For an Ethiopia in Transition, Guarded Hope for Freer Journalism

Alemtsehay Meketie reporting on a government meeting for the Ethiopian News Agency. (Benno Muchler for The New York Times)

The New York Times


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — On a beautiful morning in late March, Alemtsehay Meketie rushed up the hill to the United Nations Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Ms. Meketie, a 32-year-old reporter for the Ethiopian News Agency, was running late for the minister’s opening speech at the 21st annual meeting of the Ethiopian Statistical Association.

Changing almost at the speed of its marathon runners, modern Ethiopia is a far cry from what it used to be. The government’s new Growth and Transformation Plan (the subject of the conference Ms. Meketie was hurrying to) proposes to boldly remake Ethiopia into a middle-income country by 2020 and leave behind a painful history of terror, poverty and two famines in the 1970s and ’80s.

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