Q. Months back, you presented a paper to your party
about the global economic crisis, in which you
suggested solutions to come out of it. You have been
advocating this idea of a global solution to a
global problem and recently, Joseph Stiglitz (Prof)
has suggested the same solution. When you say a
global solution to global crisis that means every
country makes its own contribution in its own way.
If what you suggested is going to be accepted, and
if you were to be asked what every country could
contribute, what would be Ethiopia’s contribution?
The fact that the economic crisis we now have is a
global crisis does not mean everybody contributed to
its generation. Africa contributed nothing, zero.
But Africa is not a driver of the global economy. It
is on the margins of that global economy. So what
happens to the major economies affects Africa
directly, whether it has contributed to it or not.
This is the case in most other issues; Africa
contributed nothing to the global warming, rather it
loses more than those who have created the problem.
Globalization means whoever is in the system is
affected by the action of whoever else is in the
system. Everybody, from the man in the streets of
Nairobi to the PM of the UK, agrees that this is a
global crisis that Africa has nothing to do with its
creation. And everybody agrees also that the
solution should address the problem not only at its
source, but also in such way as to mitigate the
negative impact on its victims, whatever the role of
these victims might have been; so we need a global
The global solution is coming primarily from the
How is it coming from these countries?
As soon as they re-inflect their economies and
demand in these economies grows, African problems
will be resolved. Getting the American economy on
its feet is as much in the interest of the Americans
as it is in the interest of Haitians. The problem
has to be resolved at its roots. While many people
focused on the 50 billion dollars or so that the
developing countries got from the developed, the
real impact of the G-20 Summit is not the 50 billion
dollars that the developed countries gave Africa and
others. The real impact is that they have allocated
trillions of dollars to improve the financial system
to re-inflect their economies. That is what is going
to create a global growth and that is what is going
to help Africa, including the Doha Round of trade
negotiations. So we have had the makings of the
elements of a global solution in the G20 Summit.
What Ethiopia, or any other country in Africa for
that matter, can do to help is make sure that global
demand is helped by increased demand in their
economies. The fact that our economy is growing now,
that we do not have a problem of deflation but only
a problem of inflation, that we do not have a
problem of collapse of demand but of overheating,
demand outstripping supply, means that we are part
of the solution because we are increasing global
demand and every dollar the developed countries give
Africa is going to increase global demand much more
than it would have done in their own country.