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Ethiopia PM says anti-dam groups keep Africa poor

April 1, 2011

“I am not a believer in conspiracy theories but, if I were, I would conclude that these people want Africa to remain as it is with all its misery and poverty so they can come and visit nature in its pristine state in winter every so often.”

Meles said the groups were from Europe and the U.S.

Power shortages are common in Africa and have hindered investment, even though the continent has abundant potential resources of solar, hydro, oil, gas, coal and geothermal power.

Ethiopia aims to produce 15,000MW of power within 10 years as part of a plan to spend $12 billion over 25 years to overcome chronic power shortages and export to other African countries.

One of the Ethiopian dams, the 1.4 billion euro Gibe III that is expected to generate 1,800MW, has been the subject of a major international campaign over the rights of tribal people.

Over 400 NGOs led by Survival International this month signed a petition against Gibe III. They say that 200,000 Ethiopians who rely on fishing and farming may become dependent on aid to survive if the dam goes ahead.

Meles said the impact of the dam projects would be “negligible” and those affected would be compensated.

“These groups have done virtually nothing to stop their countries from building all the dams they can while at the same time single-handedly subjecting our planet to the threat of catastrophe because of global warming,” Meles said.

“(Yet) they are trying to stop projects in poor countries like Ethiopia that are infinitely more environmentally and socially responsible.”

Meles is Africa’s usual lead negotiator at climate change talks and has in the past suggested European carbon emissions caused his country’s 1984/85 famine.

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10 comments on “Ethiopia PM says anti-dam groups keep Africa poor

  1. Bravo Meles ! Although I have huge difference in many things I appriciate your move against such anti development selfish westerners.

  2. These days when it comes to patriotism, Meles is beating the oponents.But if he wants to please Ethiopian people to the maximum, he must start to listen to the people. People want him to abandon his ethnic policy, amend the constituation, enable Ethiopia to have sea access which she rightly deserve,etc.

  3. shiferaw,
    ante dingay ras, ur wish to have sea access is just a day dream. learn to live without it. if ethiopia claim assab then we will claim oromiya region. so simple is that. meles tried to capture assab in 1998-2000war. but he gave up after losing 123.000 amhara’s and oromo’s. if he plan to try it again then the damage for ethiopia will be even worth. ethiopia is landlocked but if it wants to use it like prior to 1998 ,then it should first withdraw it troops from badme. first thing is first. but i think meles doesn’t dare to start war against eritrea again. if he starts then we will finish woyane within days and give the power to oromo people.

  4. dahlak,you seem brave,but,to be sure you didn’t fought the 1998-2000 war.you have been in I can tell you in the name of God,Ethiopian and Eritrea people have not want to see war again. But your eyes will see we will be ONE.
    That day ,you,a horn African Satan ,will sent to your self Dahlak not to see that ‘ONE LOVE’ .

  5. Dahlak,Wededkim telahim Ethiopia is a land of milk and honey. You will see a prosperous Ethiopia soon.You,Chigaram,Ertrawiyanen ymiqelbew ena yemiyastemrew man honena new AFIHEN YEMITKEFTEW?

  6. You buffalo dahlak,jegna kehonk lemin be1998 t’ornet woyanen demseseh seltanun le oromowoch alsethewm?
    endewerie yimech meseleh?

  7. You buffalo dahlak,jegna kehonk lemin be1998 t’ornet woyanen demseseh seltanun le oromowoch alsethewm?
    endewerie yimech meseleh?

  8. its nice to see the view of all the people around but its so amizing why these eritreans are always wishing and singing about war its the silliest and easiest thing a leader can do what is so difficult and couragious this days is to think of developing economy which is what meles is trying to do this time ……
    long live Ethiopia

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