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Month: September 2010

If Progress is Regression? What is Stability?

Every once in a while the BBC publishes a piece that is on point. Unfortunately, when it comes to news from the Horn of Africa this is rarely the case. In particular, when it comes to Eritrea, the BBC will only publish an article if it negatively reports on the news in Eritrea. The most recent example1 ( which is also mimicked by the Economist,2 a similarly biased [against Eritrea] publication) is interesting, although I would like to discuss the ICG report in-depth, I think its important that there be a discussion about Eritrea’s progress towards the MDG’s (and its human development in general) and I would like to take a moment to discuss the media’s second-hand reporting. I find articles such as this frustrating, however, I also like to try to learn something from every piece that I read. Often we can find some insight just with a little bit of critical reading.


  1. Eritrea may become failed state, warns think tank 

  2. The worst place to go to school 

Who Am I?

No, I’m not an amnesic but its a question that is at the core of the question, “Where are you from?” As anyone who is reading this probably knows, this happens all the time. My answer varies depending on the context, typically it’s from the Bay Area or Eritrea. But why?

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Why can’t we all just get along? Specifically, why is it that Eritrea and Ethiopia cannot get along? After all it would seem to the casual observer that Eritreans and Ethiopians are roughly similar. They share similar GDP’s per capita, religious balances, and are even geographically connected by a 1,000 km boundary. Some even go so far as to say they share history! Well this isn’t entirely honest.

What Does Ethiopia’s Currency Devaluation Mean?

What does Ethiopia’s currency devaluation1 mean? In the short term it certainly means that every Ethiopian (at least those that hold their savings in Birr) is about to become poorer. Of course, in real terms the change will be minimal because of the large population that relies already on free handouts. This change will of course affect disproportionately the middle income and rich residents as they will have to pay more for their imported goods (given that they are already not paying for these goods in a foreign currency).


  1. Ethiopian Central Bank Says Devaluation to Boost Exports, Domestic Output