Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ethiopia - The Next Big Showdown ?

A member of the Boomtown Rats came,
They initiated a song.
And then they left.
Others noticed the history, value and beauty of the country.

Sure, Ethiopia was occupied by Italy for a few years but it's remained largely independent from the control of foreign powers.

Years, decades and centuries of war have taken its toll on the people and the economy but the people seem as though they have no interest in the West's intervention into their affairs.
This Double-OG largely Christian country seems to relish in their independence.

Like an independent Haiti, Ethiopia seems to have suffered from their strength.
Surrounded by colonial powers it may have been difficult to form alliances with those whose only wish was to possess what they already owned.

For a while it seemed as though their federation with Eritrea would bring about a modern Punt or Kingdom of Aksum.
It seems that infighting prevented this and Eritrea won its independence which left the country of Ethiopia landlocked.

But then came China and it's Belt and Road Initiatives.
 Ethiopia receives more financial aid from China's Eximbank than any other country on the continent. (Although Angola is pretty close.)

Just this week China has opened its first foreign base in neighboring Djibouti.
But what has this got to do with Ethiopia?
My thinking is that if China is keeping it one-hundred with Ethiopia and China is defending neighboring Djibouti and it's access to the Red Sea then Ethiopia will have access to the Red Sea by default.

But what does Ethiopia export besides coffee?
I'm not sure but the IMF states that Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Then there is water.

Water may be the country's most important asset.
Since the majority of the Nile's water originates in Ethiopia the country's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam could be used as a generator of trade with surrounding countries.

The electricity generated from this controversial dam could also be sold to neighboring states.

But this might upset the West's stranglehold on power in the region.
If this Chinese-backed venture succeeds without the World Bank, Federal Reserve or IMF - will a threat to the Petrodollar be next?
(And we all know what happens when the Petrodollar is threatened.)

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