My Thoughts: Poverty & Ethnicity Kill Democracy in Africa

Lawrence Freeman in Addis Abebe-December 2021

An African friend of mine recently asked me to express my views on democracy in Africa to her organization. “Watch Democracy Grow.” Contrary to the incessant babbling by Western officials, NGOs and advocacy groups, you can read below a summary of my thoughts on what constitutes real democracy and how to create the conditions conducive for growing democracy in Africa.

I will focus my presentation on the relationship of elections to the deeper principles of fostering a true democracy. Many Westerners, European and American institutions and governments falsely assert that elections are the sign of a functioning democracy. This narrow understanding or interpretation of democracy is insufficient. It contributes to the poor conditions of life throughout most of Africa today, and actually undermines the creation of sustainable a Democratic Republic on the continent.

A Thinking Citizenry

A republic is not a democracy, and for good reason. A majority,  consisting of uninformed opinion, should not rule unfettered over a nation. That is why in a functioning Democratic Republic, we prefer the wisest people to govern. But how do we choose the most knowledgeable representatives? Yes, we do it physically at the polling booth in periodic and orderly elections. However, the act of voting itself does not guarantee viability of a nation, much less a thoughtful policy. The only guarantee that the voters are electing or even nominating the most intelligent guardians of their society is; an educated citizenry.

A true democracy requires all its citizens to think and discuss the most appropriate policies for their nation to adopt in order to secure a future for their children and grandchildren. In other words, the citizen should accept the responsibility for shaping the future of their nation, as if they were running for office themselves. Individuals seeking public office, who purport to have the qualifications to decide policy for their nation, are distilled from the population at large. Therefore, to ensure the selection of qualified leaders similarly requires an informed and thoughtful citizenry. A continuously advancing society, both materially and spiritually, existing within an educated science oriented culture, is the underlying platform for a viable Democratic Republic.

Like the individual seeking a leadership position in government, the citizen should have a vision for their nation that extends two generations into the future. Every citizen should believe that his or her participation is vital in shaping the policies that will determine the wellbeing of their progeny for generations to come. As eloquently articulated in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, elected government exists to “… promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…

The fundamental unalterable principle that is the foundation of economics, national and foreign policy, and democracy, is the knowledge that each human being is sacred. It is necessary to acknowledge what it means when one states, that human beings are in the image of the Creator. Every member of the human race is born with the potential for creative thought that is in harmony with the creative principle embedded in the design of our lawfully ordered universe.

Does a mother searching for food for her child have the leisure time to study the best policies for the future of her nation? UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Poverty Kills Democracy

Every human being is precious. Degradation or any preventable death, of a member of the human race is a violation of this natural law. Every human being has the right to live a dignified, meaningful, productive existence that affords a better-quality of life for future generations.

Thus, if we truly desire to increase the involvement of civil society in elections and in shaping the future of their nation, we must end poverty and hunger. There is no bigger threat to democracy than allowing substantial portions of a nation’s population to suffer in abject poverty and hunger, with death looming. The gross failure of groups advocating democracy and human rights, is their refusal to comprehend that development is a fundamental human right.

The dearth of electrical power in Africa is appalling and criminal. Producing less than 100,000 megawatts of electricity for a billion or more people in sub-Saharan Africa guarantees that Africans will not have the minimal standard of living necessary for democratic institutions to thrive. Over 600 million Africans have no access to grid electricity and 900 million Africans cook without electricity or gas. Without energy no nation can survive. Yet this shameful state of affairs has existed unaddressed for decades.

Some may object that I have brought extraneous concerns into the discussion of building democratic institutions. I can assure you that I have not. The ability to have access to energy, to feed one’s family, for parents to have a productive job, and for youth to look forward to a hopeful future, are absolutely germane. In fact, these concerns are at the heart of sustaining a democratic government.

If a majority of a nation’s people are hungry, not employed, living in substandard conditions, simply trying to survive, democracy is a mirage.

To reiterate: a true democracy requires a discussion and exchange of ideas among the citizens on what are the best policies for the future of their nation. All citizens and their elected representatives should have a vision for their nation. Society should select those candidates that have the qualifications to implement that vision. Do parents anxiously trying to find food to feed their children have the mental luxury to discuss with their friends and neighbors the most pressing issues facing their nation? Do citizens have the leisure time for such a discussion, and hours of relaxation to read and study the issues of the day? Does adequate housing exist with separate rooms for the children, and electricity to light rooms for long hours of study? Are there enough adequately supplied libraries for parents and children to learn history, philosophy, and science?

