February 22, 2007


Market approach recasts often-hungry Ethiopia as potential bread basket: The African nation produces more maize than neighbors Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania combined (Scott Baldauf, 2/23/07, The Christian Science Monitor)

"Ethiopia is the second-largest maize producer in Africa, and yet Ethiopian farmers are getting poorer and poorer," says Ms. Gabre-Madhin, the head of Ethiopia's soon-to-be-functioning commodities exchange. "We're going to have to do something very dramatically different. The stakes are high."

What Gabre-Madhin is proposing may sound grandiose - she wants to set up a commodities exchange, similar to the Chicago Board of Trade. But her free-market passion has convinced Ethiopia's left-leaning Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to make her proposal his top domestic priority this year. Most Ethiopians earn their livelihoods from agriculture, and anything that promises to increase incomes and help Ethiopia compete on the global stage is welcome.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2007 6:40 PM
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