Les causes profondes du communautarisme éthiopien

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Urbanisation de la périphérie rurale (nord-ouest d’Addis Ababa (photo SD 2016)

Sisyphe ou la récurrence des tensions identitaire en Ethiopie

Semblant prise dans une logique violente, l’Ethiopie se voit être le théâtre de nombreux affrontements au caractère identitaire, du moins en apparence. Cette fois dans le Tigray, ce lundi 22 octobre, des habitants d’Alamata (400 kilomètres au nord d’Addis Ababa) se sont heurtés aux forces de l’ordre du Tigray en réclamant le rattachement d’Alamata à l’Etat-région de l’Amhara. Cette région à dominante amhara a été rattachée à l’Etat-région du Tigray en 1994. Les affrontements auraient fait 7 victimes (3 selon le gouvernement local du Tigray) et de nombreux blessés.

 

Le système fédéral “ethnolinguistique” : un boîte de Pandore éthiopienne!

Les tensions communautaires qui ont secoué l’ouest de l’Ethiopie au début du mois d’octobre sont un signal fort. Cela signifie que le vent de réforme soufflant sur le pays n’est pas suffisant en promesses et réalisations, mais aussi que les clivages sont profonds. A l’échelle nationale, ces tensions ont des causes d’ordres divers -identitaires, religieux et économiques-, mais toutes trouvent leur expression dans le communautarisme. L’implosion de l’Ethiopie -ou sa balkanisation-, qui lui avait été prédite en 1995 lors de la promulgation de la Constitution fédérale “ethnolinguistique”, serait-elle en train de se produire à retardement ?

Une chose est indiscutable. C’est qu’en trois décennies, les Ethiopiens ont pris conscience d’une appartenance identitaire. Alors que celle-ci n’avait que fort peu de pertinence au départ, l’appartenance culturelle et communautaire devient un marqueur social de premier plan, cependant que le premier facteur identitaire des Ethiopiens fut de tous temps la religion. La succession d’incidents communautaires en Ethiopie souligne à quel point ce phénomène comptera au premier rang des préoccupation du nouveau pouvoir d’Addis Abäba.

Au-delà de l’aspect identitaire de ces violences qui semble le seul considéré par les médias, ce sont des causes plus profondes qui s’expriment. Depuis plusieurs années, la périphérie d’Addis Abäba est régulièrement secouée par des manifestations violentes et des troubles sociaux qui expriment avant tout une crise foncière dans laquelle le ressentiment de jeunes Oromo à l’égard de la capitale vestige de “l’impérialisme amhara” n’est qu’un vernis.

Outre être enserrée dans la région Oromiya, la capitale éthiopienne est en forte croissance territoriale et humaine. Plus que l’extension du bâti, c’est sa polarité qui s’étend loin au-delà de ses limites fédérales d’Etat-région. Avec cette avancée du front d’urbanisation, toute une zone tampon se crée sur fond de crise foncière, là où le coût de la vie urbaine et le prix du foncier  heurtent le niveau de revenu rural.Ailleurs aussi, dans les régions de l’ouest en particulier, l’enjeu est le plus souvent celui de la terre. Plus qu’une lute territoriale, c’est la manifestation d’une misère économique qui est exprimée dans les affrontements inter-communautaires.

La démographie galopante est devenue le principal facteur des constructions explicatives de la géopolitique éthiopienne. Cependant, il est encore fort peu souvent invoqué, au-delà de la simple évocation. Certes, l’Ethiopie dépasse les 105 millions d’habitants (deuxième population d’Afrique), certes près de 45% de sa population ont moins de 15 ans (près de 20% a moins de 4 ans) et sa population a doublé en vingt ans. L’indice synthétique de fécondité (nombre moyen d’enfants par femme au cours de sa vie) a baissé de 7,2 enfants en 1990 à 4,6 enfants par femme en 2015. Cela constitue bien sûr des défis majeurs pour l’économie nationale dans la décennie à venir, mais il y a un rapport avec l’occupation du sol à considérer quand 80% de la population vit sur 30% du territoire.

