Ever since June 1st I have been added to the
AFRIK-IT and have been receiving interesting
postings and discussions. I would like to join
you in finding solutions to African problems
by sharing experiences and understandigs. Thus
the need of introduction.
I am Dawit Yohannes currently serving as the
Secretary of the Ethiopian Constitutional
Commission of the Transitional Government of
Ethiopia. I also serve as the Legal advisor of
the President of the Transitional Government.
I am very much interested in the telematics
issues in Africa and currently participate in
running a discussion forum called pol.ethiopia
originating from Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
From the discussions that I have observed so far
on AFRIK-IT, i was particularly attracted by the
aid discussion. I thought the issue of aid for
Africa touches the most fundamental aspect of the
problem of Africa. And it has to be addressed in
a fundamental manner.
To do this we must understand why Africa needs aid.
Or to be more accurate : why is Africa structured
in such a way as to need aid ?
Recent economic assessment of Africa's relationship
in the international transfer of wealth shows the
naked fact that more wealth is transferred to USA
and Europe than the other way around. Yet in the
structure of relations, Africa is a recepient of aid
from USA and Europe ? How can this be possible ? The
rich receiving aid from the poor ?
The answer, I believe, lies in our colonial and post-
colonial experiences and the resulting distortions that
were imposed on Africa. We are not addressing these
distortions and thus are in the current state of things.
The first basic distortion is the colonization of our
indigenous political, social and economic forces denying
us our own developmental opportunities. This resulted in
the creations of nation-states in accordance to the wishes
and dictates of European colonizers with total disregard
to the ethnic, political and economic interests of the
indigenous African forces.
The second major distortion occurred at the end of the colonial era, popularly
known as the decolonization
process, wherby the opportunity of the African forces
to assert themselves was denied at the altar of the
superpower politics and the cold war. Decolonization
failed to liberate African forces and only reorganized
them to fit the superpower format.
Now, unless Africa addresses these distortions, how can
we proceed to peace and development ?
That was why the drafters of the Ethiopian Constitution
proceeded to create ,anew,the necessary viable nation-state
out of the post-colonial state. Would this experience be
relevant for the rest of Africa ?
Ihope to hear from you all soon.