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Eritrea’s New Capital And Social Control through Currency Change

Countries usually announce change of currency to (a) stabilize a wobbly banking system, (b) to fight hyper-inflation, (c) to opt for currency substitution due to joining a regional or international currency or (d) to assert sovereignty. On November 3rd, the Eritrean regime announced that it will be issuing new currency and that Eritreans have six-weeks to surrender old currencies in exchange for new Nakfa at a 1:1 ratio. Four reasons have been given—officially and semi-officially—for this decision. They are (1) to fight the black market; (2) to fight inflation; (3) to increase currency circulation; (4) to fight contraband and corruption. This poses the following questions: Are the measures it is taking adequate? If they are not adequate, why, and what must be done? This is what we will try to address in this editorial. But to help us all understand where we are, we need to begin with the state of Eritrea’s economy.

Since the government has no published budget and no reports (or reporting mechanism), Eritreans often rely on international financial institutions to understand the state of the economy. The problem is that the financial institutions, themselves, give wildly varying numbers. Three years ago, the pro-regime websites couldn’t get enough of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast that Eritrea’s economy would be among the fastest-growing in the world for 3 consecutive years. But of late, even those with bullish forecasts, like AfDB have tempered their forecast. Another problem is that some of the reports are lagging and infrequently updated.

I. GDP Growth

For GDP growth, we will use that of the International Monetary Fund: Real GDP Growth Projections for 2015. According to IMF, the revised growth rate for Eritrea is estimated to be 0.2%. We realize that the IMF is not popular with some segments of Eritrea—we are using it because it updates its forecasts frequently. Those who are skeptical of the IMF (because, according to pro-regime websites, a senior Ethiopian at the bank manipulates the data to make Eritrea look bad) can reference the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank. The IMF categorizes states as oil exporters, middle income countries (MICs), Low Income Countries (LICs) and Fragile states. Along with Liberia, Comoros and Zimbabwe, Eritrea is a member of the four fragile states club which will experience a less than 2% GDP growth—mostly due to drop in copper prices, its single export—for 2015; catastrophic for a nation whose population is growing at 3% annually.

What is even worse is that GDP is calculated by using the USD equivalents of Nakfa at official exchange rates. According to the World Bank, Eritrea’s GDP for 2014 is USD $3.858 billion. Let’s now see what happens if we are to use the real (market) exchange rate: it would be $3.858 * $15 (official)/$60 (unofficial). That is: Eritrea’s REAL GDP is ¼ of what is published: it’s less than $1 billion USD. This takes us to the second issue: black market.

II. Black Market

One of the reasons given for introducing the new currency is to bring to control the black market. The real question is: why is Eritrea one of only eight African countries that has a fixed exchange rate? The rest of the world has moved to a market (floating) exchange rate and has virtually eliminated the black market. Some economists (like Friedman) have also argued that a country that has a floating exchange rate does not even need to have reserves. However, following the 1998 financial crises in SE Asia, many countries maintain high reserve of US dollar and Euro to fend against currency manipulation. Moving away from the fixed exchange would eliminate the black market in Eritrea and give the bank’s coffers much-needed hard currency. Issuing new currency only kicks the can down the road—after a short period, the black market will come roaring back. We can only assume that the reason the government sticks with the fixed exchange is because it wants to manipulate the size of its GDP, and to have hard currency that exists in a parallel market—also controlled by the ruling party. That is, the black market exists to allow the ruling party to dominate the economy, to maintain a cloak of secrecy and to avoid any transparency or accountability.

III. Fight Corruption

According to Transparency International, Eritrea ranks 166 out of 175 countries in the least corrupt ranking. Put another way, there are only 9 countries that are more corrupt than Eritrea now. What is even worse is that the rank has been steadily getting worse since 2010 moving from 123, to 134, to 150, to 160 and now 166. Corruption is measured by the perception of the public sector. This suggests that corruption is endemic and part of the public sector culture now, not the least of it being due to income disparity between the haves and have-nots (one of the highest in the world) and that public sector employees do not have livable wages. In fact, it is hard to imagine how an Eritrean who has no Diaspora support can make a living in Eritrea.

IV. Inflation

Eritrea’s inflation rate has varied between the extremely high recorded in 2009 (34.70) to the high recorded for 2014 (11.6%.) In fact, only four African countries—Central African Republic, Ghana, Malawi and South Sudan—have markedly higher inflation rates than Eritrea. This, no doubt, is tied to shortage of goods and inflated money supply.

Money supply, also called M2, is the sum of “currency outside banks, demand deposits other than those of the central government and the time, savings, and foreign currency deposits of resident sectors other than the central government.” Basically, it is cash and cash equivalent that is highly liquid.  M2 is measured as a percentage of the nation’s GDP. Eritrea’s M2 is 115.6% of its GDP. Recall that Eritrea’s GDP (at the official exchange rate) is $3.86 billion USD. This means its M2 is $3.86*115.6% = $4.46 billion. That is, again using the official exchange rate, 62.44 billion Nakfa that is circulating in Eritrea. That is how much new currency will have to be issued from a 1:1 exchange. To be sure, there is no absolute rule that says that high M2 leads to inflation—in fact some of the most dynamic economies (China, Hong Kong, Japan) have high M2. There is a consensus, however, that high M2, coupled with shortage of goods, with no budget constraint, or sound monetary policy is a contributor to inflation. Because of lack of available data, we are unable to run basic econometric models to analyze the impact of these macroeconomic variables on the Eritrean economy.

V. Contraband

Where there is a shortage of goods—and government policies that create shortage of goods, as is the case in Eritrea—contraband will thrive. For the last year that data is available, 2012, Eritrea’s Balance of Trade (trade deficit) was $461 million. This is because after 2010, with Bisha mine going to production, Eritrea became a one-commodity-export-economy, whose bulk of GDP is generated by one mining company.

Its import of a variety of essentials—equipment, wheat, pasta–is more than double the export. Coupled with this is the Party competing with the Government and the People: with the government issuing ill-advised and wrong decisions that empowers contraband trade, which is controlled by the ruling party.

VI. Conservative Banks

One of the arguments made for changing the currency is that the government wants to introduce a culture where people use all the tools of modern banking including checks and electronic cards. There are two problems here. Firstly, for the most part, Eritrea’s banks—just like the rest of its institutions—are not managed by technocrats but political hacks. Secondly, and related to that, Eritrean banks have one of the lowest loan-to-deposit ratio. Let’s look at both.

With a dysfunctional central bank, Eritrea’s monetary policies are not formulated to stabilize the economy and create trust; they are created to ensure that the regime’s’ coffers are the main beneficiary as a way of perpetuating its rule. For decades, that policy has created a stagnant economy resulting in unemployment, inflation, and poverty–the symptoms of bad fiscal and monetary policies and a reflection of a lack of management of money supply and the underlying problems associated with it. Consequently, a parallel unofficial economy flourishes, which encourages and rewards contraband, human trafficking and smuggling, currency black market, money laundering, and corruption at the highest levels, especially by the high ranking military officers who are involved in all sorts of illicit activities. Even Canadian mining company Nevsun engages in a militarized commerce in which the regime provides them with free labor, security protection, and transportation for hard currency.