Without a prospering economy that offers a sufficient material quality of life, simply lining up at voting stations every four years is insufficient. The questions I have addressed above, are essential to sustaining

democratic institutions.

Africa lacks abundant and accessible electricity. Without electrical power there will be no development, poverty will persist, people will die, and democracy will fail to flourish. (Map courtesy of visualcapitalist.com)

No Democracy With Ethnicity

Ethnic nationalism does not permit democracy. I can assert this with authority, having examined, up close, for thirty years, African nations, whose societies are ethnically divided. Ethnicity is antithetical to a Democratic Republic. Human beings are not determined by their bloodline or their geographic location. The very existence of ethnicity is anti-human. It attempts to falsely differentiate people, rejecting the  universal quality of the human species; its unique potential for creativity. Every child born in any location on this planet has the same innate potential for creative thought. Only we human beings have been gifted with a creative imagination. It is this quality of the mind that uniquely characterizes a single universal human race.

A true Democratic Republic recognizes the contributions of all of its people equally and provides for the general welfare of all its citizens, regardless of ethnicity. Ethnic nationalism in Africa, which has existed for decades, in some cases for centuries, as a legacy of colonialism, tears apart the fabric of society and undermines the sovereignty of a nation. Ethnic nationalism contributes to weakening the central government, making it easy prey for foreign instigated destabilizations and attempts at regime change. The self-governance of a nation by its citizens, to create a better future for its people, cannot co-exist with ethnic nationalism. This type of ethnicity prevents democratic systems from taking root and flourishing.

Conclusion

To help build democratic institutions throughout Africa, we need to go beyond simply encouraging nations to have free and fair elections every four years. A viable Democratic Republic is much more than having its citizens show up at the polls every four-five years. Many advocates have not understood that democracy is not possible without development. Nations deprived of economic growth will not be able to provide its citizens with the basic material essentials of life, a prerequisite for a thoughtful deliberative process of governing. It should also be understood that an economically deprived population is desperate and can be easily manipulated against its own government, and its own interest. Economic destitution and the loss of hope for a better life, are the combustible fuel for violence and dictatorships. Conversely, a divided nation can be united when its leaders articulate a visionary program for economic growth that serves the interests of all its citizens,

It is high time we learn this indispensable lesson: democracy cannot succeed without 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: 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

PM Abiy Ahmed Raises the Bar for Human Rights in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

Ethiopians celebrate Thanksgiving Festival in Addis. Image : IOL

My colleague, PD Lawton, creator of African Agenda-africanagenda.net, confirms in her insightful article below, what I have known for many years. The most important and fundamental human right, is the right to economic development. Without economic growth, human beings suffer and die. It is the lack of economic development in Africa that is the most serious human right violation. It is about time that all advocates of human rights recognize this indisputable reality. Through Ethiopia’s aggressive economic development policy, the government is addressing human rights more seriously than its attackers.

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

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.

Biden Government Must Replace Regime Change for Ethiopia With Policy for Economic Development

November 22, 2021

In an interview with Addis Media Network, on November 18, 2021, I discuss how we must fight against efforts for regime change in Ethiopia, and instead promote a policy for economic development. I identify that the so called mainstream media are not objective truth seekers, but part of the propaganda arm of the political-economic elite–an oligarchy. The West refuses to respect the sovereignty of Ethiopia and the elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. President Joe Biden is pursuing a dangerous policy of economic and political warfare against Ethiopia and its people. The enemies of Ethiopia will use humanitarian concerns as an excuse to potentially deploy military forces under the pretext of protection the Ethiopian people from their own government. This doctrine, known as R2P-the responsibility to protect- was created by George Soros and Tony Blair. Samantha Power and others in the Obama administration used R2P to justify the overthrow of President Kaddafi and the destruction of Libya.

Ethiopia must be allowed to pursue its commitment to development and the elimination of poverty. We need a united Ethiopia, with a single conception of Ethiopian citizenry, not one based on ethnicity.  Unfortunately, U.S. President, Joe Biden, does not understand the true interests of the continent, and is allowing his administration to be used against the people of Africa and Ethiopia. Ethiopian diaspora should be united in defeating regime and allowing Ethiopia to once again lead Africa along the path of economic growth.   

 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.

