The Ethiopian Herald BY DESTA GEBREHIWOT
With some super powers trying to unleash economic pressure and hand twist Ethiopia in relation to the ongoing Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a project which many describe it as ‘hallmark of self-reliance’, experts argue African countries need to explore domestic capacities to curtail foreign dependency and ensure evolutionary economic freedom.
Lately, there has been some attempt from foreign powers to ratchet up economic pressure on Ethiopia to succumb the latter to Cairo’s Nile interests. And some argue that this is not a particular incident but of a continuation of foreign powers’ effort to economically colonize the African continent.
Western countries are still trying to perpetrate colonial era’s guardianship role by coming up with narrowly defined dos and don’ts’ list. The time of political colonialism is literally over, but Africa’s economic emancipation is far from being achieved, so argue pan-African scholars.
It is through building African local capacity and self-financed and run development projects like the GERD that countries would be able to defend their interests and relieve themselves from increasing external dependency, experts tell The Ethiopian Herald.
Dr. Kasahun Delene Deyassa is co-founder of Global Pan Africanism Network (GPAN) and has been the Vice President of the organization since 2018. He recently tells The Ethiopian Herald that African leaders shall implement and support agenda 2063 to free the interest of African peoples from external influences.
Rejecting the old fashioned propaganda’s and colonial treaties is the pillar for the future of African countries. All the current and the future diplomatic agreements shall concern the sovereignty of the African continent, he says, adding that the 7/20/14 (7 Aspirations, 20 Goals and 14 continental flagship project of the Agenda 2063) strategic plan is the most reliable asset of our future. African residents and Diasporas shall focus on the succession of these dynamic projects and continental programs.
Dr. Getahun Fentaw, Head of Center for African and Oriental Studies at Addis Ababa University tells The Ethiopian Herald that high dependence means little economic freedom. In fact debt and dollar are being used as new form of colonization these days.
Western countries provide debt under conditions and try to gain something out aid through imposition and dispensations of certain interests. The way out from foreign dependency is building African capacity.
Creating strong institutions, designing enabling policy, and intensifying domestic resource mobilization works are the way out from external dependency. What is more, identifying local resources and priority, encouraging private sector’s engagement and easing bureaucratic red-tape as well as promoting saving and investment are also instrumental to build domestic capacity.
“Engaging Diasporas in all development aspects and strengthening public-private partnership also brings about huge economic dividend by stimulating remittance and foreign direct investment.”
But domestic capacity can be built on the solid bases of inter and intra state peace and security, he hints. “Economic problems have also to do with political stability, lack of good governance and ethic fragmentation. Political stability should come first before economic prosperity, it is when peace and security are ensured that investment and economic activities could get boosted.”
The other point which is of critical importance in this regard is governments’ commitment in making sure that economic blocs are operating effectively, according to him.
“Regional integration should be realized more than paying lip services.”
He says that certain restrictions should be lifted to aid trade and enhance African countries integration among one another.
Meanwhile, diversifying African financial sources and capitalizing on self-funding projects need to receive more attention as well. In this regard, GERD is a hallmark of self-reliance and a ‘yes I can’ model.”
On August 27, 2020, Foreign Policy (FP), indicated that: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has approved a plan to halt U.S. foreign assistance to Ethiopia as the Trump administration attempts to mediate a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the East African country’s construction of a massive dam on the Nile River.”
Source The Ethiopian Herald