A 1997 interview that was conducted with Berhane Abrehe, the former minister of finance, Weldai Futur, the IMF loaned consultant, and Girma Asmereom, the then-upcoming PFDJ diplomat, shows the big gap between what was promised by the Eritrean government, and what has transpired. Berhane Abrehe explained the issue of currency in a professional manner; Weldai Futur emphasized the differences in the approaches of both the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments; meanwhile, Girma, who has no training in the field, kept emphasizing how the Eritrean government wants to encourage free trade, and that it does not want to tell traders how to conduct their business transaction, sprinkling his statements with high sounding words like “globalization” and “free trade”. Time proved that those terms are alien to the PFDJ regime which was never for free trade, nor for relaxing its grip on the economy, but always focused on suffocating the business community, which it sees as a competitor not as an engine that powers the national economy the regime is supposed to manage. In hindsight, we now know that the PFDJ was opposed to Ethiopia’s insistence of using LC, (Letter of Credit) to document trade transactions because it had every intention in engaging in illicit cross-border trade to benefit PFDJ business enterprise and not the Eritrean people– a position that contributed to the 1998 war. Having failed to deliver peace and prosperity, Eritrea’s sole legal party is now insisting on trying to document and control all financial transactions of its own people. And by doing that, it will further damage the already crippled economy.

The banks which are run by political appointees—which is to say, personally by Isaias Afwerki—are, in turn, not in the business of serving their depositors—the people—but Isaias Afwerki and his Party. For 2013, the last available report, the loan-to-deposit ratio of Eritrea is 23.3%. To put this in perspective, only South Sudan had a lower ratio of 15.2%. That is to say, for every $1,000 in deposit, the Bank only lent $233. To put this in perspective again, the median loan-to-deposit ratio for Sub-Saharan Africa is 87.2%. In short, Eritreans have no incentive to go to the Bank as it is unlikely to extend credit to them. Even those who could put their properties as collateral for loans simply cannot do any kind of business because of the chronic shortage of goods, stagnant economy, and inability to compete with PFDJ business enterprises. And if it did, there are no investment opportunities and whatever little opportunities there are, they are reserved for PFDJ conglomerates. And now, with a fiat, the government wants to change people’s behavior without offering an incentive for them to do so.

Recommendations.

Under a normal government, the antidote to the underlying cause of the challenges Eritrea faces are rule of law, good governance, administrative competence, transparency, well-functioning media to inform the public in exposing corruption, and free and meaningfully regulated free enterprise.

The adoption of a market based exchange rate, which would attract inflows of private capital and foreign exchange, is the only way to remove the expanding gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates. Many developing countries have tried and failed to maintain a fixed exchange rate. African countries that still have fixed exchange rates are: Cape Verde, Comoros, Eritrea, Lesotho, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, and Swaziland.

Such draconian and coercive undertaking of major currency exchange exercise–remember, if every Nakfa is surrendered, that is 62.4 billion of it being counted, exchanged, documented, witnessed, audited– would have been unnecessary as the underlying issues would have been addressed by the institution found in an open, politically stable, democratic society that aims at maintaining an independent central bank that benefits the economy and not the intelligence entities.

People are overwhelmed by the corrupt environment that the regime created, they are trying to make a living, and now they will be impoverished or arrested. Even the ardent regime supporters who often use the black market when vacationing in Eritrea will find a way to circumvent the rules as they will not be happy to be required to exchange their money at a fraction of the black market rate.

As a result, the Eritrean Nakfa has become as good as a USA penny (down from 12 cents in 1998); its purchasing power is eroded, and such a situation doesn’t encourage investing or doing business. The decision to change the currency in such a haphazard way will result in a higher inflation, higher exchange rate and more corruption that will kill the already damaged economy.

In short, with all powers concentrated under one man, Eritrea does not have institutions that can ensure macroeconomic stability, control inflation, exchange rate stability, attracting foreign investment and supporting economic growth. Unless the government embraces institutionalism, accountability, transparency, the only way it will get people to do what it wants them to do is through its coercive powers. And that, as every failed communist nation has demonstrated, is no way to grow and develop.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Rule of Law

    Selam Saba
    The Ethio regime uses the “erdata” money for a good cause. You can see the transformation taking place across the nation as a solid evidence. There’s nothing wrong with receiving aid from those willing to stretch their hands. Israel and Egypt receive aid from the US and other EU countries. Even borrowing is not a bad idea because much of the debt that the third world countries owe eventually gets cancelled. China recently has pledged to do so. If I’m not mistaken PFDJ has a zero borrowing policy which is a bad idea. A friend once said ለመበደር አትፍዘዝ ለመክፈል አትንቀዥቀዥ

    • Hope

      Greeting Mr or Ms Rule of Law:
      I agree with your points for the most part!
      Few points to add :
      -Eventhough it is none of our business as ERITREANS to talk about the Ethiopian business except to learn something positive from them,they also have serious weaknesses too!
      -Unbalanced distribution pf their Resources without going into details-
      -Seriois Corruption and abuse of the aid including the $13 Billion that disappeared with no trace!
      -Being a perpetual aid dependent(Refer to the latest BBC Commentary)
      Back to our Business:
      -In fact the PFDJ has one of the “Best” Policies in ref to Development Aid and Loans but does not practice it for weird reasons or obvious reasons,I should say!
      -The PFDJ receives Aid and Loans but does not publicize it!
      -Of utmost importance,since there is no Constitution,there are no proper Instituitions,Accountability,Clear Policy ,Transparency,etc… and hence,it is difficult even to discuss about Aid and Zloans!
      But one thing is true though:
      The USA and Yhe EU confirmed objectively that whatever the Aid and/ or Loan the GoE provided with,it is utilized ” properly” eventhough we can argue about the ” Mismanagement and related issues'”!
      In my opinion,it is unfair to block the EU Development Fund and at the same time to be silent and indifferent about Ethiopia getting hundreds of millions is USD in Aid and Loans while it has failed to abide by the International
      Rules,Laws and Norms!
      A classic case of Opposition and the International Community Hypocrisy’

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Dear Hope;

    First there is no distinction between the PFDJ and the GoE; they are one and the same entities. And this entity is led and owned by DIA and his cronies. The conclusion is then you’re either with the dictator or against him. You may not admitt it but our problems, probably 90% of them, are attributed to this clique/PFDJ/GoE. We solve these problems and we will be in a much better situation to solve the other relatively minor issues, most of which could be traced to the policies of the clique.

    To answer your question about me being “indifferent about the destructive Policy of the EPRDF Gov against Eritrea”; may be you’ve not noticed but I’ve always spoken against the continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories by the Ethiopian Gov; that the Ethiopians are contributing to the no war no peace situation by not withdrawing their forces from Badme and other territories that have been ruled to Eritrea. You’ve listed lots of issues that happened or might have happened during the war; my conclusion is you should expect most of those issues to happen during war. Remember also there were many innocent Ethiopians in Eritrea who were harassed and killed in the most inhumane way during the war. Yes, there were provocations from the Tigray side, indeed, but those provocations didn’t warrant an all out war; and you know that it was DIA who sent his mechanized troops to crush the Ethiopian miliatias and police forces that were stationed at Badme. I think you should also be naive to expect the Ethiopian government to continue using the Asseb port during the war; it is practically, and security wise impossible.

    You wrote, “… until a better “Regime” shows up, I have no choice but support the current one when needed as it is the ONLY recognized GoE by more than 189 UN Members States/ Nations”. My advice to you is you do not need to support a regime for the sake of it; you could rather contribute your share to find a better alternative to this regime by siding with those groups in the opposition whose programmes better match your aspirations.

