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Vol 51 No 21

Published 22nd October 2010


Ethiopia

Counting on growth

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, now in his fourth consecutive term, uses his claimed economic policy prowess to counter critics

Just before May’s general elections, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi attributed his expected victory to seven years of double-digit growth. Yet the figures are controversial and pose questions about the country’s economic direction. The latest furore broke out on 19 October, when Human Rights Watch published a scathing report, ‘Development without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia’. Wrote HRW, ‘The Ethiopian government is routinely using access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent. If you don’t play the ruling party’s game, you get shut out. Yet foreign donors are rewarding this behavior with ever-larger sums of development aid.’

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