Why Ethiopia is poised to be the superpower of Eastern Africa
By William Osoro
| January 21st 2016
After the military through the Derg or committee as it was known toppled the government of Emperor Haille Sellasie in 1974, Ethiopia has never looked back.
They may not have a very good record on human rights, but come on, what is the essence of human rights to a starving people?
Until recently, Kenya has been the giant of Eastern and Central African economy, but Ethiopia now ahead, far ahead. Why? Meles Zenawi, the late former prime minister, established a no-nonsense approach towards corruption. Having established stringent penalties, the money that would have been lost was diverted towards development.
As I write, Ethiopia has been voted World Tourism Destination of choice by UNTWO.
Secondly, Ethiopia is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa to come up with a modern transit railway system with new electric-powered trains called trams. This is the Kenyan version of the scandal-wrecked Standard Gauge Railway.
This transit system charges up to a maximum of Sh 50 across Addis Ababa, meaning it’s greatly subsidised by the government.
Thirdly, Ethiopian Airlines has officially taken over the African skies, superseding the once giant KQ and South African Airways. Who doesn’t know of the massive theft haunting KQ? The cost of travelling using Ethiopian Airlines is 65% that of KQ and Kenyans are opting for the former, what an irony.
Fourth, Ethiopia is massively increasing its energy grid. The great Renaissance dam along the intersection of River Omo and the Nile is a case in study. This project alarmed Kenya and Egypt such that they almost took Ethiopia to the International Treaty Court for disobeying the global waters treaty. To me, that was just an excuse for the shock they felt on the rapid development of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s economic growth has almost doubled and now stands at 9.9% and it’s not artificial since citizens feel the benefits of reduced inflation and low taxation.
Now compare that with Kenya, where the CS Finance will now be taxing our drinking water.
Finally, Ethiopia is linking its railway system with Djibouti’s and Eritrean ports since it’s landlocked. This means it will cut its transport link with the Port of Mombasa, a blow to Kenya.
Can’t we learn a lesson from our neighbour Ethiopia? Talking of neighbours, Tanzania have a new no-nonsense sheriff in town- Dr. John Pombe Magufuli. We should rethink our development plans, otherwise our supremacy as the East African giant is on the verge of collapse.
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