    • Hope

      Thanks my Dear Brother Abreham!
      We are on the same page but few technical isdues!
      But U still have misunderstood the clause saying ” I will support the GoE” ,which was meant to dead as “the State of Eritrea”,which does not imply that the PFDJ /the GoE and Eritrea are the same !
      Let us put aside the technical language here and stick to the fact that in all the Media buss and all over the world, the name of Eritrea is what is mentioned,not the PFDJ and as such,I have to defend Etitrea in my own independent way,not the others including you want me to defend Eritrea!
      With all due respect though,I respectfully disagree with your assertion and that of Cousin SAAY and others blaming exclusively the PFDJ /the GoE when the facts on the ground speak volumes !
      BTW,you are the one,who is equating Eritrea with the PFDJ and wishing Eritrea to go to hell as long as the PFDJ is in power!
      Heavens NO!
      I would rather wish to see a STRONGER Eritrea under the PFDJ or the Devil rather than see Eritrea vanish from the Map!
      And that is the Open Policy of our bloody enemies that the back bone of the PFDJ and the Christians aka the Highlanders should be broken so as to weaken and subjugate Eritrea and ERITREANS ; and if that is the case,then let the PFDJ and the Highlanders stay stronger than ever and may God bless them’

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Dear Hope;

        It seems that for you Eritrea is the geographical territory only; to me Eritrea is both the people and its territory. Eritrea has never been strong, and will never be strong under the PFDJ. A regime that rules by iron fist, resulting in the emptying of the country for its people; a regime that runs a mafia-style economy denying the people to lead their lives freely cannot be said to work for a stronger Eritrea. Simply put Eritrea is getting ever weaker for each day that passes under the PFDJ. You cannot defend a country by enslaving its people and denying them their basic rights, ; it is simply contradicting.

        • Hope

          Oooh ,my Dear Abreham, do n’t even go there!
          No need of twisting things!
          I stated the FACTS as they are!
          If Eritrea does not exist,ERITREANS will not exist and/ or will be the newest Gypsy!
          I gave up!
          Have enough courses in basic Political Science and Governance though!

          • Dear Hope,
            A country in its geopolitical essence contains a stretch of land and its people (inhabitants).
            The land without the people has no meaning at all, and people without a country they can call their own and are forced to feel and live as tenants, who can be evicted any time, disposed and disowned by some who act as if they are the sole owners, are not living in their own country, but in that of the rulers. If an Ethiopian does not feel relatively free in Ethiopia he calls his country, and is not able to work, raise a family and envision old age in peace and security, or in other words his/her life is even worse than living in a foreign country, what is Ethiopia to him or her? The same is true for Eritreans. Please, do not
            tell me that Eritreans are a different group of people.
            Kurds as a nation exist despite the fact that there is no Kurdistan yet, the same is true for Palestinians; which means that always it is the people who have the priority, and a country
            comes as a consequence of this. Looking back to history helps in this case. There were people before there were countries.
            It seems that you created Eritrea and now it is the phase in which you decide, who should be worthy to live in this strip of land, in some corner of Africa. You perceive citizenship as if it is a hereditary disease that one should live with it, with no right for complaints, because there is no cure for it at least for the time being. A country that belongs exclusively to some and not to all has no meaning at all, and there is no reason whatsoever that citizens should suffer in silence by accepting that their fate comes only second to the fate of land that is owned by its rulers and not by its people.

          • Hope

            Thanks Dear Horizon:
            I agree with you as well as Abreham in ” Principle” but it is not realistic and practical to argue the way both of you argued as there is no cut point of prioritizing which comes first,rather,both the Natin and the People go hand in hand and are inseparable except in Metaphysical and Jumbo-Mombo Politics!
            It is just a PR Gimmick to argue that way!
            I could argue though,brutally for the sake of argument as to which should come first but that is not my role and goal!
            We achieved Phase I of our struggle and we are working for Phase II of our Goal but it takes two to tango and since our problems are complex and multi factorial , it is only naive and Trecherous to blame one party and ignore the other major factors,which even have more deleterious impact and outcome- the role of External Interference-based on the past and recent history and based on the facts on the ground!

          • Mesfin

            Good day All! It was interesting to read the Abraham and Hope posts. But, hope lost the discussion and he made it worst defeat by suggesting his Political Science teachers – Abraham to go for basic political science courses. I was in hope ‘ s class and he failed dismally. I passed the course by obtaining 51%. But, I have hope that hope will pass the course after a number of attempts, as it happened to Newton. Hope! What is the difference between PFDJ and ‘GoE’? You mentioned that a number of countries recognizer GoE as legitimate govt of Eritrea. Remember, Eri-Ethiio confederation was recognized by many countries of the world. So, where would you stand if you would travel in time?

            Thank you
            Mesfin.

  • Abi

    Hi AOsman
    Min nekah wedaje bichahin taweraleh?

    • Hope

      Dear Ato Abinet:
      Ayaghebahim ayyimelketihimim as this is purely ERITREAN Business no matter what!
      Plus,Eritran respect each other like a family irrespective of their background and persona!
      He is trying to mentor and teach me!
      Melkam Lelit and Gheta Yibarikih!

  • Zeray Haben

    Dear Awate Team
    Thank you for the clear analysis.
    Many of us have lost credibility of PFDJ or DIA just by looking at their 24 year history and the decisions they made. Most of the decisons including this one have one common thing written all over them. That is Control. Relentless on going rules and regulations that keeps the majority of the population restless and worrisome. None of the reasons they gave on currency exchange will become a panacea of the ills of Eritrean society. Instead it will make majority of the well meaning citizens frustrated and succumb to the power hungry regime. However, sooner or later this accumulation of frustrations will end up exploding for change. Now, Eritreans have the responsibility to organize themselves so that this societal explosion brings about positive change instead of further chaos.
    Last week was a promising week because we were able to see 10 of the opposition groups defined 10 common goals that they will be working on as united. Those 10 common goals are representative of all peace loving people and those who desire future democratic Eritrea. I wish them success.
    Like or not change will come soon.

  • AOsman

    Dear Hope,

    By the way I don’t know “my guy”, it is story that I was told. You don’t need to go far, our L.T. here was moaning when the change was announced. I personally cannot understand, why one would exchange his hard currency for Nacfa to keep it in store, that’s the most …… thing to do.

    I read your previous assertion that the whole motive for change is the sabotage by Weyane, but you did not explain how they have done it as you are ahead of us on that department. Telling me they have agent in Eritrea for now weakens your point as any Eritrean who is in the business would be called “Weyane” so it sounds a tag of convenience. But I am all ears to hear what the Weyane have done…..

    I must have missed something on the challenge by General Nitricc, unless it is the discussion about the famine, which I gave up when he would not even budge on something small….when we debate here if one feels something must swing 100% one way or the other, we will be talking over each other. We have to be able to give in, to progress….I lost one teeth to Nitricc’s upper cut :), so he could move on and knock more from others.

    Anyway, few times I tried to understand, why PFDJ has taken a draconian measure, nothing made sense. Your theory is the closest ;)….but put some meat to the skeleton….eager to hear the full story.

