It is as if Meles’s green voice has fallen silent.
MELES ZENAWI'S GREEN VISION FOR ETHIOPIA
Meles’s green vision first came to light at the international Lem (Green) Conference in Addis Ababa in June 1992, an historic meeting held to coincide with the UN’s first Rio ‘Earth Summit’ in Brazil. Only a year before and when he was only 36 years old Meles had assumed responsibility for one of the most challenging countries on earth. His address at the Lem Meeting in Addis was a landmark view of Africa from an African leader in the post cold war world.
1. As the aid-versus-trade debate rages unabated, Britain, as the most committed of the G8 countries to maintaining aid levels, is well-qualified to propose a new approach to aid in Ethiopia.
2. Britain’s unrivalled knowledge of Ethiopia amassed over the past 200 years, from the 18th century travellers to 21st century green development workers is invaluable.
3. Britain’s institutions working in Ethiopia are among the most experienced in the country and are well qualified to work with Ethiopians on the urgent reforms required to cope with the challenges of the 21st century.
4. Britain’s engineers, scientists and researchers have a vast amount of learning and expertise to draw on for meeting the challenges of such a vast and complex country as Ethiopia.
5. As English is the global language and therefore will be the language of the green economy, Britain has a distinct advantage in exploring this new territory and in disseminating knowledge.
6. London is the financial capital of the world and as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, the City has huge financial advantages to accelerate the process.
7. The progress made at recent Somali Conferences in London is giving Britain a leading diplomatic role in Africa. This work as political mediator and peace builder could return Britain to a position of major influence and a force for good on the continent especially in the Horn of Africa.
8. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is one of three co-chairs of a High Level Panel appointed by the UN secretary-general to oversee the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to replace the MDGs when they expire in 2015.
On taking office in 2010, Mr Cameron pledged that his government will be ‘the greenest ever’. Instigating a green aid stimulus for Africa, beginning with Ethiopia, would create a multi-win situation and be a contribution of global significance. It would stimulate the true economic transformation of Ethiopia where production, consumption, finance and trade are restructured and reformed to meet the urgent challenges facing the country.
The invitation to the London Memorial for Meles Zenawi included a quote from the late Prime Minister. Acutely aware of the enormous challenges facing not only Ethiopia but the whole of Africa, Meles once said: ‘Our struggle is not a marathon but more akin to a relay race where those who ran earlier pass on the baton to those who came later.’
Rethinking Ethiopia's growth and transformation (05.11.12)
Ethiopian ahead of the curve: the green legacy of Meles Zenawi - part II (07.09.12)
The green legacy of Meles Zenawi - Part I (23.08.12)
The paradox of Meles Zenawi (22.08.12)