The Agenda behind the “Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP)”

imagesAn office called “Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan” prepared an International and National Conference on June 2013 at Adama Town, Galma Abba Gadaa.

The Objective of organizing the conference of the top ranking government cadres (mostly OPDO’s) was to work on the manifesting of the proposed  Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP) and prepare the cadre’s to work on the people.

On the Conference, it was stated that, the Purposes of the “IRDP” are:

  • Instrumental to unleashing Regional Development Potentials
  • Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
  • Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
  • Strengthens complementarities and interconnection of localities

These purposes can be the explicit or clear objectives of the plan. However, the plan have hidden or implicit agenda. Systematically bringing the land under their custody so that, it will sooner or later scramble among their impoverished people in their region. For example, the Finfinnee City Administration and Finfinnee Special Zone can address their mutual development challenges without being incorporated into one master plan. However, the Master plan is not prepared on mutual benefit as the plan is solely prepared by Finfinnee City Administration, despite the name of the office. Hence, though development is boldly emphasized, the main purpose seems to clear the Oromo farmers from their lands in the name of unfair Economic Development.

It was also stated that the Pillars of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

  • Regional Infrastructure Networks
  • Natural Resource and Environment Stewardship
  • Cross – Boundary Investments/ e.g FDI)
  • Joint Regional Projects

However, there seem hidden agenda behind these pillars. For example, in the name of cross-Boundary Investments, local Oromo farmers are going to lose their land for the so-called “investors” and under the pretext of promoting national economy through FDI initiatives In addition, if the plan is going to be realized natural and environmental degradation is inevitable.

In addition, the Basic Principles of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

  •   Ensuring Mutual Benefits
  •   A joint development Framework – not a substitute for local plans
  •   An Integrated Regional Plan voluntarily accepted by participating partners
  •   Differences resolved through negotiation and under in-win scenario

Nevertheless, the plan will not ensure a mutual benefit at it is largely intended to displace Oromo farmers from their land. In additions, the populations of the two areas are not homogenous. Hence, they have no common interest. Even though it is said the “IRDP’ will be voluntarily accepted by participating partners, the top cadres in Oromia themselves have strongly opposed the plan on the conference. Beside, the implicit objective of the plan is to remove/avoid the differences in language and culture there by to plant “Ethiopianism or Tigreans” on Oromo land. The plan is intended to say good bye to Oromo Culture and language. The other thing is that the differences between Oromo and others cannot be resolved as it is intended to eradicate Oromo identity, culture and language. As we know from history, Oromo’s never compromised on these issues. Hence, if the plan is to be implemented, peaceful co-existence may not be there.

 For more details:  Stop Clearing Oromo from their Land in the name of inequitable Development1 PDF

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