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counterpunch, 10 août 2013

Ethiopia : Development Destroying Lives

par Graham PEEBLES

View of the Lower Omo Valley

In many parts of the world development has become an invisible cloak under which all manner of “state sponsored” atrocities and human rights violations are being committed. Married to growth, development has been (largely) reduced to economic advancement –meaning maximizing Gross National Product (GNP) figures month on month, year on year, and turning over glowing returns to the insatiable global monetary bodies –The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)- and profit to private investors.


A term overflowing with contradictions, development is often employed to dignify corporate activities, which are commonly no more than exploitation and profiteering, as in the case of the worldwide appropriation of land, usually to irresponsible, profit-driven foreign corporations and private hedge funds and equity fund managers, who boast of returns between 20 % to 40 % on investments. Huge pay offs which Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute says is luring in “endowments including university endowments such as Harvard University, Vanderbilt University” and others. Such institutions Friends of the Earth, state “are stimulating land grabbing, which is destroying thousands of communities worldwide. “The financial sector”, they demand, “must take responsibility for their activities and ensure their investments respect human rights and abide by local environmental regulations”.

A classroom in the Omo Valley

A broader more substantive definition of development would include the fulfillment of innate potential, the continuation of traditional lifestyles and the integrated development of individuals. Ideas that go beyond crass GNP or GDP measurements, globalisation statistics and Power Point clichés, which sees everything as a commodity and everyone as a consumer. The homogenisation of life, a consequence of globalization, and the market economy (with its inherent inequality and lack of social justice), denies individuality, squashes or appropriates culture and imposes competition in all areas. A recipe for injustice and division fuelling anger and frustration, which for long suppressed, have surfaced in the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring and protest movements seen recently throughout the world.



  • Graham PEEBLES

  • Ethiopia : Development Destroying Lives

    6 novembre 2013   [retour au début des forums]

    je suis italien et j’ai lu Votre reportage des OMO et tout cela est une situation abominable. Comment on peut faire quelque chose pour eviter la debacle des 500.000 personnes ? Comment on peu aider effectivement et rapidement cette population contre l’aggression par le meme etat ?
    J’ai des connaissances avec l’Institution Salesienne (Don Bosco) ; avec l’Icra (Institution rurale catholique internationelle du Vatican). Et depuis, mon prenom c’est symbolique, pour l’Ethiopie.

    En attente d’un rèponse par Vous.


    Michele Ras

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    Telephone mobile : 0039 3201107102


    éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source