I was on the way to work; I heard beggars sit here and there on pedestrian route; saying, “in the name of God, please throw my daily meal!” Despite the fact that it’s the very truth and is global phenomenon that to see a beggar on streets outpouring for a bunch of bread; ever before and then after, there were questions that stuck in my mind; are we, Ethiopians on the right truck to welfare? Is there a tale or fact that Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world registering skyrocketing growth and taken as a model economy for other nations? Or is the deeply rooted poverty and undernourishment many are facing in Ethiopia part and parcel of the growth or any other else? – Mind accentuates!
According to Economists, Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith for instance affirmed in their book entitled ‘Economic Development’, “over 40% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day, part of a condition of absolute poverty, a situation of being unable to meet the minimum levels of income, food, clothing, healthcare, shelter, and other essentials. An examination of these global differences in living standards is revealing.”
Accordingly, in Ethiopia the fact on the ground can be a testimony for the current poverty level of the country; which is unbalanced. Many are still under deep poverty, lives in slum or squatter habitats hidden behind some commercial buildings of Addis Abeba the diplomatic capital of Africa. Street and highways are filled with boys and girls who are forced to spend the whole night in chill even in rainy seasons. For these reasons, most of the times they tend to develop addictive behavior by different hallucinogens including smoking Benzene to fill warmth and protect themselves from harsh weather condition. At the same time they began to look for another way round to coup up with life, stealing by force either physical attack or hanging, which is the social manic.
Elderly peoples above 65 years old who unable to work any labor intensive jobs due to naturally deteriorated health and force obliged to live with begging; suffering from starvation, where there are no any support from their siblings, that there is no any social security as such handful to say, regardless of the role from charitable organizations.
Although, various buildings, roads and other infrastructures have been constructed in the country especially in the capital Addis, and it was reported that, Ethiopia is number one in Africa in its increment by number of millionaires. However, many comments that government is using this and the like for the sake of reaping its political benefit, reality on the ground is however seem far from this and even looks time taking.
There still ambiguities are for that matter where ‘millionaires’ become wealthy by what EPRDF dubbed as “Rent Seeking”. For instance, the former authorities of Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority and heads of the National Security and Intelligence Service were accused of many criminal charges in relation with corruption. Prior to the process of the charges, it was reported that Police exhibited millions of Birr, US Dollars and Pounds from their house.
This reminds me a joke once my colleague told me; there was one government official who was giving a workshop on the devastating impacts of corruption to the country’s development with analysis with commitment, and told to the peoples who have gathered there, “Corruption is just like an Ostrich, an animal with long neck, he said, “once upon a time there was this Ostrich went to a grassland seeking for some food, a moment after bad thing happen where it took a look at Hyena approaching him to snatch it as a daily blessed hunt. Immediately, the Ostrich began to run away from that ugly Hyena and manage to hide somewhere to escape, and buried its neck in the hole. Despite of its attempt, the Hyena doesn’t consume time to look for the ‘missed’ one; it walked carefully by not making any din. And finally, the Ostrich got bitten behind by the Hyena.” The official concluded his words and warned personnel’s gathered there, “those of you, who buried your neck; although your neck buried, you can’t escape from us; we will bite your back”, he aphorized.
Here is the surprise, after sometimes, the speaker of this maxim himself charged for bribery. Those who were there listening to him asked bizarrely how it could be?
As far as the writer’s argument is concerned, fair wealth distribution on basis of social benefit that common good is addressed well; pure and critical sources of wealth with their colliding of the so called “rent seeking” state should be seem very well, than what is seen on the ground.
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