This video could have been produced by the Addis Ababa tourist board – in fact it might have been. It only shows one side of Addis, and Addis is clearly not representative of the reality of life in much of Ethiopia. But it does provide some balance to the nearly always negative views that one gets of Africa and Ethiopia in the UK. And, some of my readers – OK, only my mum and dad – might be interested to see some views of Addis.
A couple of contrasting nights out this week. Wednesday night – at the request of one of the folks I was going out with – I found myself at the Sheraton, the poshest hotel in Addis by some considerable distance. It was quite an experience – probably the poshest hotel I’ve been to with the possible exception Continue reading
I’ve had a great weekend. Yesterday I met a couple of (new) friends for lunch at the Lime Tree, one of the main Addis hang-outs for expats (ferengi) and – as the guidebook says – “trendy locals”. Then I went to a birthday party. Then I spent the evening watching Arsenal lose and carb-loading! Continue reading
Since coming across Graham Hancock’s “Lords of Poverty” in the lobby of the Hilton the other day, I had had a nagging feeling – not just about staying at the Hilton, but about Graham Hancock. The name rang a bell … I was thinking pyramids, nazca lines, atlantis. As one does. Continue reading
Today is my last day of working for ODI; at least until next June. It’s been … an experience. On the upside, I’ve been involved in some very interesting pieces of work on accountability and governance, and on policy coherence. I’ve learned a lot and have worked with some great people both at ODI and at the various agencies which I’ve done work for (DFID, OECD, UNDP, Norad, European Commission CIDA, Commonwealth Secretariat, IPU, AFD). On the downside … actually, I’ll try to focus on the up-side, but overall, it’s certainly time for me to take on a new challenge and one that is less about coming up with new conceptual frameworks to look at X and is more about trying to get people to work together to achieve Y. And working in Ethiopia – particularly in the run-up to elections in May 2010 – will be a great opportunity for me to learn about development effectiveness and country ownership in practice.