End Hunger and Poverty in Africa by Freeing the Continent From ‘Oligarchical’ Interference

August 26, 2021

Watch Lawrence Freeman’s video interview above by Geopolitics and Empire.

Africa has been victimized by outside powers from the beginning of slavery in the 1400s, through colonization, and over the last six decades from neo-colonialization, through control of international finance. African nations have been prevented from becoming economically sovereign intentionally by a political-financial elite, referred to as an oligarchy.  A deliberate policy of under development is obvious from examining the egregious paucity of infrastructure across the African continent. African nations are not overpopulated, but rather; underdeveloped. The lack of electricity is literally killing Africans. There  are no objectives reason for the level of poverty and hunger in Africa. We can eradicate hunger and poverty through investment in restructure, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Let us encourage all people and leaders of good will to make the eradication of poverty and hunger in Africa a great project of humankind, to be accomplished within the next 20 years. Let us not allow the West to use their calls for “democracy and human rights” as cover for intervention against sovereign nations. The failed policy of Afghanistan should put to an end to the numerous interventions by the West under the mantra of “responsibility to protect-R2P” still be advocated by Tony Blair today.

Development is a “human right.” Ethiopia’s commitment to lift its people out of poverty should be supported; not attacked or threatened as the United States has done.  

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

What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy for Ethiopia and Africa?

What’s Wrong With U.S. Policy For Ethiopia and Africa?

Lawrence Freeman, July 31, 2021

Knowledgeable American analysts of U.S.-African relations are disturbed by the U.S. government’s treatment of Ethiopia.  In the first six months of the Biden Presidency, we have witnessed a dramatic reversal of U.S. support for a long standing ally in the Horn of Africa.  Ethiopia, the second largest nation in Africa, has been a regional leader, with its bold economic vision to improve the lives of its 110 million people.  

Ethiopia has achieved two major accomplishments under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during June and July. First, the successful June 21st national elections, and second, the natural partial filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Regrettably, there were no robust congratulations from President Biden for either achievement. Following the freest, fairest, and most peaceful elections in Ethiopia’s history, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s only comment was: “the United States commends those who exercised their right to vote on June 21.”  Unusual for elections in Africa, not one individual died in Ethiopia’s voting process. In contrast, several Americans died during the January 6th, violent protest of the U.S. electoral vote.  

Equally astonishing, President Biden failed to praise the second filling of almost 14 billion cubic meters of water in the reservoir of the GERD, which will lead to production of electricity later this year. Following in the footsteps of former President Trump, the Biden administration and the Democrat controlled Congress, have tried to discourage Ethiopia from filling the GERD. Despite Ethiopia’s important role in Africa, Prime Minister Abiy’s notable reform movement, and the success of his Prosperity Party, President Biden has never talked to the Prime Minister.

Patient voters during the June 21, Ethiopian election

America’s Agenda for Democracy

Secretary of State Blinken along with several other officials from the Obama administration are leading President Biden’s global foreign policy with their mantra: “democracy, human rights, and rule of law.” But what do these words mean other than a desire to impose their world order on other nations.

Prime Minister Abiy’s non-ethnic based Prosperity Party won overwhelmingly in a democratic election deemed fair, free of violence and intimidation, and credible. Ethiopia Election: A Vote for Peace, Unity, and Prosperity.  Millions of Ethiopians approved of Prime Minister Abiy’s policies, giving him a mandate to lead for another five years. That is democracy.

Shouldn’t “human rights” include the most fundamental right; the right for human beings to live a productive and dignified life?  How is that possible when Africans are suffering from abject poverty, lack of food, clean water, and electricity.  It is not possible. 

The solution lies in physical economic development that transforms the conditions of life. As the Ethiopians are fond of saying: “eliminate poverty, don’t manage it.” Aid is not sufficient. Building vital infrastructure is an absolute necessity, not an option. More than anything else, African nations need electricity—a thousand gigawatts at least. Africa needs a minimum of 50,000 kilometers of high speed railroads.  With the billions of dollars in aid given to African nations, transformative infrastructure projects could have been built. Isn’t the right to electricity a human right?

Then, why hasn’t Ethiopia been profusely praised for building the GERD to produce 6,200 megawatts (6.2 gigawatts) of electricity. Physical economic development is the most fundamental of human rights.

