ETHIOPIA Development over democracy 11th May 2012 A nun on her way back from harvesting sugar cane in the grounds of the Sebeta Getesemani Nunnery, which is home to 105 nuns and over 200 orphans. Petterik Wiggers / Panos Image courtesy of Panos Pictures International financial institutions rank Ethiopia as one of the fastest growing economies but debates rage over its political strategy and regional role As business and political leaders descend on Addis Ababa for the World Economic Forum on 9-11 May, Premier Meles Zenawi’s government will be trumpeting its economic achievements. Visitors expecting a war-torn land scarred by continuing famine will be shocked. Yet the economic claims of the government, the World Bank and other international agencies (which depend on state cooperation) deserve closer analysis. On several big issues, Meles has become the voice of Africa and de facto leader of the New Partnership for African Development. He attends Group of 8 and G-20 meetings, says the right things about climate change and gets on well with United States President Barack Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Somalia.