Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, August 16-18, 2001, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Document Type


Presentation Date



I visited Ethiopia frequently and traveled extensively in all parts of the country during the Derg period. I observed firsthand the deleterious effects of the Derg's attempt to turn the country into a communist "people's republic".1 Since the fall of the Derg in May 1991 I have made eleven visits to Ethiopia (with a twelfth scheduled for June 2001), usually for periods of several weeks, totaling well over a year of travel in the country in all. During these same years I have also spent time in 16 other post-communist countries, ranging from Slovenia and Armenia to Mongolia, observing the political, economic and social problems of recovering from communism and restoring cultural heritage. I delivered a paper summarizing some of this experience in comparison with Ethiopia at the 14th International Ethiopian Studies Conference in Addis Ababa in November 2000.2 The present discussion is based on observations from travel in Ethiopia, discussions at the 14th IESC and other conferences, and familiarity with literature relevant to the subject of economic and social development.