The Unconquered Nation, Crippled By Bureaucrats

May 30, 2011

Seems like it’s Sub-Saharan Month around here: first Sarah Lacy went to Nigeria, and now here I am in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital and Africa’s fourth-largest city. It feels like a boomtown. There are cranes and construction sites everywhere, throwing up gleaming new glass-and-steel buildings full of shops selling computers and mobile phones. The major thoroughfares throng with people making, trading, repairing, unloading, selling, and generally hustling.

Don’t get me wrong: this is still a poor country. Electrical outages are regular occurrences, the taxis that patrol the city’s broad avenues are rusting Ladas, and the side streets are harrowed dirt strewn with garbage, lined with tin shacks, and patrolled by beggars and feral dogs. But I’ve only seen occasional pockets of the poisonous stagnation I’ve found so often elsewhere south of the Sahara. This feels like a place where things happen. It’s a city and country that could be on the cusp of a genuine transformation, catalyzed by technology—were it not for a single, gigantic roadblock: its own government. Read full text


One comment on “The Unconquered Nation, Crippled By Bureaucrats

  1. When a regime has reached its capability of of its sum value in attainment,it literally clogs.Political domination,here,is the paramount prize with this regime and economic empowerment will always play second fiddle.As long as a neo-Maoist ruling party is parked in power,the country will stay parked in economic and political plasma.I say plasma,because the regime has to also give lip-service to free-market scenario`s since the entire nation is dependent one way or another on foriegn aid. Paranoia will always be the default position of this ethnically based (minority at that)neo-marxist regime caught in the headlights by new-media and fears a wave of mass-uprisings like cases around the region. This writer has hit Bullseye. Thanks ethiofact.

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