    Regards
    AOsman

    • Hope

      Ahlen AOsman:
      I did not exclusively blame the Weyanes but here is the list from top to the bottom of importance as to who is the culprit:
      1)The EPRP Leadership due to its deliberate mess up of the country – the lack of Constititional Governance and Lack of Proper Institutions with no Transparency and Accountability,which The Pencil eloquently and brutally exposed
      2)The Weyanes through their Money Laundrying Agents through out the world inuding through their Offices in Eritrea from Adi Quala to Tesenei!
      Evidence-Source:
      -An X-PFDJ Insider
      -Personal Eye Witness Account where my own half Cousins-with a Tigreyan Dad and an ERITREAN Mom- my Aunt and other TPLF Agents in San Jose and Oakland -Bay Area ,Denver area ,Seattle,Twin Cities,MN and Washington DC!
      3) Others:
      The corrupt Gov Officials,Business People,Human Traffickers and few ERITREAN Money Laundrying Agenrs and the naive ERITREANS,who. kept their Nacfa under their mattresses !
      Believe it or not,the one done by the Weyanes has been alarming and dangerous as it has been done at the TPLF Gov Level with a huge Investment via EFFORT and the Tigray Rehab Org and its mini-branches!

      My source,quite known to the AT,in his own admission,confirmed that the Weyane one has been ACTIVE since the introduction of Nacfa and he even associated the saga of the Corrupt Gen Wuchu and his Competetor,Gen Philipos and their business associates like Fikre et al where they invested more than $300 Million in collaboration with some Weyane Agents!
      As you can see, irrespective of who is the Culprit,this kind of ” business” has led to serious threat to the National Security Interest of Eritrea!
      Hence,the action taken by the GoE was and is Essential and Mandatory,irrespective of who is the beneficiary and / or the victim,
      In fact,it has been a past due action or measure!
      Wether it will work or not,it was a necessary measure!
      India has done in 1995 for almost the same reason!
      Our job should have been to be aggressive by writing such a kind of Editorials to expose the System on a day light !
      I love the Recommendation part of the Editorial/the Pencil and hope the AT will be more aggressive on exposing the Regime by doubling such kind of Editorials on the issues that affect seriously the National Security Interest of Eritrea as my source told me that the Office of the President seriously reads and monitors the Articles at Awate.com!
      The AT:
      keep up the good job by trippling your effort on such issues of utmost importance to the National Security Interest of Erirea!
      Focus on:
      -The impat of lack of constitutional Governance
      -The Mishandling of the Economy,the Education,the Health Sector,the National Service,the Foreign Policy,the Human Rights,etc!
      I know you have done it before but do it in a Consistent,coordinated and organized manner along with Conclusions and Recommendations!
      I say this ,not tell you what to do but to tell you that it can have a major impact and pressure on the EPRP Leadership’s reckless Policy!
      Plus, it has been confirmed that your website has become the most reliable source of info compared to a thousand Eri Websites and other non-Eri biased websites !
      N.B.
      Ustaz AMan Hidrat et al:
      The same source confirmed to me that Prof SAAY ‘s principle and position is accurate that the SOLE culprit ,for the most part is,has been and will be the same EPRP Leadership!
      So,please drop out that “System ” thing as the System will scramble easily without its Architect!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hope,

        Anta Me-Egergri – from where did you get this “EPRP” as the sole culprit of the current predicament? Are you talking the one that was transformed into PFDJ in the 3rd EPLF organizational congress in 1993? I think you are 22 years behind. Or are you coming with a new scoop of info? Are they trying to reconstitute the old party?

        Regards

  • haileTG

    Haha..Saba,

    Weridwo opposition, I doubt they heard about the Nakfa changing issue yet 🙂 You miss one little point in the works: Mr Y couldn’t deposit his hoarded Nakfa before, that is why the hoarding happened to start with. The bank would ask for source declaration under normal time. It is in the two week grace period that the banks are suspending normal practice, so Mr X (even the miserably poor Mr Y) can go and deposit. Hence, the loss would not happen in the bank’s balance sheet at anytime before. Yes, it would happen at the national budget balance sheet, but the gumruk will be as much responsible for it as the bank, the police, 09, 03, amahadari of Tesseney….

    I guess I am talking about the bank and you are looking at the great brother leader 🙂 Just kiding.

  • Pass the salt

    Hey all
    I heard someone (or someones) fled to a neighbouring country with a very large sum of nakfa and the abrupt decision to change the currency may have been to get back at them. Of course there have been many speculations and scenarios. One day we will find out the truth.
    But you know how EriTv invites viewers to call in and ask on small topics (for example to ask artists about a specific song)? Wouldn’t it be a great service for ErTv to invite the public on more serious issues like the penal codes and now the nakfa? I think so!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hello Fellow Awatistas,

    I just read few minutes ago an article in Asmarino.com written by some one with a pen name Zekere Lebona – on the issue of the new currency. In the article I read the following statement: “In the mid-90s of the last century, Eritrea had the highest per capita of people, who hold bank accounts in Africa.” Does this claim has any validity? Any data pertinent to the statement? Can some one scrutinize this statement either to validate or expose the fallacious of the statement – a task for the business minded in this forum.

    Reagards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • saay7

      Hi Emma:

      The info Zekre Lebonna provided is accurate. Zekre is usually quite reliable in data presentation, it is in his synthesis/analysis that things usually fall apart because of where he is coming from.

      The World Bank issues a report on banking/account holders in Africa and in the mid to late 1990s there was generally a high level of confidence/good faith in the government. Moreover this is relative: Eritrea’s rates were high in comparison that to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (which has even fewer account holders: the super rich bank ineurope and the middle class in their mattresses.)

      But, as our Amara cousins say, “Neber Bai-seber”: ever since mobile banking started, lots of Africans have bypassed Eritrea. The world bank now gives grey (unavailable) reports on Eritrea.

      saay

      • Abi

        Saay
        The Amhara also say
        ” lij yiroTal enji abatun ayqedmim.”

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        Again, you have only one bank to deposit your money and you are what? 5 million people? That is easy to bank, especially, when you have a government that extorts you psychology coerce you and systematically forces you. Ethiopia now has almost 100 million people and close to 20 banks (don’t compare that giant to your tiny pit. 🙂 ) and no coercing policy of it’s people to deposit their money.

        • Saba

          Dear Eyob,
          You have only 20 banks? Where is this countless “erdata” going? You need more banks for that.

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Saba,
            You’ve for sure misunderstood Eyob M. He is saying 20 different types of banks; not totally 20 in number; meaning one type of bank would, for ex, have 15 branches in the whole country. For comparison; in Eritrea there are two types of banks that are owned and manipulated by the Isayas-gangsters.

        • Hope

          Ayte Eyob:
          Prof Salih AA Younis is not trying to compare the Apples with Oranges but giving you an example of a scenario!
          BTW ,and FYI,after the PFDJ Regime,yoir TPLF Gov and its Money Laundrying Agents are responsible for the Deletion of Nacfa and one of the PFDJ Regime’s hidden reasons of changing the Nacfa is to counter that criminal Money Laundering Activituby the TPLF Agents!
          The bad thing though is that the TOLF Agents used the Nacfa only to but USD!
          This is the continuation of the Economic Sabotage of Eritrea by the TPLF Junta since the introduction of Nacfa!

  • Pass the salt

    Good Sunday all,
    While other Presidents do televised address when big issues come up, President Isaias plays it safe. His strategy is:
    1 – go missing from public eye and put other officials at the forefront,
    2 – study the situation while unfolding,
    3 – when things start to settle, come out from the closet and take the popular position,
    4 – if the opperation was too expensive, find scapegoats.
    One way or another that is how he ruled all his life. He is extremely fearful of any failure, and he is not going to take any risk with that by facing challenges head on. He rather watch from the side and later pick the winners.