L’instrumentalisation de l’appartenance identitaire suppose l’établissement de rapports hiérarchiques (dominants/dominés) entre les cultures, comme la victimisation des Oromo. Cependant, ces constructions sont indéfendables par un historien.

 

Voir :

http://www.bulac.fr/conferences-rencontres/autres-regards/archives-2012-2016/trente-ans-qui-ont-change-lethiopie/

Sources démographiques :

http://www.demographicdividend.org/country_highlights/ethiopie/?lang=fr

Dans la presse :

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/10/02/ethiopie-des-dizaines-de-morts-dans-des-affrontements-entre-l-opposition-oromo-et-la-police_5006983_3212.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45724440

https://www.borkena.com/2018/10/07/oromo-liberation-front-says-it-did-not-return-to-ethiopia-for-peaceful-struggle/

https://www.borkena.com/2018/10/10/ethiopian-government-warns-oromo-liberation-front/

https://www.borkena.com/2018/10/15/olf-gunmen-allegedly-killed-three-ethiopian-soldiers/

 

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Centre culturel oromo, Addis Abäba (photo SD 2018)

 

 

 

 

Africa strangled by public loans to China

Latest data from the China-Africa Research Initiative (Cari) shows Ethiopia owes Beijing $13.73 billion, followed by Kenya at $9.8 billion. Uganda owes $2.96 billion and Tanzania $2.34 billion. East Africa now owes China $29.4 billion in infrastructure loans.

The region’s economies are now spending almost eight per cent of their revenues to service these loans, which analysts say are becoming a burden, especially given that their impact is yet to be seen on the growth.

Passengers queue to ride Ethiopia’s tramway in 2015 in Addis Ababa. The China -funded project is hailed as a major step in the country’s economic development.
Addis Ababa LRT built with chinese funds

The bulk of the monies, according to research by The EastAfrican, went into the transport sector, followed by power, communications and manufacturing. Ethiopia’s biggest intake of the Beijing loans was in 2013, coinciding with the launch of its joint standard gauge railway project with Djibouti. Addis took up more than $6.62 billion from Beijing for its mega projects, which also included the setting up of manufacturing zones. In terms of sector funding, Ethiopia invested the bulk of its funds in the transport sector ($4.37 billion), which was used for both the Addis Ababa light railway project and the Addis-Djibouti 700km railway. This was followed by communications at $3.16 billion and power projects at $2.54 billion. Ethiopia borrowed $652 million last year, down from $926 million in 2016, while Kenya took $64 million, down from $1.09 billion in 2016.

Last month, Ethiopia became the first country to get its Chinese debt rolled over announcing that Beijing had agreed to restructure its $4 billion loan on the railway linking its capital Addis with Djibouti. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the country’s loans will now receive a further 20-year extension, which will see its annual repayments narrow to an affordable level.

“In conversations with our Chinese partners, we had the opportunity to enact limited restructuring of some of our loans. In particular, the loan for the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, which was meant to be paid over 10 years, has now been extended to 30 years. Its maturity period has also been extended” Dr Abiy said.

But, recently, the new authorities of Sierra Leone decided to not confirm the project of a new splendid and modern airport which would be useless as the old one is still running under its real capacity.

Chinese credits are very expensive for African countries in terms of counterpart that no guaranties are expected by China. Like Angola and Nigeria, South Soudan will use its petroleum to compensate road buildings. Angola, Ethiopia and Kenya are China’s main debtors in Africa. Only Angola owns petroleum, while Ethiopia and Kenya are counting on a possible industrial development; a risky calculation that shares Beijing.

China is also aware that political changes in Africa might ruin relations and refunds. Therefore, Beijing prefers a spending strong dictatorship instead of a thrifty democracy.

 

 

Ethiopian success story: ‘soleRebels’ a shoe-brand by Betelehem Alemu…

Photo: Bethlehem Alemu/Twitter

 

Betelehem Alemu is the founder of soleRebels, a shoe company and also a world’s fastest-growing businesses.  Her story is one of resilience and determination. The 22nd global store for her branded shoe has recently opened, which shows that African businesses can flourish across the world.