Prime Minister Abiy, responded to the attacks on the Ethiopian National Defense Force, (November 4, 2020), by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), as a leader should.  He used the military capability of his nation to defeat the enemy within Ethiopia. Whatever grievances the TPLF might have had, a violent assault on the government’s military, is an insurrection.  Americans have learned that lesson afresh on January 6th.  Preserving the sovereign nation-state  from a rebel insurgency, is the most supreme responsibility of a Head of State. There is no higher “rule of law,” as President Abraham Lincoln properly understood.

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken

U.S.-Africa Policy; Does It Exist?

There are several components of U.S. policy towards Africa that undermine Ethiopia’s noteworthy effort to become a self-governing economically independent nation.

First, the U.S. does not have a long term development policy for Africa. It is willing to spend billions of dollars on short term aid, but nothing for large scale infrastructure that would actually improve living conditions. Despite all the attacks, and rantings against China and its Belt and Road, if China were to pull out of Africa it would negatively impact the continent.  That is because the U.S. would not step in to fill the vacuum. Sadly, the last U.S. President that understood the importance of physical economic development in Africa, and acted on it, was John F. Kennedy.   

Second, one cannot underestimate the general level of  ignorance about Africa in U.S. society, especially our elected officials. Yes, there are a few members of Congress who have some knowledge about a few African nations.  However, I can report to you with authority, after observing Washington for decades, that the overwhelming majority of Congress, have little knowledge of the actual dynamics, when implementing legislation affecting African nations, Overall, there is no in-depth historical understanding of the African continent or the nations that comprise it.   

Third, the continent of Africa is close to last on the list of priorities for American Presidents. Often, U.S. policy for African nations is rarely articulated until the second year of a president’s term, except for the standard four page “talking points” paper on Africa.

Why African Leaders Are Opposed

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam-GERD, upper right, will drive economic development in East Africa with its 6,200 megawatts of electrical power.

This final point may be the most difficult for many readers to comprehend.

Following the liberation of African nations from the yoke of colonialism  three score years ago, African leaders, who fight to improve conditions of life on the continent, always face opposition from within and without.  There exists a financial-political elite, perhaps identified as an oligarchy, who see Africa for its material resources and financial gain. They attempt to exploit nations through international finance, manipulated terms of trade, and raw material prices controlled by the City of London based commodity cartels. 

The key concerns of the neo-colonialist financial institutions have always been, if they cannot control the leadership of a country, a  “divide and conquer” tactic is employed to weaken that nation.  War and chaos are the preferred fallback alternatives to losing command of the targeted nation.

They have always opposed genuine development programs that would lift a nation out of poverty, and abhor strong governments and leaders that aspire to national sovereignty. Their ideology is dominated by “geo-politics” that sees the world as a zero sum game of winners and losers.  Those with the most political and financial power are the winners. They have little desire to eliminate poverty. Except for the last one to two decades of China’s intervention, the West has dominated the African continent, with no demonstrable proof that their policies have improved the standard of living for the majority of Africans. Any progress in Africa is the result of national leaders, not Western policy.  

Abiy is seen as a strong leader with enough personal determination to move his nation forward, as evidenced in the rise of the Prosperity Party, which was founded in opposition to ethno-nationalism.

The most recent vivid example of the elimination of an African leader was the overthrow and assassination of President Muammar Gaddafi, followed by the destruction of Libya. Remember this was done by the “liberal” Obama administration, led by then Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power. Many of those same operatives from the Obama era are now part of the Biden Administration. Have those individuals admitted their culpability in creating the failed state of Libya, and the destruction of North Africa after Gaddafi’s removal? Those same cast of characters are attempting to undermine Ethiopia today with their fake and hollow cries for “democracy, rule of law and human rights.”

There is often a coincidence of action and interests between those insisting on implementing their “liberal” doctrine, and the objectives of the political financial elites.

Samantha Power, then U.N. Ambassador under President Obama, and now head of USAID under President Biden. (courtesy of axios.com)

Almost nine months after Prime Minister Abiy chose to defend his nation, the TPLF, now been rebranded the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), continues their violent attacks on the state of Ethiopia. After the June 28, unilateral declaration of a ceasefire by the government of Ethiopia, the TDF has launched offensive military deployments against two neighboring regions; Afar and Amhara. Not surprisingly, there have been no statements of condemnation of TDF by the Biden administration or Congress.  Blinken, and the Congress have never  acknowledged Ethiopia’s declaration that the TPLF/TDF is a terrorist organization. Instead, they continued to insist on reconciliation. Thus, establishing an equivalency between a duly constituted government and a rebel insurrectionist militia that is intent on destroying the nation of Ethiopia. This crucial failure, to withhold support from the government of Prime Minister Abiy, is contributing to Ethiopia’s turmoil today.

