Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes. It is land of remote and wild
territories. It is one of the oldest nations on earth and has the second largest population in Africa. Ethiopia has been called the “cradle of humanity” and proudly claims to be the only African country never to be colonized (Munro-Hay 38).
The economic progress of any nation is dependent on the development of its financial institutions, transportation infrastructure, agricultural production, industrial output, and the quality of its heath care and education. These elements form the foundation for a country’s success as a nation. In order to understand the past, present and future of Ethiopia, these various factors must be examined in detail
In 1974, the monarchy was overthrown by rebellious army officers who maintained a military rule over Ethiopia for the next 17 years. They ruled by a committee known as the Derg. The military instituted a socialist type government modeled on the Soviet Union. The military rule tried to revamp the economy by instituting radical programs. These measures vested total control of the economy in the hands of the state. Nationalization of all major industrial, financial and commercial companies took place in
1975. A process known as “villagization” (qtd. in Munro-Hay: 118) whereby people were moved from the highland to the lowland areas of the country. The policy failed and was abandoned in 1986.
In 1991 the Derg was defeated by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Thereafter, the EPRDF followed a policy of multi-party elections and economic reconstruction. Ethiopia’s first constitution was adopted in 1994 and national elections were held in 1995.
Recent history clearly reveals a country in transition from an authoritarian military rule to a democratic republic. A bloody border conflict with Eritrea has not only resulted in massive loss of life but has also resulted in dramatic negative...