Bill Gates, the world’s richest ‘philanthropist’ recent statement regarding the plight of the people of Ethiopia under 2nd State of Emergency of the 27 years-old ethnic oligarchy led apartheid regime is beyond comprehension what may be the underpinning moral and ethical standard that drives his unhinged statements.

The Founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that opened its African Headquarter in Ethiopia to tackle the ills of poverty and disease as his personal calling in the continent, his statements are inconsistent with the public persona he projected as transparent and detail-oriented development innovator. The unconventional indifference he exhibits for democratic governance — a prerequisite for transparency continue unabated.

His recent hollow statement loaded with a mix of self-induced ignorance to the political reality and self-righteous arrogance in applying different standard for accountability and sense of self-entitlement of low expectation what is good enough for ‘the others’ are capricious for a man known to appreciate the details for innovation that transform the information revolution the world knew and admired him for — all missing in action in his African engagements.
Unfortunately, the massive PR campaign on every conceivable Media networks or organizations available to portray himself as innovative developmental guru doesn’t match the reality expressed on the official website of the Foundation, the personal Blog of the ‘Inpatient Optimist’ nor his occasional out-of-touch statements about Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Therefore, despite credible governmental, nongovernmental and private organizations’ dismal assessment of the Ethiopian regime’s record, Gates’ muted response to the ongoing crises in Ethiopia as; “That’s certainly disappointing and disturbing to hear about political unrest in any of the countries we work in. I am not at all an expert on the different regional tensions and exactly what’s going on. I certainly hope for the sake of all of Ethiopia that there is a way to solve these political conflicts and return to a stable situation. I hope that can be achieved,’’

His willful ignorance can only be explained by his too-close-personal relationship with the ruling Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) led ethnic oligarch known for their brutal suppression of decent, atrocities and corruption for almost three decades. Gates audacity to claim “I am not expert on the different regional tension and exactly what’s going on” in a country chosen for his Foundation’s African Headquarter to open in 2012 without doing basic research on the very ethnic apartheid regime he praise and invest on or the individuals he hired to do the job is further from the truth.
Mysteriously surrounding Gates are three Ethiopian American expats with close association with the ruling ethnic oligarchs. Hadis Tadesse, the onetime managed African government relations for Bill Gates Foundations Seattle HQ until he moved to set up the Foundation African HQ in Addis Ababa. At present he is the Director for Ethiopia and Africa Union for the Foundation. Khalid Bomba (Center), the onetime Senior Program Officer at the Foundation Seattle HQ is the present CEO of the government-run Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) financed by the Gate Foundation. And, Yohannes Telahun (picture right) the onetime personal investment adviser for the ruling oligarchs in Washington DC that was recruited to work for the government agency ATA along Bomba as investment promoter, the government Investment Commission as a ‘Head of Strategy & Chief Technology Officer’ promoting private sector according to Global Food Exchange where he is Board Adviser. He is the Director of the government-run Tourism Commission at present.
Listening and reading past interview and statements of the three mysterious US nationals appearing on selective Medias often controlled by the ruling party conforms their close-and-personal relationship with the ruling party. But, Hadis Tadesse along Bill Gates response to the ongoing political crises under a State of Emergency to ruling regime’s affiliated – The Reporter Media’s ‘exclusive interview’ stating; ”the political situation has implication on businesses and commerce. In our case, when business and commerce slow down which have implication on hard currency which the country needs in greater deal”. It is not clear why the Gates Foundation’s top officer in Ethiopia concern may be on business and commerce nor hard currency earning of the country beyond his official capacity funded by the Foundation.
The reality several expats with close association with the ruling oligarchs involved in the Foundation’s investment projects behind the scene, particularly in the health and agriculture investment shapes Bill Gates’ and Haddis Tadesse’s decisions reflected by their public statements inconsistent to Foundation official work of ‘helping the poor’ and unofficial work of helping the ruling party crony investors.

In all fairness, ever since the Obama Administration publicly endorsed the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), a onetime separatist insurgency labeled as a terrorist organization led regime as “democratically elected government of Ethiopia” and a “reliable partner on war on terror”, it appears everybody understood it to be an open season and a license for all kinds of adventure and venture to the delight of the 27-year-old ethnic oligarchs ruling the country.

Therefore, though visible by its shire PR stunt and relatively high spending habits on Health and Agriculture ‘development’, the Gates Foundation is not the exception to prop up the fragile regime. Several high-profile Corporation, investors and philanthropist mislead by the Obama Administration’s false assessment of the ethnic apartheid regime held together by elaborate propaganda targeted on Western audience, lobbying targeted on Western policy makers and PR stunt targeted on potential investors and donors followed.

But, Bill Gates insistence of being ignorant to the political and the security reality is in-genuine at best or outright admission of alignment with the rogue regime at worst. After all, for a person of his caliber Gates should have done due diligence way before he got involved deeply; the ruling oligarch elaborate con game on donors and investors facilitated by its operatives in US, Canada and Western Europe is well documented.

Unfortunately, in the world where it takes so much efforts and resources to build reputation and brand and so little to turn them into ashes, it is not clear where Bill Gates and his Foundation is heading. But, it is unequivocally clear it is going in the wrong direction. Whether it was meant to go in the wrong direction to begin with is hard to say but, if past records of philanthropy adventure in Africa is indicator, Bill Gates’ innovative approach to development is nothing more than loaded words adapted to mislead the gullible world to do the same.

They say, if you want to know a man’s character look no further to the companies he keeps. Bill Gates kept the right companion in the private sector to earn him the reputation well deserved. But, his unholy companion with shady characters of his choosing in his philanthropy work in the name of ‘helping the poor’ will define his reputation and legacy likewise. After all, as he says; helping the poor by empowering them is missing by the one thing he knows best to do so — access to information he choice to deprive the poor of Ethiopia by the order of the ruling oligarchy to consulate political and economic power. His failing to criticize the regime for cutting off social Media in 2016 claiming, each country “decide what the rule are going to be in terms of pornography, hate speech. What is allowed and not allowed” as he was told by his handlers – conceding for the ruling party that controls the only internet provider with less than 2% penetration in the nation of over 100 million people.

As sad as it is to hear one of the most admired information technologist in 21st century willing to throw the very tool he helped invent that made him rich and famous under the bus on behalf of a small-time corrupt regime in Addis Ababa, the burden to renovate his judgement and reinvent his Foundation’s work are up to him not on the people of Ethiopia he deprive the joy of the technology his very Foundation work and reputation depends on.

What a pity he surrounds himself with dimwitted elites associated with the regime to lose sight of the cost of information deprivation on the people he claims to help feed by helping shady investors grabbing lands with impunity with no legal recourse to fight back tyranny. It is about time Gate Foundation change its approach of appeasing tyranny make matters worse and rid of shady associates and come up with real innovators expected from the old innovative Bill Gates.

 

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