    • Hope

      Dear PTS:
      A Classic ONE,indeed!
      That is the Modus Operandi of Dictators ,BTW!
      -Machiavelli Tactics
      -Maoism
      -Sofisticatedly dangerous Security Apparatus
      -Ultimate Corruption Tactics
      !

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Dear Hope,

        If you REALLY believe in what you’ve written here; then why are you most of the time exerting your energy to protect the dictator and his regime, while trying to export the blame to extrernal actors like Woyane, U.S., etc? Which version of your views are we going to believe? Hope, you’re one of the greatest flip-floppers I’ve ever experienced!

  • bob

    Here is the real story – let’s suppose the government has printed 1 billion nakfas that are in circulation. They print 1 billion new nakfas to replace the existing currency – but we know that they will only get let’s say 500 million nakfas brought in for exchange because a lot of people hoarding million nakfas will not turn them in because they will be jailed as they can’t explain how someone without no job, company license has millions of nakfa. So in that case the government just made 500 million nakfas for itself and in essence stole 500 million nakfas from people who are afraid to turn them in. This is actually pretty smart for the sinister sha’ebia – they tried everything to control people from trading and making a living – they couldn’t control it and just decided to steal their money instead.

    • haileTG

      Hey Bob,

      Let’s also consider the flip side of that. Let’s say the government gets 500 million Nakfa in the first two week period without asking where it came from. Now these 500 million Nakfa was purchased at dollar parity 1:50. Once the Bank accepts them, they automatically appreciate in value to 1:15 (more than threefold)! In other words, the bank will be buying them at three times their real worth!

      Regards

      • Solomon Haile

        Selamat HTG,

        Your flip side indicates, should it be the one to occur, that the people will be winners. By this government’s move the upside could be for those who would have to deposit everything in excess of Nfa20K that is allowed, will have in their savings three times more than they have deposited. Am I missing something or should we all then give a standing ovation to the Bank of Eritrea for enriching the honest people who followed the proclamation? Can they get away by amending the announcement to include amnesty for those who toiled to accumulate or hoard Nakfa in “dire economical times” by utilizing the motto: “any which way you can but loose!”? And those who don’t turn inn the Nfa500M we all will just have to consider them persona(inculding you soladi) non grata. Some one needs to do a distribution curve (begin with the normal distribution) and then use a a playing cards system to give an idea of who is sitting on the missing Nakfa. The only plausible theory thus far has been the one you HTG have provided. And it is “There is a BREACH!” Some brave warsay robbed some or all the generals of their hoarded stash and they may have even burned their loot so the GoE said print some more. The 99% of Eritreans in Eritrea, each house hold, has between Nfa20K to Nfa100K and even the five year old will be opening a bank account given the “solely one and solely in one bank” order. TsaTse

      • Saba

        Hi Hailuwa, the devaluttion is done once and it is done at the blackmarket and it does not matter whether the government puts back in circulation the money or not. I am just thinking through simple math.
        Saba

        • haileTG

          Hey Saba,

          Let me simplify it this way:

          Suppose Mr X is a licensed baker who needs to import food coloring for his cake product. He needs hard currency to import those. Are we clear thus far? Well and good:) Mr X buys 50000 Nakfa in the black market @ 1000USD. Simple, right? Now, Mr X deposits his 50000 NKF to the bank within the two weeks and his account reads 50000 NKF. Now Mr X, a licensed business owner wishes to get his money in USD to settle his import bill. Well, according to the bank, Mr X can withdraw USD 3,333.33 by using up his 50,000 NKF credit in his checking account. The bank of Eritrea is $2,333.33 USD short because it accepted the 50,000NKF that was acquired at $1000 from the black market. If the bank wants to convert the 50000NKF back to USD, no one will buy them unless it sells it back at the black black market for $1000 USD, hence I am saying it will be $2,333.33 USD. I hope this is fairly straight forward. The only way out is of course to not give hard currency to anyone and continue closing off the country and back to square one.

          Regards

          • AOsman

            Dear HaileTG,

            Theoretically in red, since they don’t/never sell $ at the pegged value, they have nothing to loose. In the meantime, Mr X will revert back to black market for his $ and as you concluded, back to square one…..there is no way out of it.

            Let me put this hateta to you, apart from the insentivised approach (saay suggestion) to get the money in an orderly manner, assuming the 100 and 50 Nacfa shortage was the problem (even if not), wouldn’t you replace only those two notes using similar announcement as a first move?
            This would have allowed the local market to function throughout the period, without panic buying and hyperinflation that is following. The government could have implemented a phased replacement, while keeping the element of surprise/control they wanted to have.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • haileTG

            Dear Aosman,

            You are right that the banks actually never give hard currency. And the black market parliament had long floated the Nakfa:) So, the example above was meant to give Saba an idea of the contradiction. Another main issue connected to this is that the two week period is essentially illegal in banking terms. No bank would accept unlimited amount of deposit without source declaration. What banking law or national law did the regime use to permit money laundering in those two weeks? It can easily say that every one has to fill a source declaration form for later processing after the six weeks (i.e. declared source will be verified later while banking service rendered for the short term). I am sure the promise not to look at source for the two weeks will be invalidated as per the history of the regime. So, it will be foolish to deposit if one has issues.

            You’re right that there are better ways of doing an ideal currency change, yet this one doesn’t seem to be happening for the ideal reason but something sinister instead.

            Regards

          • AOsman

            Dear HaileTG,

            “No bank would accept unlimited amount of deposit without source declaration”

            Haha, you know I wondered where you picked that assumption…hmm. I had to reread Article 4 sub-clauses 2 and 5 of the legal notice.

            (2) Any individual or entity shall be allowed to redeem currency solely in one bank and solely once.
            (5) Foreigners or foreign entities wishing to exchange old Nakfa currency notes for the new Nakfa currency notes may be allowed to do so after the legitimacy of the mode of obtaining the old Nakfa currency they wish to exchange has been verified.

            OK by reading (5) one may assume check free for (2), but you know that is a bait. Group 2 are resident in their reach (nabey kay kedu). Group 5, well they can try from distance knowing the most they loose is their money. Rest assured, they will be check post collection…one step at time.

            Hiji gemed Iser iya zella, mitihisisab nDahrai gidefo.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear AOsman,

            As you noted the proclamation doesn’t have any article that deals with the origin of the Nakfas in the possession of local Eritrean residents. As they say the devil is in the details; we’ve to remember the people are going to fill a form; and in this form I’m sure there will be questions relating to personal incomes, assets, business enterprises, etc. that would shade light into the personal economies of the people.

          • AOsman

            Dear Abraham,

            Wouldn’t you simplify the form to the least information, name, surname, ID no, tel, account no, value of deposit..enough for basic database……and the detailed processing can be done later. Their focus is more about collection and identification now, the rest later.

            Maybe more for those living in the West, I mean if one gives his personal salary detail (inflated) and more, it will be helpful for later when dealing with 2%..Eda aleka mebeli.

