Viewing Ethiopia closely with Legatum Prosperity Index lenses

9 Nov

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

According to the World Bank, the poverty rate (headcount ratio) in rural China fell from 18.5 percent in 1981 to 2.8 percent in 2004 and the number of rural poor declined from 152 million to 26 million.

That exactly took China 23 years, i.e., only two years less than the TPLF has been in power without affecting transformative change that has real meaning to the lives of the Ethiopian people.

This statement is not intended a denial of the progress Ethiopia has made thus far.

Unfortunately, what the TPLF people consider achievements are mostly defined by shoddy schools of unbelievably poor qualities, as the ruling party and investors devote their energies to land grab and competing to building cities and towns, high rise buildings and hotel chains and resort areas, etc., relegating improvements in the human conditions of citizens and manpower development.

Certainly, there are hydro dams, a coupe already finished and the giant one – the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam still – still under construction. When it comes to being served with light and energy, priority is given to neighboring countries, not the people of Ethiopia.

And yet, the propaganda of success by the TPLF and its friends around the world often precedes their achievements. Fortunately, the official lies often stand in sharp contrast to the reality on the ground. Only on August 17, 2015, the man in the prime minister’s office publicly humiliated himself claiming that Ethiopia has been growing and that the regime would take care of the hungry people without food aid from donors to the people in drought affected areas.

Notwithstanding this, he did not even wait for a month before he launched appeals for international alms, the 12 years of double-digit growths he loves to boast about not even reaching the hungry Ethiopians from the drought-affected regions that have started flocking into Addis Abeba. Today, we know that about as many as 15 million Ethiopians are in danger of facing prolonged drought and hunger.

Interestingly, the regime felt relieved, when people started talking about El Nino.

The prime minister ought to understand that, no matter how one dices things, drought is man-made. It is the political consequence of a bad system, as the nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen has kept on emphasizing for more than two decades.

The laggard performance of the Ethiopian regime is an outcome of the bad politics and poor policy choices the TPLF has made since 1991. Among others, these include its divisive ethnic policies, a social disease known as ethnicities it has brought upon our nation, nepotism, corruption, the poor educational system, lack of accountability and rule of law and widespread repression – the equivalent of which is found only in North Korea – have stood along the path of Ethiopians toward a better future.

Consequently, no single credible international index has been seen to date positively rating TPLF’s performances through the years. That has become more manifest in the general life condition of the people, the double-digit inflation, uneven growth, discriminatory policies in regional administration, land robberies and other properties, without intervention by the laws of the nation or the coexistence customs.

The Legatum Index

The latest index measuring Ethiopia’s 2015 peformance is the Legatum Prosperity Index. Like all others, this too has pushed it to the tail end of nations in some of its metrics than others, still on vital ones, eventually placing it as 126th, out of 142 nations.

The index is known to measure prosperity based on both income and wellbeing. The rating by the Legatum Prosperity Index is carried out using sub-indices, i.e., a nation’s:

      * Economy                 * Entrepreneurship
      * Governance             * Education
      * Health                     * Safety and security
      * Personal freedom       * Social capital

Ethiopia’s best ranking comes from the Economy sub-index, which has placed it as 92nd, while its worst score is in the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-index, ranking it as the 137th out of 142 nations.

Factors that have gone into this include, for instance, ICT Exports in total exports is 0.1 percent, whereas the global average is 3.6 percent. Another weakness is also secure internet servers (per one million people) and Ethiopia’s 0.2 percent, as the global average is 329.9 percent. Mobile phones per head (per hundred people) have also been considered, among others. Ethiopia stands at 31.6 percent, while the global average is 109.3.

Another of Ethiopia’s performance measurement doldrums is the Education sub-index, ranking it 132nd out of 142 nations. Pupil to teacher ratio is 53.7 in Ethiopia, whereas the global average is 24.5 Similarly weaknesses have been pulled out in gross secondary and tertiary enrolment rates. They show that Ethiopia’s are 28.9 percent against the global average of 79.9 percent and 2.8 percent and 40.3 percent, respectively.

The Health sub-index has placed Ethiopia at 121st place. Among others, incidence of tuberculosis in Ethiopia is significant, with 224 to the global average of 109.2. At the same time, 35 percent of the population is also considered undernourished.

In the Safety and Security sub-index, Ethiopia is ranked 126th. Taking to such lowest ranking are:

    *   Ability to express political opinion without fear in Ethiopia is measured to be 1.8, while the global average is 2.4.

    *   State-sponsored political violence is high in Ethiopia at 1, while the global average is 0.5.

    *   Incidences of assault being higher relative to the global average, Ethiopia’s score is 19.9 percent, against the global 7.5 percent.

    * There is also the danger of demographic instability in Ethiopia being higher at 9.4, as the global average stands at 5.8 percent. This measures the pressure deriving from high population density viewed against food supply and other life sustaining resources.

On the Personal Freedoms sub-index, Ethiopia stands at 101st place out of 142 nations. On civil liberties issues, Ethiopia has scored 2, relative to the global average of 4.7.

Social Capital is another sub-index, aiming to measure values and social activities within the community. On this, Ethiopia is ranked at 119th.

At the moment, the music and dance by the ruling party in Ethiopia is about so-called good governance, TPLF’s deception as means to dig out of its troubles and countering public rejection. Among the considered issues are:

    *   Separation of powers gets Ethiopia 7.3 relative to the global average of 16.8.

    * Government Effectiveness has secured Ethiopia -0.5 against the global average of 0.

    *   Government Stability is 9 against the global average 31.2.

    *   Political Rights in Ethiopia stands 2 against the global average of 4.7.

    * Rule of Law is another metric and Ethiopia has secured -0.6, against the global average of -0.1.


A British sense of humour?

Ethiopia’s governance score is 99. Its details in the Legatum data are either wrong or deliberately doctored. In a country such as Ethiopia, where election stealing is commonplace, for instance, the responses collected show that in Ethiopia the people have high confidence in the honesty of elections. In terms of data, Ethiopia is given high grade of 70.3 percent, whereas the global average is 50.5!

In Governance, unless the data is collected for Legatum by the TPLF, the publishers mistake is unbelievably horrendous ranking Ethiopians as the most satisfied with government efforts to preserve the environment. Against the backdrop of lack of accoubtability, rule of law and land grab, the score for environmental protection is 81.4 percent, against the global average of 53.7 percent!

There is also the question of confidence in the national government, Ethiopian response being registered as 82.9 percent against the global average of 52.8 percent!

Finally, the Ethiopian judicial system has also earned TPLF Ethiopia 70 percent favorability rating, against the global 52.5 percent!

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