Alemayehu G. Mariam


Alemayehu G. Mariam speculates on the possible benefits and drawbacks of remittances to Ethiopia from the Diaspora. Using examples from Latin America and Asia, the author suggests the cash influx to Ethiopia (estimated at over a billion US dollars per year) can either be harnessed for investment, or, more negatively, trigger ‘Dutch Disease’.


With Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi speaking at Columbia University in the US this week, Alemayehu G. Mariam calls upon the institution’s President Lee C. Bollinger to extend the same reservations towards Zenawi that he did towards Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2007.


As Ethiopia celebrates its new year, Alemayehu G. Mariam resolves ‘to continue to call attention and raise awareness’ of the ‘unjust imprisonment’ of opposition political leader Birtukan Midekssa by the Zenawi government. Mariam highlights parallels between Midekssa and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, with their 'genuine empathy and understanding for the ruthless dictators who are themselves "locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness".'


A new directive from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education effectively outlaws distance learning and creates a monopoly for state-controlled universities to administer the disciplines of law and teaching, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. While the official reason given for the sudden change in policy is concern for educational quality, Mariam hypothesises that it will enable the regime ‘to control two of the most important professions that have the greatest impact on the lives of the people’.


As ‘Africa’s top kleptocrats … gathered at their annual summit’ in Kampala, US Attorney General Eric Holder and US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told those assembled that the US Justice Department has established the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI) to recover criminally acquired funds, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. Corruption and the misappropriation of funds have a devastating impact, Mariam stresses, and in developing an initiative to combat elite more


The Obama administration must hold Meles Zenawi to account for gross human rights abuses against his people in Ethiopia, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. Mariam argues that although the US has instilled a hope for a better future in the vision of the oppressed, without a realignment of US foreign policy and subsequent pressure against the regime in Ethiopia, belief will deteriorate into despair and anti-Americanism in the country. ‘It is time for the US to fish or cut bait in Ethiopia’, writes more


Although US government has pledged to defend human rights, it hasn’t followed up on this promise in Ethiopia, argues Alemayehu G. Mariam. Despite the detention and torture of hundreds of political prisoners by the Ethiopian government, the United States continues to provide aid to the country, allowing the country’s current dictatorship to maintain its power and deprive citizens of their human rights, Mariam writes. Arguments that 'forceful action' could create ‘instability’ in the country more


It seems the concern for the liberation of the oppressed injected into US foreign policy is merely a muted growl from a seemingly ‘toothless and clawless (paper) tiger’, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. Mariam voices the frustrations of those in Ethiopia who lay witness to the empty human rights rhetoric of US foreign policy makers, and urges the US to back up its big human rights talk with big human rights action in the country so to avoid its descent as a silent witness to the crimes of more


If a single hummingbird tries hard enough it has the power to put out a forest fire. As Alemayehu G. Mariam writes, Ethiopian citizens and opposition politicians – the hummingbirds – have become too complacent and uncoordinated to mobilise and end the current dictatorship in Ethiopia. Despite claims that only violence can end the authoritarian rule, Mariam points to the examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela as cases where citizens have united for a cause to more


It was in part Ethiopian opposition leader and activist Birtukan Midekssa’s campaign for women’s rights that led to her imprisonment by the Zenawi government, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. Highlighting the challenges Ethiopian women continue to face, Mariam looks to Midekssa’s legacy for a vision of a better Ethiopia, in which women’s rights are recognised and in which women play a vital role in the country’s history.