Contradictory policies bad trap for economic growth in Ethiopia

7 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Thanks for Addis Fortune’s Informal Decision Dashes Employment Hopes of February 16, 2019. It is as much a story on Addis Abeba City decision-making,  assumption by officials of responsibilities and solving the City’s economic problems.

The story deals with this state of affairs in Addis Abeba City Administration. It puts as example the risks a young man by the name Samson Mekonnen took in a volatile policy environment, where the unlikelihood is greater for an individual to stand up for his rights and win.

For a start, Samson was frustrated by his lack of permanent job. This changed, when he became lucky and laughed his way into what became his opportunity. He heard announcement about a city scheme. 

Samson tried his luck and was awarded a space to build his shop, which he won, after fulfilling rigorous requirements.

The City did not provide capital nor granted credit. Therefore Samson had to go to his own to get it. He was lucky he found relatives who could give him some loan. With that money, Addis Fortune found out, he managed to set up a metal shop on the empty lot.

So started a lot of young men & women. Unfortunately, the paper writes, “small street shops pop[ped] up in different areas of the city including the Arada, Qirqos, Bole and Aqaqi Qality districts. Some were built from lumber and plastic sheeting, while others were constructed from sturdier material like Samson’s shop.”

A stall popping up in Addis Abeba street corners and neighbourhoods (Addis Fortune photo)


Inevitably the shops drew attention, hardly positive at all. Accordingly, Addis Fortune reports on the drama in the City it learned. Some officials swore on the saints swore “the structures were built without the knowledge of the City Administration and have to be demolished.”

Nobody stood up to “…take responsibility for the decision, [when] a meeting was held last week between the city, district and council officials.” The only thing the young unemployed could learn was  “a decision was passed to demolish the stalls.”

That much for employment generation by transforming one small door to gainful employment that could have transformed some lives, such as Samson’s.

We are not being oblivious to the City’s concerns about Addis Abeba representing its name. However, we could not reconcile ourselves to the choice taken away from the obless citizens, whom the state could not support nor, in this case,  lift out of relegation of being permanently incapable of supporting themselves!

Before this horrendous news from the City, Samson described the opportunity he got and he has known:

“The space that was allotted to me might have been a dumping ground and full of garbage, but I was excited to get it…I felt like a chance to turn my luck around.”

Samson is born lucky and nobody could take his chance in life. The woreda he lived in refused to take down the street stalls. Of that, one woreda official told the paper, “We were the ones who called these people from their home, gave them space and told them they could run a small shop if they could get the initial investment.”

Read the whole of this important informative story on Addis Fortune: link Informal Decision Dashes Employment Hopes




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