

Please watch my interview above.

In my interview, I provide a strategic understanding of the geopolitical motivation to use HR 6600 as a means to force Prime Minister Abi Ahmed to submit to U.S. demands in the Horn of Africa.

Important topics discussed include:

  • Is the Ethiopian government aware that HR 6600 is part of a good cop/bad cop manipulation by the U.S. State Department?
  • Will the U.S. succeed in weakening the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and promoting the continuation of ethnic federalism?
  • Will the National Dialogue succeed in elevating the concept of Ethiopian citizenship above ethnicity?
  • Ethiopian Constitution has to be re-written to eliminate ethnicity as regional political force in government.
  • It is essential for Ethiopia to chart its own course for economic development.
  • It is in the interest of the U.S. to end sanctions and support economic development in Ethiopia to reduce poverty.

Read my earlier posts:

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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Embrace Victory at Adwa and GERD to Unify All Citizens From U.S. Attack on Ethiopian Sovereignty-Defeat HR6600

Ethiopia’s victory against Italy at Adwa on March 1, 1896, profoundly shaped the future of Ethiopia.
Celebrate Ethiopia’s March 1, 1896 Victory at Adwa- A Victory For Africa and All Nations

Lawrence Freeman

February 28, 2022

This year’s celebration of the victory at Adwa, 126 years ago, has special significance. Although the war against the TPLF has largely been won, Ethiopia is under attack both from within and externally. The draconian House Resolution 6600, already voted up by a bi-partisan majority on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, threatens to eliminate Ethiopia’s right to be a sovereign nation. If this resolution were to be passed by the U.S. Congress, Ethiopia for the first time in its existence would become a colony under the domination of the “human rights imperialists.” Let us be clear: this resolution could only be passed by the U.S. Congress, if Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, backed by the Biden administration desired it.

Let us now also celebrate, in the same spirit of Adwa on February 20, 2022, when 375 megawatts of electricity for development were generated by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Let Adwa Day and GERD Day serve to unite all Ethiopians citizens of a great nation, without regard to ethnicity. Human beings are not defined by their geography or their ethnic lineage, but rather by their sacred power of creativity, endowed by the Creator. A sovereign nation-state is not a compendium of ethno-nationalities. It is composed of citizens who identify with, and support the principles, ideals, and aspirations of their nation in the present and for the future.

Therefore, I say: Happy Adwa Day-Happy GERD Day

Celebrate Ethiopia’s March 1, 1896 Victory at Adwa: Ethiopia is Fighting Another Battle Today to Protect its Sovereignty

Lawrence  

February 28, 2021

This edited article below was first published in the March 2017. If you read the headlines of  the European press following Italy’s defeat on March1, 1896, you will see that this battle shook the foundations of European Imperialism to its core.

Today, Ethiopia is engaged in another battle for its sovereignty, no less vital than the Battle at Adwa 125 years ago. The Ethiopian nation-state is a physical unitary reality that embodies an essential concept of national identity, which transcends ethno-nationalism. Unfortunately, there are times when it is necessary to wage war to preserve the nation state, which represents the interests of all Ethiopians. Without a functioning sovereign nation-state, society cannot provide for its citizens and for future generations. In the spirit of the victory at Adwa, all Ethiopians should unite in pursing their shared common interest: the development of Ethiopia. When all Ethiopians, from all ethnic backgrounds join together to ensure the economic progress of their single homeland, then the preconditions will exist to end ethnic conflict and marginalization. The victory at Adwa belongs to and exist inside all Ethiopians. One Ethiopia! One Ethiopian identity! 

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam GERD is a dam for development. It belongs to all Ethiopians and their posterity. (Courtesy wgnradio.com)

Victory at Adwa- A Victory for Africa

Lawrence Freeman

March 1, 2017

The battle of Adwa is probably the most renowned and historic battle in Ethiopian history. This celebrated victory by the Ethiopian army helped define the future of their nation, as one of only two non-colonized countries in Africa. The defeat of a European colonial empire by an African country, following the “Scramble for Africa” after the 1884-1885 Berlin conference a decade earlier, is not only a source of enduring pride and nationalism for Ethiopians, but also an inspiration to other Africans, who took up the fight for independence six decades later. Some historians suggest that this victory also led to the idea for the Pan-African movement. As a result, it is no surprise that on May 25, 1963, Ethiopia under the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie was a founding member of the Organization of African States-OAS.

