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Author: addisstandard

Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya is the fifth Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) since it was transformed from the PTA in 1994. Before his appointment as Secretary General, Ngwenya was the Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in charge of Programs a position he held for ten years. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of COMESA programs. In addition, he oversaw and supervised the operations of COMESA established institutions such as the Leather and Leather Product Institute (LLPI), the Clearing House and the Regional Investment Agency. In this exclusive interview with Addis Standard in connection with the 20th year anniversary of the birth of COMESA, Ngwenya describes the journey so far, the challenges and opportunities. Excerpts:

The government owns the numbers
Dear Editor,
I read your cover page story with great interest as it tries, not successfully though, to answer a question that is always in the back of mind, (Who owns the numbers? Feb, 2015). I said not successfully because your article, great as it was, didn’t push the limits to show your readers how the government is fabricating the country’s GDP. For example, how is that being done? Who are the main culprits of that? How are the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF & WB) negotiating their version of Ethiopia’s GDP with that of the government? Questions like these need to be thoroughly addressed. However, as a bold idea that has not been tried by the mainstream media in Ethiopia, I appreciate your efforts to throwing the right question, probably at the right time.

Taye Negussie(PhD)


It could well be said that literally no election had been completed happily to the minimal satisfaction of many contending political actors, and notably to a fair contentment of the Ethiopian people, ever since the assumption of power by the ruling Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1991. Nor is it uncommon to hear the major opposition parties blaming the ruling party for imposing upon them unbearable financial, physical, psychological and morale constrains before or during every election.