            The rule that one should not keep more than 20k cash, by default the majority will be foul of it and may get the minimum penalty. You remember how PFDJ arrested the elders who wanted to reconcile DIA with his opponent and based on the “no more than 4 can congregate….bla bla rule” he arrested them. The only reason that many with even small amount will feel safe it the safety in number..nbezhom nkhowen…beAnas aygemeren iyu…..beten sebaHat demamu 😉 iyom kigemer…ilka mifukhas iyu negeru, and you know where that leads.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • welde

            Hi haile TG,
            one minor correction to your great analysis, I don’t think the bank of Eritrea sells dollar at 15 Nakfa to Mr X. If Mr X, presents $1000 dollars then the bank will buy it at 15 Nakfa = 15000 Nakfa.
            On the other hand if Mr X presents 15,000 Nakfa and wants dollar for it, the bank won’t sell it at 15. That is the different BID/ASK price.
            regards,
            welde

          • haileTG

            Hey Welde, thanks and yes there is that marginal difference on the two sides as you explained well. In Eritrea however they simply don’t sell dollar. No one in their right mind would go to the regime for that. The very reason you approached these regime people can be the start of a new disaster in your life. People would go to any length to avoid them getting any close than the bare minimum. Regards

  • AOsman

    Dear Awatista,

    So the hyperinflation season has kicked in, those who can’t deposit all their Nacfa have to buy something…anything. Those who can afford the do a one off deposit without a problem, have a chance to make the best out of it. Assena is reporting price hike by 100% and more. For those who don’t read Tigrigna some of the prices given are below.

    100kg Teff from 2500NKF to 5000NKF
    40kg Sugar from 40NKF to 80NKF
    5ltr Oil from from __ to 750NKF (Not given the original price)

    http://assenna.com/%E1%8A%A3%E1%89%A5-%E1%8A%A4%E1%88%AD%E1%89%B5%E1%88%AB-%E1%8B%9D%E1%89%95%E1%89%A3%E1%89%A0-%E1%89%A3%E1%8C%A4%E1%88%AB-%E1%8A%93%E1%89%95%E1%8D%8B%E1%8A%95-%E1%8A%93%E1%88%85%E1%88%AA-%E1%8B%8B/

    Regards
    AOsman

    • Abi

      Hi AOsman
      Sugar is relatively cheap in eritrea. Do you know the old and new price of gold?
      Thanks

      • AOsman

        Dear Abi,

        Nice catch ;), corrected now, now you can drop that idea in your mind…we don’t export, you can send us yours…..

        Regards
        AOsman

        • Abi

          Hi AOsman
          You are mean. I was about to send trucks loaded with nakfa. Lost opportunity. I have to wait for the gold.

    • haileTG

      Hey AOsman, I was about to call my family there and tell them to get the Teff/Taff for ten monkey (5000) NKF ☺haha. .. actually fino is what you meant, not Taff. The price of Taff had been high ever since the border war. Regards

      • AOsman

        Dear HaileTG,

        Thanks for the correction. I am as slow as a snail when I read Tigrigna, by the time I reached zeity, fino was out of register.

        Regards
        AOsman

    • saay7

      Selamat AOsman:

      You and Haile TG are really giving *priceless* information on this. Much much appreciated!

      You know how they have “Open”, “Closed” signs by the doors of businesses? I heard that the jewelry stores have a new sign “You are kidding, right?”

      Come on Emma. It’s a joke.

      saay

      • Abi

        Hi Saay
        Thank you for spoiling it.

      • AOsman

        Dear Saay,

        Lol, yesterday I was told one guy from your side of the Atlantic, stashed a lot of Nacfa in a safe and took the key with him to the land of milk and honey.

        Hiji teshaqilu kemey kiseda iye iza meftih ybl allo ilomuni

        The person telling me the story, carried on….sberuwo zeyblom ke, kab meftih kiseded zibl?

        Sebey ab shaqla atiya, teshaqil ala….Zeyrekhbo yeblun hizbi Ertra

        Regards

        AOsman

  • Michael Solomon

    Good article – but it misses a couple of important reasons why the current currency is being replaced:
    1) The current currency was being printed in Europe (I think possibly in France) and the printing cost is not worth printing! So HGDEF mafia and it’s architects may have figured out discount printers somewhere in Asia.
    2) The mafia have an ulterior motives and that is to confiscate peoples money- it is understood by all that the worthless paper is hoarded in tones in every house hold- When I say people here I am referring to the majority of the people who can not afford to convert their wealth in to US / EU currencies or gold.
    Most Eritreans do not trust the mafia and it’s so called banks and for the most part this currency like any African currency never ends up / circulates to any banks and they need to print new.

    • saay7

      Selamat Michael:

      Thank you for your comments.

      1. In terms of switching printers from Europe to Sudan, there is no reason to demand a recall of currency. As Haile TG noted, all the Gov had to do was introduce the new currency to gradually replace the old currency. This is what happens everywhere, particularly to stay a step ahead of counterfeit artists. When that happens, the only minor inconveniences are for dummy systems (and by that I mean vending machines, HTG, and and NOT PFDJ:)

      2. As for the intent to confiscate, well, Michael we were trying to address official and semi-official reasons given by the regime. But of course we share your characterization of the regime.

      saay

  • Kokhob Selam

    ዝኸበርኩምን ዝኸበርክንን :-

    ኣብ’ዛ ኣዝያ ፍትውቲ መርበብ ብዙሕ ብዙሕ ምህሮን ተሞክሮን እዩ ሓሊፉ :: እዚ ኣርእስቲ ‘ ውን ከም ወትሩ ሓያልን ቀሊል ዘይብሃል ኣገዳሲ ርኢቶታት ኣራኣእያታትን :- ኣተሓሳስባ ዘስፍሕ ትንታኔታትን ፈሲሱ እዩ :: ነቲ ተገዲሱ ፍልጠት ከኻዕብት ዝመጽእ እሞ ኸኣ -ነብስ ወከፍ ቁጠባዊ ርኢቶ ናብ ካልእ መወከሲ መጻሕፍቲ ዝመርሕ ብምንባሩ ኣብ ዘይተሓስበ ምህሮ ቁጠባ ኢና ቀኒና:: ብዘይ ኣፈላላይ ንኹሉ ተሳታፋይ ምስጋናይ ይብጻሕኩም ክብል ይፍቀደላይ ::ኣይት ሰኣኑ ኣሕዋት!

    … ናይ ሕቶታት ሕቶ …….

    “ሓውካ ኣበይ ኣሎ ” ሓውካ እቲ ኽቡር :-
    ኢሉ ምስ ሓተተ እቲ ቀሺ ምሁር :-
    መልሱ ‘ውን ምስ ኮነ – ይቅተል ይእሰር :-
    ሕቶታት ቀጸለ ንመሬት ንፍጡር::

    ……….ሓብትኺ ኣበይ ኣላ እታ ጀግና ኣስቴር :-
    ……… ኣበይ ኣለዋ ኩለን ዝጠፈ ኣ ብሚስጥር :-
    ……….ሰብካ ኣጥፊእካ ዶ ደቂስካ ይሕደር :-
    ……….ዝብል መልእኽትታት ኣብ ቅድሚና ግትር ::

    ኣበይ ኣሎ መንእሰይ ኣብ ኣሎ ህጻን :-
    ኣብ ባሕሪ ተዋሒጡ ዳግም ኣይተመልሰን:-
    ሰብካ ዶ ይጠፍእ ተለዓል ኣይፍላካን :-
    ዝብል መልእኽቲ ድቃስ ኣይሃበናን::

    ኣበይ ከደ ቀሺ ኣበይ ከደ ቅዱስ:-
    ኣበይ ኣበለ ጋዜጠኛ ሕቶ ዝመላልስ:-
    ኣበይ ኣበለ ድራሲ ኣእምሮ ዘህድስ :-
    ከቢድ ሕቶታት ጸብጺብካ ዘይጭረስ:-
    ዓቅልና ዓጽቢቡልና ክንምርምር ክንህንድስ::