From a company that started at the backyard of her grandmother in Zenebework, soleRebels has grown to hire at least 100 employees and created at least 1200 jobs. With the new store opened in Hamburg to add to the others in Silicon Valley, Athens, Barcelona and in Taiwan, Betelehem Alemu wants to have 500 stores globally.

Born in 1980 in one of the poorest sections of Addis Ababa, she founded soleRebels to provide solid community-based jobs. Before this, she was an accountant at one of the private companies in Addis.  She came up with a plan and took $5,000 of her own money to set up a workshop.

Read a complete portrait in Forbes

 

Photo: Lionesses of Africa

(Source: Face2Face)

GERD: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Power is a main factor of Addis Ababa’s development as a Global City. Ethiopia is about to complete a huge infrastructure projet with a dam that could supply the capital city with enough electricity to avoid any shortage or disruption in the future. More, Ethiopia will sell its power abroad. Two recent books are focusing on the problematics that has been revealed by this pharaonic project.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will not only be Africa’s largest dam, but it is also essential for future cooperation and development in the Nile River Basin and East African region.

The main challenges surrounding the GERD will be managing and sharing Nile waters. But it has also an important economic dimension that already showed recent developments including: the signing of a legally binding contract by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan; the possibility that the GERD might be partially operational very soon, the completion of transmission lines from GERD to Addis Ababa; and the announcement of Sudan to commence the construction of transmission lines from GERD to its main cities.

 

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile abtew"
1st ed. 2019 (14 août 2018)

This book is about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam newly being built on the Blue Nile, a transboundary river. Due to rising population and increasing water demand in the Nile basin, major projects raise interest and concern by millions with potential for water conflict. The dam design, reservoir filling policy, operation of the dam, riparian countries response, dam site importance and social impact and economy of the dam are presented in the book.

 

See also Zeray Yihdego e.a. (Ed.), 2017, The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Nile Basin Implications for Transboundary Water Cooperation (Taylor&Francis).

The-Grand-Ethiopian-Renaissance-Dam-and-the-Nile-Basin-Implicat-9781138064898

Ethiopian Airlines: growing hub and a major tool for Addis Ababa’s growth

Extending network

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) recently acquired its 100th aircraft (June 7, 2018), a Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’, allowing the company to step on the stage of the major civil carriers. With new aircrafts and a constant growing fleet, ET is also implementing new flights or resuming ancient connections that were suspended, like Chengdu and Seychelles 4 times a week as from December 2018, or increasing number of weekly connections.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "ETHIOPIAN 100th dreamliner"

In the same time, National Airways has performed on October 13th its first flight connecting Addis Ababa toMogadishu. This should inaugurate a 4 weekly flights connection between Ethiopia and Somalia. The route between the two countries was interrupted 41 years ago, when Somalia invaded Ethiopia in 1977.

On its side, Ethiopian Airlines announces it will resume its flight to Mogadishu effective 2 November 2018, after stopping the service over four decades ago.

 

Addis Ababa Bole airport’s extension

Early September 2018, the passenger terminal, being built at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has started providing service partially. The passenger terminal is part of an expansion project being conducted to ease congestion at the existing terminal and properly serve the ever increasing passengers. Up on going fully operational, the passenger terminal will have a capacity to accommodate 20 million passengers per year. The existing passenger terminal has a capacity to give service to five million passengers; however, it has been accommodating 11 million passengers, creating congestion.

(source: ENA)

Ethiopia & its coffee

Ethiopia, first exporter of Africa, is not included among the 10 World-largest coffee exporters. Five European countries that do not grow coffee are listed among the major exporters (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium).

This can happen because the process of roasting and flavoring coffee beans are highly consuming power and water. Poor countries, most of the producers, choose therefore to export cheap beans to richer countries that will handle the process.

 

Source: https://howmuch.net/articles/world-map-of-coffee-exports