October 16, 2012 at 12:33, Updated: October 16, 2012 at 15:08FOCUS | AID
Sweden donates 10 million a year to include Ethiopia’s electoral authorities, the National Assembly teh regional assemblies.
Fredrik Malm and Martin Ängeby
When journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson is now released from captivity in Ethiopia and back in Sweden should also Sweden’s aid relations with Ethiopia are discussed.
Development Agency Sida’s work in Ethiopia is controlled by a collaborative approach adopted by the government. Even when Jan O Karlsson (S) was established in the Development Cooperation Strategy that the Ethiopian government is not interested in democracy, and since then the situation of human rights and the opposition’s ability to operate deteriorated further.
Despite harsh criticism of the State Department’s own human rights reports have been Ethiopia’s place in the Swedish aid is not questioned. It is now high time that the Swedish Government adopts new strategy for development cooperation with Ethiopia. Such a strategy should recognize that Sweden should channel resources to Ethiopia that allows the regime to strengthen their power. Bilateral assistance to Ethiopia in the form of support to government agencies and other institutions controlled by the regime in Addis Ababa has to stop.
Of Swedish support to Ethiopia, which together amounted to about 270 million last year, has support for organizations that are independent from the government gradually increased, while support for public institutions has gradually declined.
But Sweden is in practice remains one of the Ethiopian regime’s benefactors. In Sida’s latest strategy monitoring report last October found that 31 percent of aid still went to NGOs, to two different universities.
A state budget consists of communicating vessels, and there is a risk that the aid debate is called fungibility. If a donor puts money in an ever so keen sector is always free regime to withdraw their resources from it – and bet them on weapons, listening devices, or anything that the donor is not interested in funding.
Since 2009, NGOs largely been outlawed in Ethiopia. The Swedish strategy have otherwise been to continue to deliver orphanages, schools and medical care, but through these NGOs.
In a functioning democracy, people can take control of their own development, it is one of the cornerstones of the Government’s development policy. Lack of power is part of the concept of poverty used by Sweden in poverty reduction strategies developed. Between 2003 and 2007 used up to 30 million a year by the Swedish aid dollars to build the Ethiopian judicial system, the same judicial system that convicted Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, who actually equate critical journalism with terrorism.
Sweden’s support for the regime’s political institutions have not been interrupted. The United Nations Development Programme UNDP donates Sweden SEK 10 million a year to include Ethiopia’s electoral authorities, the National Assembly teh regional assemblies.The program has been going on for five years, and while millions rolling in Ethiopia prohibits all forms of political opposition.
It is time for Sweden to completely shut down the bilateral aid to Ethiopia, with the exception of support for change agents. The regime in Ethiopia can either react by taking their senses. Or it pulls the shoulders – and if so, then we can forget that the government received Swedish support in all weathers for decades would allow themselves to be influenced by our democratic values.
FRED ORE (FP)
Member of Parliament, foreign policy spokesperson
Secretary General of Swedish International Liberal Centre, SILC