    ሓዲሽ ሕቶ መጸ “ኣበይ ከደ ናቅፋ ” :-
    ቁጥባ ‘ዛ ሃገር ዘይርከቦ ተስፋ:-
    ባጤራ ‘ውን ዶ ከደት ኮይንዎ ሰኒፋ :-
    ብለይባ መሪሕነት ተቆሪጹ ክንፋ ::

    ኣበይ ኣሎ ሰብ ኣበይ ኣሎ ገንዘብ :-
    ኢሉ ንዝሓትት ኣርቂቁ ዝዕዘብ :-
    ኣብ ስርዓተ ሕጊ እዩ ቲ መልሲ ዝርከብ :-
    መፍትሒ ድ ኣ ንርከብ ወገነይ ንጣበብ ::

    ናይ ሕቶታት ሕቶ ኣበይ ኣሎ መንግሲቲ :-
    ኣበይ ኣሎዎ ሰባት ሓገግቲ ፈጸምቲ ::

    ናይ ሕቶታት ሕቶ-
    ናይ ሕቶታት ሕቶ ኣበይ ኣሎ ቅዋም :-
    እቲ ኣውራ መገጊ ንምዕባለ ሰላም :-
    ብናይ ሓባር ድምጺ ዝሰፍር ኣብ ቀለም :-
    መሰል ሰብ ዝሕሉ ንሕጊ ዘቀድም ::

    ገባቲ ስርዓት ካብ ስሩ ይመሖ ::
    ብ ኮኽብ ሰላሞ 14.11.2015

  • Saba

    Dear Awatawian and AT,
    Events after events the so-called internet
    based eritrean opposition is getting desensitized by these events. Again
    and again people lose focus with each event, fail to see the big
    picture: To remove DIA system( oops may be it is not a “system”:) ) AT
    has put this well researched article but it failed when it comes
    specifically about the Eritrean case(that is what a physiology prof does in front of a real patient): the gist of the recommendation in the article is that
    there is no monetary policy that can work in Eritrea unless the regime
    change its behavior or it is removed. This is a general theme, there is
    no border resolution because of the regime, we should claim ras dumiera or badme if the regime is
    in power, even though the health workers are doing some progress we should discredit the MDG because of the regime. That
    is what happens when you lose the big pic.
    It is not just the economy
    stupid! It is the whole regime itself. So what can you do about the regime?
    Whatever you want to do you need the support of the people and till now
    no opposition movement has a real constituency.

  • Solomon Haile

    Selamant Awatista,

    It was Cuba Gooden Jr. that gave them the idea. “Show me the money!” he repeated when collecting is golden Oscar. The golden standard just reminds me of Eritrea’s inheritances for example. Good luck on hearing such a recommendation from AT. Heyyyy… you have gold don’t ya? Just go print on the new Nakfa: “Redeemable in equal value of gold dust from the bank of Bisha.” And you can add on the bottom: “In PIA we trust.”

    Think of Anon Chekhov for a minute: “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it is not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

    Say we call the AT article chapter 1, now can an awatista extrapolate and give us a good guesstimate of when chapter 2 or three will occur. Surely, someone out there has done, at least at an undergraduate level, some numerical analysis — Spline and the shape of a bird’s mathematical function is all that I can recollect. But okay maybe some one out there from the heavy artillery unit -kebid bret- was past over from carrying the Bren and assigned to the Doshka. You know, the doshka in nafiqua ab Nakfa??? The guy on the Doshka hears the buzzing of the bug or bugs. First the spotter flew over alerting beAl Doshka and utilizing numerical analysis, more than a two decade is equivalent to greater than twenty tours, and the spline function of the path of the spotter, fires a few rounds of the Doshka ahead of the spattterrreerrrrrrrr. The second bug can definitely flatten and or swat into smithereens many beAl bren, teATsafitKOV, and tesekemti doshkatat.

    If you can’t hear the melody to the following words while reading them, wellllll thennnn YOU ARE A RED NECK. You are not Eritrean for sure if you do not hum along and do a solely sole karaoke performance for yourself only with these words– When you do I promise the analysis will follow and flow. Ready for these words: “bmsayle bkluster bombatat — ayewe
    Anikhikhi kabbb kulen ketematatttt — ayewe
    gzie Akhilu beTsiHu Harinetki — ayewe….
    ayewe ayewe…
    filmawit ade nay moral nay tesfa
    bokhri SaHil Abay Nakfa wey Nakfa.” Gosh… maybe I am a red neck. Glad to be refocused on Nakfa.

    Lets us utilize a Sherlock Holmes style of the power of observation or as Kareem Abdul Jabar would call and practiced it: Holmesian deductive logic. I promise to get back to Nakfa and all about the Benjamins, Lincoln’s and Washington’s — in short it is all about the “Dead Presidents.” What, entay, iske gulatley shinu… ewe ilka gnnnn sheyne iye meTsiE.. Who said the President is dead? all I said was its all about the money, i.e. all about “The Dead President.” I can’t be certain one way or the other but one thing I am sure of is that the Nakfa is Dead. Gold standard aside check this out from Kareem Abdul Jabar’s new book about Sherlock Holemes older Brother Mycroft (and no it is not your Nakfa or your mycrosoft— it is your brother however and YOU ARE your … excuse me while I go count five hundred thousand Nakfa and see how I will pull off this bankhaist preemtive coup over a coup de tatt tattt de tattt tattt… je ne pa fracaise… even un pehhhkkk yeahhh every body speaks money though, and I know all of you are counting your Nakfas just like me PV-FV new org like Mr. Robinson’s request want you be mine?) [be back later]

    From Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul Jabar:
    “Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad, Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more trecherous with each step they take..

    TsaTse (Chapter two will follow as soon as)

    • Solomon Haile

      Hey TsaTse,

      What gives with the construction of the movable bridge, always in the direction most efficient… just take the first and second derivative…maximum minimum calculus mannnn…. damn! [be back later]

      “nay werrrrrrrrrreeee maEkenaatttttttt raaaaaaaadio Alem kulennnnn
      werre ywenacheffffffffffffffffffa bkhulu wegennnnnnnnnnnnnn

      ..”
      I told you you were a red neck! TsaTse

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Solomon Haile,

      Speaking of Anton Chekhov, It reminds me his letter to Alexis Suvorin Sept 11, 1888. Chekhov in his letter had said the following: “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress. When I get tired with one I spent the night with other.” In the same breath, your uncle Saay do the same thing in his life to satisfy his dual quest. As such his lawful wife became “business administration” and his mistress “political science”, and when he gets tired with one he spent the night with the other. Have you notice that? or is that only me?

      Regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Abi

        Merhaba Ato Amanuel
        Saay is married to many wives.
        Business, politics, music ( eritrea, ethiopian, ferenjigna) movies, writing jokes ( which you always miss the beauty) , camel race, …… He is many people in one.
        I suggest we call him ” The Special “.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Abo,
          the man is special, really! what about having a poem that describes Saay7. If you do I will put it in Amharic fonts and also translate it In Tigrinya for you.

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            You take the honor! It takes a huge talent way beyond my pay grade.

            Qalatoch yelugnim esun mamogesha
            Kedemoze belay endihum kegursha
            Bekolob temerteh edlun teTeqem
            Kalante besteqer yemiyawqbet yelem

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abi, Lol

            Thank you, I had already for him at least 2 poems. one of them was small one in Tigrinya (it was the first time I read his article) do you want to read similar one in Amharic? but don’t show him. both Saay7 and SGL are from the people who can’t handle much appreciation, they feel it is a kind of exaggeration and ስቅቅቅቅቅቅ ይላቸዋል Lol.