Adwa, also known as Adowa, and in Italian Adua, was the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. A late comer to grabbing territory in Africa, Italy began colonizing Somaliland and Eritrea in the 1880s. It was from the vantage point of Eritrea from where Italy launched its campaign against Ethiopia. The immediate pretext of the invasion was a dispute of Article 17 of the 1889 Treaty of Wuchale. Italy insisted that the treaty stated that Ethiopia had to submit to its imperial authority, thus effectively making Ethiopia a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. The Ethiopians resisted Italy’s military enforcement of its version of the treaty, leading to the outbreak of war in December 1894, with the Italian imperialists occupying Adwa and moving further south into Ethiopian territory.

On March 1, 1896, King Menelik II, who, commanded a force of over 70,000, defeated the Italian army, killing 7,000 of their soldiers, wounding 1,500, and capturing  3,000 prisoners, routing their enemy, and forcing them to retreat back to their colony of Eritrea. It has been speculated that, if Menelik had pursued the retreating Italian troops, and driven them off of the continent, it might have prevented a second Italian invasion.

On October 3, 1935, Italy led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, launched its second military incursion into sovereign Ethiopia territory. Five years later in 1941, Ethiopia once again drove the Italian invaders out of their country. The 1896 defeat of a European nation, considered an advanced country, by Ethiopia, viewed as a backward Africa country, led to riots on the streets of Italy and well deserved consternation in the capitals of European powers.

Without taking the time now to review the ninety years of Ethiopian history following this famous battle, the military defeat of Ethiopia’s dictatorial Derg Regime in 1991 brings us to the beginning of contemporary Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front-EPRDF assumed control of the government in 1991, it was led by the now deceased, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who initiated the economic policies that have guided Ethiopia for over 25 years. In Ethiopia’s Developmental State, the government comprehended that the state itself performed an indispensable role in fostering economic development. This is what distinguishes Ethiopia today from all other sub-Saharan African nations.

The state is not “a night watchman,” but rather an active participant promoting economic growth for the benefit of its people. Ethiopia is a poor country with a population approaching one hundred million, not endowed with rich mineral or hydrocarbon resources, and repeatedly struck by drought. Yet it has emerged in recent years with a rapidly growing economy.

In collaboration with China, Ethiopia operates the first electrified train in sub-Saharan Africa, traveling 750 kilometers in seven hours from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, establishing a port to export Ethiopia’s products. Their highway system consisting of toll roads, highways, and all weather roads will connect their light manufacturing industries to the port in Djibouti via their new rail line. As a result of coherent policy planning in energy infrastructure, the Gibe III hydroelectric power plant has now added 1,872 of megawatts to the country’s electricity grid, and over the next two years, the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will add an additional 6,000 megawatts, making Ethiopia the second largest producer of power in sub-Saharan Africa, behind South Africa. The next step to develop the Horn of Africa is for Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya to extend their rails lines to become the eastern leg of an East-West railroad. Thus, would transform Africa by connecting the Gulf of Eden/Indian Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean, creating an economic corridor that would literally revolutionize the economic power of the continent; contributing to the ending of poverty, hunger, and war.

One cannot deny the success of Ethiopia’s unique path of development, nor can one omit the vital role contributed to this process by Ethiopia’s successful resistance to foreign occupation; thus, never having to suffer the dehumanizing effects of colonialism.

Read my earlier posts:

Ethiopia’s Conflict: A War Won to Preserve the Nation-State 

 Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party: A Revolutionary Necessity

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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Ethiopia Must Exert Its National Sovereignty From U.S. Sanctions

February 21, 2022

Watch my video above.

Perhaps, it is fitting that on the U.S. holiday–“Presidents Day”–that I, as an American, should be demanding that my President, Joe Biden, stop threatening Ethiopia with more sanctions. Geopolitical doctrine requires U.S. control of the vitally important water way along the East Coast of Africa. U.S. geopolitics cannot allow strategy for the Horn of Africa to be decided by independent minded African leaders such as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Eritrea President, Isaias Afwerki. President Biden and the U.S. State Department under Antony Blinken will demand concessions from PM Abiy as they talk of resuming a cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Ethiopia. At the same time, they will allow the US Congress to threaten Ethiopia with more disgusting sanctions in HR6600, if Ethiopia does not make concessions. It is known as the “soft cop-hard cop” approach. Ethiopia should exercise its sovereignty and chart a path for the development of its nation. The operation of the first turbine of the GERD producing 375 megawatts of electricity, portends the right direction.

Review news coverage below

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 the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.