READERS' RESPONSES: ISSUE 275: ETC DELAYS PRIVATISATION

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

We were concerned by elements of your recent article on the telecoms revolution in Ethiopia (Ethiopia puts off privatising ETC but rolls out nationwide fibre network). In the opening paragraph Ethiopia was likened to North Korea. From 1991, with broad participation from the Ethiopian people, a new constitution ushered in wide-scale change across the board. Since 1991 power has been devolved to the regions in a federal state system and crucial decisions are now taken locally.

Ethiopia is a democracy that has just conducted its third election. Your article claims that the election was "disputed" but foreign observers have declared it a success for democracy on the African continent.

Contrary to claims made by your correspondent, Ethiopians in the diaspora are welcome to invest in the IT sector and many have done so. Ethiopians are returning to Ethiopia in large numbers as they realise the wealth of opportunity that its free-market economy offers them.

As has been recently agreed at the Gleneagles summit and elsewhere, it is crucial that developing countries be allowed to modernise at their own pace. Unhelpful stereotypes and mistaken assumptions do not help developing countries attract the foreign investment that they so desire and deserve.

We would welcome more considered and accurate reporting of Ethiopia in future pieces.

Wagaye Berhanu
Head of Press Section
Ethiopian Embassy
United Kingdom