Ethiopia is a country of contradictions: Its population of around 82 m is growing by 2m a year. It hosts the seat of the African Union, runs one of the biggest African airline and with an economical growth of 7% per annum it is attracting foreign investors.
The grim side: peridocal hunger – some 12m people rely on food aid. Few people benefit from the country’s free market, income per head is one of the most meagre in the continent. The EPRDF-ruled government has been smothering potential sources of independent opposition, such as foreign and local NGOs. The main opposition group, Forum (Medrek), is demanding the release of one its leaders, Birtukan Mideksa, from prison.
Yet most Western governments seem keen to downplay Prime Minister Meles Zenawi‘s human-rights record.
Read more: Anxious Ethiopia – Jangling nerves (The Economist)