U.S.-Ethiopia Today

Is the U.S. lack of support for Prime Minister Abiy, encouraging the TDF to continue fighting?  Is the U.S. today still demanding reconciliation with the insurrectionists who have announced their intention to march on Addis Ababa, the capital? Will the TDF military campaigns against other regions spark a greater war?  If the conflict spreads in Ethiopia, will the U.S. accept responsibility for their encouragement of the TDF?

Who benefits if Ethiopia is torn apart by war? As the case of Libya has demonstrated; not Africans.  If Ethiopia was to be torn apart in inter-ethnic warfare, tens of millions of Africans, not just Ethiopians, would suffer extreme hardship.

It is not too late for the Biden administration to correct its policy towards Ethiopia, before more Africans suffer from the spread of ethno-nationalist war.  

Watch my 20 minute interview below, where I discuss the conflict between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, the filling of the GERD, and U.S. policy towards Ethiopia.

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

Prime Logue/Media Interviews Lawrence Freeman in Addis Ababa: “Without the Elimination of Poverty, There Will Be No Democracy in Africa”

May 10, 2021

On April 30th. I was interviewed in Addis Ababa by Prime Logue/Media for an hour. The interview is separated into four parts.

For those of you who do not have the time to view the entire interview, I would suggest you watch Part 4-16 minutes long. Here, I outline my development policy for Africa. In this, the 22nd century, the African continent will be the focus of strategic policy for the world. My policy starts from recognizing the uniquely human power of creative reason. The key question for policy makers should be how do we develop human beings. True democracy, cannot flourish unless and until poverty is eliminated. The nation state must be strengthened to provide for successive generations of its people. “The leadership of the U.S. does not understand, or want to understand, that the key to  supporting Africa is development.”   

Topics discussed in Part 1 include: Nigeria, refurbishing Lake Chad, Lalibela, Tigray, humanitarian assistance, Covid19 vaccinations in Africa.

Topics discussed in Part 2 include: poverty, developing Ethiopia, the nation-state, regime change in Libya, TPLF attack in Mekele, genocide, human rights.

Topics discussed in Part 3 include: US-Africa policy, flaws in Ethiopia Constitution, GERD, Egypt, Ethiopian identity, June 5 elections.

Topics discussed in Part 4 include. Slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, reason, agape, food, electricity, desperation, jobs, ICC,

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

Human Rights Philosophy Challenged

Mekki Elmograbi Press Writer

By Makki Elmorgabi

Why the bill of indictment, and why against Human Rights Philosophy; not just against what the pretenders of the philosophy practice. Pretenders are advocates and activists, some of whom are deceivers, and some are dreamers.

The problem is not simply in the practice, but there is something inherently wrong with today’s human rights philosophy itself. It was not a negative philosophy during the period of aristocratic tyranny and feudalism,but in the recent period it has become negative and resistant to reform. While in the time of traditional tyrannical power, human rights had a role, but in the modern era, the dominant form of human rights philosophy has taken on a different and negative quality.

In the battle to resist the traditional tyrannical authority inherited from the time of European feudalism, the philosophy was positive. In addition to which, the philosophy of “individual secularism” was a positive force in the battle against the authoritarianism of socialism and communism during the cold war. However, after it had become the dominant school of thought for almost two decades, the evil content of this philosophy appeared.

Human Rights gradually became a reactionary philosophy, resulting in it losing its progressive aspects.

It is true that in the West, human rights are based on “individual secularism” which drives communities to a state of war (state of nature), by isolating the individual from the community. As is commonly known, the social contract theory of democracy is based on the development of communities from the individual in the “state of nature.” From this social contract is born civil society. Human Rights philosophy today is again isolating the individual, and separating him not just from the community, but from his inheritance and source of ethics.

The modern individual motivated by human rights theory, thinks about himself in his moment, and in so doing he is distancing himself from his community, traditions, inherited ethics, and much more. Through individual rights, he returns to the “status quo” of being completely dominated by his wicked, evil, selfish needs and wants. The result is that the community is returning day by day to “the state of nature.” The wicked personality is coated by fake culture, fake arguments, and the media; even the laws and its practice are full of tricks. As a result, justice is denied and abandoned!

