MetEC’s wasteful blunders should end Ethiopia’s fling with military business

November 22, 2018

by Zekarias Beshah Abebe

Republished From: Ethiopia Insight

Photo: An Ethiopian tank near Zalambessa during the war with Eritrea, June 2000, Petterik Wiggers


Like in other developing nations, Ethiopia’s experiment with military business led to distorted markets and the stench of corruption. But a unique context meant it also further poisoned the political discourse.


The Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) is in the spotlight again with the arrest of managers for alleged corruption.
More than 27 officials from MetEC face prosecution, including former Director-General, Major General Kinfe Dagnew, after an investigation of the military-linked conglomerate.

But while new revelations about alleged wrongdoing of MetEC have been the talk of the town, military business is a well-known phenomenon, as is associated corruption. Although its genesis can be traced back centuries, the contemporary version is closely tied to state-building in today’s developing and middle-income countries.

Militaries have built commercial empires in Asia, Latin America, Central America, and Africa. In Pakistan, the military runs more than 50 enterprises worth $20 billion, ranging from street-corner petrol pumps to industrial plants. In Indonesia, the armed forces operate a collection of 23 foundations and over 1,000 cooperatives with assets of around $350 million.

Turkey’s Armed Forces Pension Fund (OYAK) comprises 90 companies that are involved in sectors spanning from cars to chocolate with total assets of more than 50 billion Turkish Lira. Similarly, the Egyptian army’s economic empire encompasses a wide-range of companies involved in areas ranging from cleaning services to infrastructure projects.

Military business in Ethiopia, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Such is MetEC’s meteoric rise, Transparency International even claimed in a 2015 report it was “the biggest, richest, and the most influential enterprise in the country”.

September 28, 2018

By: Nomathamsanqa Masiko

Republished From: Voices360

Men instigate war, women bear the brunt of it… During armed conflict, men are perpetrators of sexual violence and women are the victims… Men cannot be raped; women are the only ‘legitimate’ victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence… Whether implicitly or explicitly, these are some of the stereotypes and misnomers that seem to animate public opinion about gender harms during war – even in transitional justice discourse. Sadly, the face of sexual violence during armed conflict is almost always portrayed as Black, poor and female. However, this is not the complete story. In fact, the male perpetrator and female victim binary does not offer us an opportunity to appreciate the complexity and diverse experiences of gendered sexual harms during conflict.

While there is no universal or authoritative definition for transitional justice, nevertheless, the concept can be understood as the full range of mechanisms, measures and processes associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with legacies of violence, systemic human rights violations and divisions. The function of transitional justice is to build sustainable peace, justice, equality, reconciliation, democratic and socio-economic transformation.

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To discuss the current threat of terrorism, tonight’s panel includes Akinola Olojo, a senior researcher in transnational threats and international crime at the Institute for Security Studies; Raffaello Pantucci, director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute; Kamran Bokhari,  a fellow with the Program of Extremism at George Washington University and Peter Vincent,  a global security and counterterrorism expert who served in the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Social Science Research Council | Working Papers

Securing Our Lives: Women at the Forefront Of The Peace And Security Discourse In Kenya

Vicky Karimi
African Peacebuilding Network
APN Working Papers: No. 20

About the Program
Launched in March 2012, the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) supports independent African research on conflict- affected countries and neighboring regions of the continent, as well as the integration of high-quality African research-based knowledge into global policy communities. In order to advance African debates on peacebuilding and promote African perspectives, the APN offers competitive research grants and  fellowships, and it funds other forms of targeted support, including strategy meetings, seminars, grantee workshops, commissioned studies, and the publication and dissemination of research findings. In doing so, the APN also promotes the visibility of African peacebuilding knowledge among global and regional centers of scholarly analysis and practical action and makes it accessible to key policymakers at the United Nations and other multilateral, regional, and national policymaking institutions.

About the Series
“African solutions to African problems” is a favorite mantra of the African Union, but since the 2002 establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture, the continent has continued to face political, material, and knowledge-related challenges to building sustainable peace. Peacebuilding in Africa has sometimes been characterized by interventions by international actors who lack the local knowledge and lived experience needed to fully address complex conflict-related issues on the continent. And researchers living and working in Africa need additionalresources and platforms to shape global debates on peacebuilding as well as influence regional and international policy and practitioner audiences. The APN Working Papers series seeks to address these knowledge gaps and needs by publishing independent research that provides critical overviews and reflections on the state of the field, stimulates new thinking on overlooked or emerging areas of African peacebuilding, and engages scholarly and policy communities with a vested interest in building peace on the continent.

Download the PDF version here.

By Habibu Yaya Bappah

Executive Summary
The study examines the current political crisis in Guinea-Bissau and seeks to explain it from a political economy perspective. It examines the Conakry Agreement negotiated by ECOWAS and proposes recommendations to end the crisis and promote stability in the country. Guinea Bissau is a post-conflict state with fragile institutions and scarce financial resources. In the last two years, the country has been without a stable government, budget and government.
This is due to a political impasse that is mainly centered around political differences and lack of trust between the President of the Republic, José Mário Vaz and his former prime minister and leader of their party, the PAIGC, Mr. Domingos Simões Pereira. Despite the intervention of ECOWAS, which negotiated the Conakry Accord to end the impasse, disagreements persisted between the elites on its implementation. The study posits that the political struggle is not only a manifestation of a deep struggle of elites within the PAIGC, but an incomplete transition from state-controlled economy to a liberal democracy with market economy.

Download the PDF version here

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