Episode 36: How one of the fiercest critics of the Ethiopian government became its staunchest supporter

Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam spent decades criticizing dictatorial regimes in Ethiopia, his country of birth. Today, he is one of the staunchest supporters of the Ethiopian government, something he says happened “overnight,” when Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister. An attorney by profession, Prof. Mariam teaches political science, American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, federal and California state government, and African politics at California State University, San Bernardino.

Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam (in red shirt) accompanies Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (front, left) on a tour of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) construction site. Photo courtesy of @AlMariam1 on Twitter.

Prof. Mariam has argued cases in the California Supreme Court, and was instrumental in the passing of Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which made it official U.S. policy to support — among other things — human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, and the release of political prisoners in Ethiopia. Read his commentaries at www.almariam.com.

Episode 12: How Important is Nobel Peace Prize for Africa?

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize goes to Abiy Ahmed, the youthful Ethiopian prime minister, for making peace with Eritrea. Does he deserve the prize, given that he’s only been on the spotlight for a short time? Should he have shared the prize with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki just like Nelson Mandela and Frederik de Klerk? Should Africa still be looking west for validation? Shouldn’t we be aspiring more for recognition in areas of science like medicine, physics and chemistry?

So many questions!

In this episode, Nado, Okong’o and Khaboshi try to make sense of it all.