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Meles Zenawi, Africa’s intellectual giant

Posted by Ethio Tribune on August 20, 2013

While this was a very welcome and timely article and while it has reinforced the thought-leadership role that African Business has taken on itself, I was disappointed to see that no reference at all was made to one of Africa’s intellectual giants, the late Meles Zenawi who was the Ethiopian leader before his untimely death.

This is especially so as Meles was the first initiator of the idea of democratic developmental state model in Africa and the one who was pushing hard African states to pursue this model of development. At any international forum, he argued in favour of this model and against the neoliberal paradigm, which he says has failed the continent over the last three decades. Speaking about this issue Meles said, “The last three decades, which could be described as the decades of emergence and triumph of neoliberalism in key centres of global power throughout much of the world, have been bad decades for Africa. They are simply the lost decades of Africa.”

So, to elaborate on Versi’s editorial and to set the record straight, I would like to add my observations on the late Meles Zenawi’s tremendous contributions to the African intellectual space. Meles was the first African leader who dared to reject the neoliberal policy prescriptions and the first African leader to state openly that Africa needs a paradigm shift away from the predatory state and neoliberal paradigm to a home-grown and more progressive one, i.e. the democratic developmental state.

Professor Akbar Noman of the Colombia University in his interview with Ethiopian Television says, “As far as I know, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was the first head of government to criticise many of the neoliberal prescriptions very early. The Washington consensus-type policies are accountable for the lost quarter century of Africa. It is now widely accepted that there were lots of mistakes made in the kind of conditionality imposed in Africa in the 1980s in particular.”>>>click here to read full story

One Response to “Meles Zenawi, Africa’s intellectual giant”

  1. Anonymous said

    Libeluat yaluaten ebab D’Oro aluat

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