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Ethiopia’s Improvements Should Allay its Critics

By Tibor Nagy | August 5, 2014
Nation’s economic growth has brought social progress

Regarding the Houston Chronicle editorial about Ethiopia, “Do Better” (Page B7, July 29), while one can take a snapshot of Ethiopia’s current political, economic and social circumstances and find areas for serious criticism, it would be much fairer to view where Ethiopia is today in relation to where it has come from, and especially to where it is headed.

I served as a U.S. diplomat twice in Ethiopia, as a member of the U.S. embassy staff in the mid-1980s during the awful days of the Marxist dictatorship at the height of the “Great Famine,” and again as ambassador from 1999-2002.

I have also returned to the country a number of times since then to help facilitate educational exchanges between U.S. and Ethiopian universities. In my experience, for most Americans, “Ethiopia” still conjures up images more reminiscent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse than today’s reality.

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