Leon Bodevin

Economics 357

March 8, 2002


Ethiopia: Farmers Flee ‘Villagisation,’” Africa Research Bulletin, Vol. 23, #2, March 31, 1986

About 27,000 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Somalia within the last ten weeks to avoid the government imposed villagisation, a program that has forced Ethiopians out of their homes and into government designed villages.  The Ethiopian government says this program is designed to better supply water, electricity, schools and medical care to Ethiopians.

The government says that the program is voluntary and denies reports by some Ethiopians that their livestock was taken away to force them to leave their homes.  The Labour and Social Affairs Minister, Mr. Berhane Bayih, says that the program is designed to modernize the backward economy from subsistence farming to more modern farming techniques.  As it stands, many Ethiopians live in isolated huts with no neighbors for miles.  The government sees villagisation as the only hope in developing the rural areas of the country.