When ethnic cleansing took place in Mississippi in order to convert the landscape to industrialized agriculture for export, slaves had to be imported to work the land. In Ethiopia today, the future slaves are already on the land being converted.
As Chinese, Indian and Saudi Arabian investors take advantage of the Ethiopian government’s offers of essentially free land, the Ethiopian landscape will soon mirror the plantation system of Mississippi two centuries ago. For the pastoral indigenous villagers being removed, along with the forests and wildlife, it is a harbinger of what is in store for the continent of Africa.
Unlike the relatively slow conversion of the Mississippi drainage to an industrialized plantation, the conversion of Ethiopia seems to be happening overnight. As the Guardian reports, it isn’t likely to do the Ethiopian people any good.
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