Five Charges against Human Rights Philosophy and its Pretenders

1)…Human Rights Philosophy is tyrannical, i.e., it is vulnerable to manipulation by tyranny. The reason for its vulnerability to manipulation is that people are divided and scattered on the basis of needs, demands, and wants, that are guided and directed by powerful groups, who are conflicted and competing among themselves. The so-called activists and pretenders of human rights are mostly under the control of these powerful groupings who control the discourse of what are the appropriate human rights issues for agitation. The powerful, rich and strong decide, then the activists and interventionists follow. The pretenders often attempt to portray a false image that they are attacking “the powers that be” but, in truth they are not working for the sake of human rights, but for national and international powers pulling the strings behind the scene.

2)…Human Rights Philosophy is a divisive, discriminatory, and violent philosophy, not integrative nor peaceful. It creates, generates, and invents more differences every day among, and between groups, communities and even nations. In actuality, human rights philosophy does not simply invent differences, but encourages and drives the communities mad to accept and defend any newly-discovered differences among them. Thus, putting any person, group or even a nation overseas,under imminent threat and “justified” intervention, if they refuse the newly discovered differences.Their philosophy uses inflammatory campaigns under the justification of taking rights from the grip of other people peacefully, but the size and the effects of their campaigns leads otherwise. Violence is an absolute result of such inflammatory campaigns in a cracked community. If adopting and practicing inflammatory and provocative campaigns between groups, races, classes, and sects, is not violence, then what is?

3)…Human Rights Philosophy eliminates and denies the people’s right to information, as human rights pretenders are addicted to using silence and distracting facts on other topics to deprive their audience from needed and correct information.

Human rights pretenders’ tools are disinformation, misinformation, passive silence and distractive campaigns. A smart mix of these things is always ready to be put in place for immediate operation by well-financed tyrannical powers.

Sometimes human rights organizations give themselves the right to prioritize the size and length of campaigns. They claim that they didn’t miss any violations, but they can keep what they want low-profile, and use minute by minute updates to create massive. They design poll questions to bring specific answers, and they produce fake and rigged studies and statistics, instead of being observers and monitors. They themselves are the ones that need to be monitored, observed and investigated for the good of society. If the Human Rights Philosophy is leading people to such a waste of money and time, then their philosophy itself should be reviewed.

4)…Human Rights Philosophy pretenders are dehumanizing their opponents, mainly conservative and religious people, portraying them as monsters and barbarians. They deny their opponents the right of freedom of expression, justifying lies and fake news against them. Their methods include physical violence or when suitable they utilize passive silence and distraction in collusion with the violence.

5)…Human Rights pretenders collude with interventionists and neo-colonialists to create and prolong conflicts in Third World nations through pressure groups, NGOs, and support from elements within international liberal organizations. They drag countries into wars, regime change with chaos, or “Creative Anarchy”. Human rights pretenders follow the angle of the war and the directions of interventionists, then they distance themselves and pretend that it was not their idea even after very strong collusion. However, the fact remains that they get benefits through organizations that live off conflicts, refugees, and disasters. They manipulate innocent human rights believers and dreamers from the Third World. There is a class of people now making business from this collusion. They have not been held accountable for their corruption, and abuses to humanitarian crisis and use of donor’s money, because of the difficulty in investigating and proving their criminal behavior. They live off the collusion with interventionism, but claim they are opposed to it

Human Values Not Human Rights

I call for Human Values as an alternative to Human Rights today’s philosophy and practice. Another article has explained this thoroughly, but still we need to deal and debate with Human Rights philosophy and its advocate, in spite of the fact that a great number of them are “pretenders and paraders”.

Although human rights philosophy is resistant to reform, it is still advisable to try to solve the corruption of this philosophy by contributing to the debate of reform among the pretenders, who claim the title of activists and advocates. Trying to reform will help to create a good climate for change. However, we should redefine human rights philosophy in a broader concept of a “Comprehensive Orientation for Human, Environmental and Peoples’ Rights.”

Mekki ELMOGRABI, is a Sudanese press writer and diplomat focuses on East Africa issues, he founded in 2011 Mekki Center and participated in several African initiatives and programs. He is currently in Washington DC and reached through (Mekki Elmograbi: Google, Facebook, twitter) or chairman@mekkicenter.com  Cell Phone +17033426346 (Preferably text or Whatsaap)