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July 22, 2009
Ethiopian woman revolutionizes country’s financial system

PBS Wide Angle’s film “The Market Maker” features the story of one woman’s efforts to combat a seemingly never-ending cycle of famine in Ethiopia by creating that country’s very first commodities exchange.

It’s a task complicated by both a worldwide financial crisis and a steep learning curve about economics.

Watch the full film and find more information at the Wide Angle website.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Ethiopia, visit our extended coverage page: Ethiopia Past and Present.

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Tell kind people who are ready to help Ethiopia the truth. Ethiopian government was confiscating coffee to sell it all over the world.It is happening again now. This is stolen coffee. Anyone buying it is buying stolen coffee not Fair Trade certified. If she continues to help the government sell coffee confiscated from farmers and exporters please tell the world the truth. You are selling stolen coffee. If they know this I do not think they will buy it. It is illegal to sell stolen coffee in Europe or America.Why is it accepted when it comes from Ethiopia?



Like my fellow Ethiopians who wrote before me, I watched the documentary. Foreign Medias have to investigate both sides of the stories (farmer’s and the commodities exchange’s) and put forward a balanced view for the viewers.

Though I appreciate that the story was about Elleni and her work, it also portrayed what Ethiopia is not. If you take a couple of examples from the documentary, it is more than obvious that the trust between the government and the people is at a dire stage. The Harar Coffee is one of the premium coffees around and the government needed to take that out of the people’s hand immediately mainly to cover the FX deficit. Therefore they did not even trust (as said in the film) their own people in Dire Dewa therefore, put it almost under a direct control of the government..

Another example is Sesame. The documentary never mentioned the problem that exists regarding the town it self. Until very recently Humera has been part of Gondar, but this government has included it in the Tigray region as it is an extremely fertile land. For those of you who do not know, the not Ethiopian Government (TPLF Tegreian People’s Revolution Front) is fighting to break Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia, hence they have now included strategic geographical locations from neighbouring providences of Tigray, including Humera from Gondar and formed a wider Tegre Province. That is the most likely reason why not a single farmer took its produce to the warehouse. As for the farmer who took some of his produce at the end of the documentary ….. I let those who have seen it decide how much the government has interfered in it.

I am not by any means not supporting Ethiopians to go back and help their country in any way shape or form that one is capable in doing. But recently I am finding unfair biased report that shows Ethiopia as it is not. I recently read an article on the same lady (Elleni) and her project that described her journey …. it said …. she travelled the country to do her research by ship, train and car. One can only laugh at such reports as we wander which ocean /sea she took that ship on or which network of train she took from Addis Abeba to Gondar.

God Bless Ethiopia


Selam all,

This is something to watch with a lot of reservation. Graduating from a known University or Working for the World Bank does not necessarily mean a high standard of integrity or honesty. We have seen the US financial system managed by ivy league graduate go into bankruptcy and financial disaster because of unbound greed and thievery.

In Ethiopia were the land is own by the state and farmers are at best mere tenants, and the major trading companies, banks, transportation, export-import companies, import and distribution are owned by the ruling party, foreign exchange is controlled by the state, communications is state monopoly, how a free commodity exchange cans operate ? Is obviously another TPLF/Foreign Aid miracle..

A few months ago merchants and exporters of coffee were accused of hoarding and their goods were confiscated by the regime, and eventually exported by the Commodity Exchange, who now has the sole right to export coffee and any other commodities at its own price. It is no secret either that merchants, particularly belonging to certain ethnic groups, have been persecuted for evading taxes and all sorts of other crimes.

The documentary is no more than another piece of propaganda produced to hoodwink the US puplic and the Diaspora community. (Enqoqlish, hod siyawq doro mata)

PBS should be very careful and discerning before broadcasting such, however it might look genuine at a first glance.. It wouldn’t hurt to write a well documented letter to PBS.


I did not mean to discourage this woman or discredited what she accomplished but given what the so called Ethiopian government (weyanas) is killing its own people to stay in power, I think she is contributing to the problem in Ethiopia by providing the weyanas keep money foreign banks outside Ethiopia. Pleas Investigate first before you put someone to your show or write in your website.
All I am saying is, you need to do your homework first.

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