The Ethiopian Balance-Sheet of Transformation


The Ethiopian Balance-Sheet of Transformation


“In April 2013, the Social Progress Imperative launched its first research product, the Social Progress Index, at the 10th annual Skoll World Forum, held at the University of Oxford. More than two years in development, the index will measure the extent to which countries provide for the non-economic needs of their citizens.”

This  new instance “measuring national progress” with its own methodology came up with the same devastating balance for Ethiopia,  as that of “BTI 2012” (See below).

This instance covered the data of only 50 countries so far, and Ethiopia has scored last under almost all measuring indices, combined or uncombined; even behind such countries like Mozambique and Rwanda. – Ethiopia with the 50th rank!

“The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-two indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity show relative performance in order to elevate the quality of discussion on national priorities and to guide social investment decisions. Please find more information about the methodology behind our index and the findings of our first year of analysis in our inaugural report.” (Reports The SPI Team )

See more under:Social Progress Index (SPI):


In BTI 2012 Report, covering 128 countries, Ethiopia’s score of progress has also been as disastrous as the new one above!

In other words, this is the total sum of the transformation success story which is so much “globally” acclaimed and being declared to be a miracle accomplished by the late PM Melese Zenawi …

See below – BTI 2012 Report.

This is the balance sheet of the “visionary leader”, which is quasi declared to be the prophet (a la North Korea) of his heirs, who went even as far as launching a so-called Meles-Zenawi-Foundation- in his name to promote his “vision”(sic), – read – to give a legal cover, the billions of illicit Capital which flew & still  flows out of the country !



BTI 2012 Report

“This report is part of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) 2012. The BTI is a global assessment of transition processes in which the state of democracy and market economy as well as the quality of political management in 128 transformation and developing countries are evaluated.”

BTI 2012-Report

Scale: 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) – score & rank

I. Status Index (1-10)

Score 3.82

Rank Nr. 109 out of 128

II. Political Transformation (1-10)

Score 3.68

Rank Nr. 105 out of 128

III. Economic Transformation (1-10)

Score 3.96

Rank Nr. 111 out of 128

IV. Mangement Index (1-10)

Score 3.47

Rank 107 out of 128


Excerpts out of the Report:

“Despite remarkable GDP growth rates (7% – 9% per year), some 5 million to 6 million people were again in need of food aid. Assistance came from the World Bank, IMF (Exogenous Shocks Facility), the European Union, the United States and China. In total, Ethiopia received almost $1.8 billion in development aid and loans in 2009, bringing the total sum received since 1991 to just under $26 billion.”



“As one of the world’s poorest countries, Ethiopia is highly dependent on foreign assistance in many ways. Over half of the state budget is financed by international donors. In 2009, the government secured foreign aid packages of more than $1.3 billion, bringing the total sum of development aid received by the country since 1991 to $24 billion. However, Ethiopia was still ranked only 169th on the UNDP’s Human Development Index (out of a total of 179 countries).”

BTI 2012-Report

Executive Summary

Ethiopia’s political performance in 2009 and 2010 was characterized by contradiction within the government’s politics: While the government under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi successfully launched economic reforms aimed at stimulating economic growth and economic diversification, it brought the country’s democratization process nearly to a halt. The bitter results of the 2005 and 2010 elections, indirectly manipulated by the government, and the subsequent authoritarian backlash have frustrated nearly all relevant political actors outside the government camp. Opposition parties have been undermined to the extent that they no longer pose a threat; the media and civil society have been leashed by oppressive laws; and trade unions and professional associations have been forced either to toe the line or, like the Teacher’s Union, be dissolved.

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of five political parties under the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is expected to remain firmly in control at all levels of government following its emphatic “victory” in the May 2010 parliamentary election, which did not receive the label “free and fair” from the EU Electoral Observation Mission. The EPRDF and its allied parties gained a 99% majority in Ethiopia’s parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, with opposition candidates winning just two seats. The EPRDF won 499 out of 544 seats and the Somali People’s Democratic Party 24 seats, while the three opposition parties together won only two seats, down from 161 five years before. It is widely believed that the scale of the victory resulted from harassment of political opponents and the memory of the violent crackdown on post-election violence in 2005, as well as the passage of restrictive laws governing the media, civil society and political funding.

What happened in Ethiopia after 2005 comes close to a process of politically engineered democratic regression: Although the constitution of 1995 was applauded for its commitment to liberal democracy and respect for political freedoms and human rights, the EPRDF regime

refused to accept democratic rules of the game as a part of its political practice. While promising democracy, the government has not accepted that the legal opposition is qualified to take power via the ballot box. It tends to regard the expression of different views and interests as a form of betrayal. When the EPRDF felt threatened by the opposition’s unexpected victory winning all council seats in the capital in 2005, its brutal crackdown against the opposition demonstrated the extent to which the regime is willing to ignore popular protest and foreign criticism in the interest of holding to power.

The government’s behavior in the aftermath of the May 2005 elections raised fundamental questions about the legitimacy of its rule. The human and political rights situation has worsened significantly since the balloting was held. An official parliamentary report on post-election violence in 2006 documented 30,000 arrests, 199 deaths resulting in most cases from gunfire, and the use of “excessive force” on the part of the government.

The international community has widely ignored or downplayed these political problems. Some donors appear to consider food security more important than democracy in Ethiopia, but they neglect the increased ethnic awareness and tensions created by the regionalization policy and the potentially explosive consequences.

Instability in the volatile Horn of Africa has tended to cement Ethiopia’s position as the United States’ key ally in the region, while strained relations with Eritrea and the failing Somali state will continue to dominate the foreign policy agenda. The protracted border dispute with Eritrea remains at a dangerous impasse.

In 2009, Ethiopia withdrew all of its military forces from Somalia after two years seeking to assist Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government in its struggle against Islamist rebels, the Islamic Courts Union. On the Eritrea-Ethiopian border issue, the ideological and judicial stalemate continued: No talks were held and the U.N Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) withdrew its cooperation.

On the level of socioeconomic development, the country has taken steps toward market-based reforms, such as trade regulation and an “agricultural development-led industrialization.” In the last five years, GDP growth has attained remarkable rates of 7% to 9% per year. The country remains heavily dependent on the performance of the dominant agricultural sector, with coffee and “chat” as the main cash crops. Economic diversification has been hampered by the reluctance of the government to accept land privatization or allow activity by foreign banks. But the government has recently shown new flexibility toward trade liberalization.

The country still has a huge trade imbalance (imports of $7.21 billion compared to exports of $1.56 for the year 2008), and a current-account deficit of 4% of GDP. The threat of famine rose again as a serious problem for Ethiopia in 2008 – 2009.

Despite remarkable GDP growth rates (7% – 9% per year), some 5 million to 6 million people were again in need of food aid. Assistance came from the World Bank, IMF (Exogenous Shocks Facility), the European Union, the United States and China. In total, Ethiopia received almost$1.8 billion in development aid and loans in 2009, bringing the total sum received since 1991 to just under $26 billion.

Relations with China strengthened during the period under review, and were dominated by the economic interests and resource acquisitions of China. Trade between the two nations rose substantially again, reportedly reached a value of $1.376 billion. China’s post-Communist, state-capitalist model and its dominant-party governance system continued to appeal to Ethiopian leaders.

(our bold & emphasis)

READ More:

BTI_2012_Ethiopia.pdf Download this file

More on the BTI at
Please cite as follows: Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI 2012 — Ethiopia Country Report. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2012.
© 2012 Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh

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