            ይገርማል ያ ፍጥነት : –
            ይገርማል ያ ትኩረት :-
            ከላይ ተምዘግዝጎ በቅጽበት :-
            ዓሳ ይዞ ወደ ሰማይ መውጣት :-
            …. በጣም ተቸግሬ ስም ስፈልግለት :-
            …..ድል ያደጋልና ነስር ብየ ሰየምኩት ::

            for your information ነስር means eagle and also Victory or ድል :: now I am waiting yours.

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            Neger yemigebaw asmarino Tefto
            Sebat hono meTa erasun abazto!

          • ወቸጉድ

            small correction – eagle is ንስር in Amharic. ነስር is when your nose bleeds…

          • saay7

            Kokhob & Abi:

            Thank you for your kind words but it really is nothing more than synopsis firing randomly, and it is a hit or a miss:) For example, when I heard your line “asa yzo wede semay mewTat”, I immediately thought of Wedi Tkabo (two songs, with two different references to Aasa) and this one by Ephrem Tamiru and Gosaye Tesfaye, which is fit for the ocassion:

            የማይቻል የለም:-
            በስምህ ባንተ ጌታ:-
            ሰብስበህ አኑረን:-
            በፈጠርከን ቦታ::
            አንደ ሰው በባህር:-
            አንደ ዓሳ በምድር:-
            ሆነን እንዳንቀር:-
            አምላክ ስጠን ፍቅር::

            There was also a cartoon about a bird-hunter throwing his dead bird to the sky and the caption read: “if fishermen can do it, why can’t hunters?” But then Emma would ask me to explain why:)

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Oh look who’s talking. I think you are the “Emmy winner” for having a bad test in music.. 🙂 Especially, since you like that noise box called Jano Band.. 🙂

            This actually is my favorite song. (Ephrem and Gosaye) It’s part of the “Balageru” serious. (I think it is “Balageru 4 or 5” Lyrics is by the famous Abrham Wolde, who is a part owner of Balageru recordings. My favorite Balageru serious actually is # 2. Listen to it. It is really amazing.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUB9hqP7-XI

          • saay7

            Ha Eyob:

            Ok, it is Monday, so we shouldn’t be talking about music on Monday. But:

            1. You do realize that you named the song AFTER I had accidentally named it (Dammit)
            2. The Jano Band cover of Tekle Tesfazghi’s “Fiqrey Telemeni” is (and I hope Abi and all Tekle Tesfazghi fans are sitting now) is much, much, much better than the original. Yeah, I went there:)

            Will check your link on Saturday. Let’s not upset the moderator:)
            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            This kind of comments should come with a warning. What if I was driving? Or drinking hot tea? Your warning was a little bit too late.

            Minew sew techekakene?

          • Kokhob Selam

            DEAR Saay ,
            ሞይተ ! ኣንታ ንስኻ’ሲ ከመይ ዝበሉኻ ሰብ ኢኻ ? ሕጅ እንታይ ይበሃል እዚ!

          • saay7

            Abi and Kokhob:

            Ezich ager “Special” lela trgum alew. Special as in Special Olympics?
            Special as in Special .38

            Abi, which detective used Special .38. No it’s not Mike Hammer (he had a Colt .45)

            And Music Novice, why didn’t you include Special .38 (the band and not the gun) in your classic rock collection?

            Ok, no more references to frivolities. Publisheru, Emma yqotalu when we talk about frivolous things. That’s why I didn’t reply to Eyob when he reported me to the big bosses upstairs simply because I noted similarities between Tilahun and Patti Labelle. Can u imagine either as a sports forecaster in a one-weather country?

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            it must be Menge.
            You got me there.
            Do I have to remember all the mob movies I watched. Besides, I never paid attention as to who carry what kind of gun. I paid more attention to the person who was watching with me.
            You see, I’m for peace, I’m for love. Not for gun or AK47. Ask kokobe. He is an expert in killing for love. Ask me about killer love and dying for love.
            Phew!

        • Solomon Haile

          Selamat Aya Amabuel and Aboy Abi,

          I would have to agree with Aboy Abi Aya. Saay7 has more than the FIVE wives Abi has listed. And for that he, i.e. Saay7, is an outlaw fugitive that will have to be dragged into THE SPECIAL COURTS OF ERITREA. Guilty even after he is proven innocent. There is one wife however that will BAIL Saay7 out. And her name is Metkelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Metkelllllllllllllllllllllll. TsaTse

      • Solomon Haile

        Aya Amanuel, The 2nd highest produced playwright sounds a lot like you??? maybe????TsaTse

  • dawit

    Hi Ayneta,
    There is no problem in Eritrea, those who want to live in the country they live in peace, and those who don’t leave the country in peace. Even though you tried to paint Eritrea with the worst picture you imagined Eritrea is a peaceful country under PIA and PFDJ.

  • tes

    Dear Awate Readers,

    What happened to Parisian people is really shocking. 6 attacks, 157 death, over 200 injured, among these 80 are heavily injured. Really shocking.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEE6WtOmCQE

    tes

    • dawit

      Dear tes,
      I am glad to hear you are ok cousin. Please avoid any crowded venues in Paris. It is really sad what happened to innocent people. Also advise your President not to meddle with Eritrean affairs. Let him use his ‘Maximum Pressure’ to fight the terrorists in France, and leave alone PIA and Eritrea.
      Peace
      dawit

      • Solomon Haile

        Dear Dawit,

        You know I thought PIA was so pissed off at Olan and the Eritrean soccer plays defecting… My brain mannnn went straight to Tour de France and France’s rebuke of PIA or is it Breznev or Menelik.

        The French have some serious shit on their hand now though. I can relate to a similar shock looking over the Statue of Liberty on the Hudson. Sadness everywhere.

        TsaTse

  • T..T.

    Hi Amanuel Hidrat,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. You know how the distracting strategy of the Isayasists works. They flood the discussion with irrelevant issues pushing the hot discussions downstream.

    Let me bring the outcomes of the discussions to the upstream for continuation and others inputs. Indeed, lessons learned from the discussions here can help and that is why they must be lived to be understood and used to guide us.

    The ongoing discussion identified that there is a flight of foreign currencies obtained/earned from Eritrean Diasporas and tourists. The system of Isayas proved to be incompetent to save Nakfa. Yes, the system is not dedicated to defending its own currency. If the system couldn’t defend the old Nakfa, what’s new in its strategy to defend the new Nakfa?

    The ongoing discussion also identified that the Egyptian government had to adjust its currency shocks caused by the black market by declaring that it was ready to cover the black-market premium (the difference between the black-market price and the actual market price) by competing with the black market and paying as the market demands until the market price adjusted to the pegged exchange rate. Instead, the regime’s personnel are participating in the black market and depositing the foreign currencies earned in their personal accounts with foreign banks.

    The ongoing discussion evidenced that whether it likes or not some of its trading partners, like in the case of Kuwait vs Eritrea on unsettled oil claims, would take it to international courts and force it to settle unsettled trade claims. Therefore, should Isayas fail to reimburse the foreign trade claims; we have cases of unsettled international trade claims. Therefore, we can say, central banks cannot take bites off bigger than the size of their mouths. If the central bank does not have sufficient reserves in foreign currency(ies), the country cannot transact in international trades.

    In lieu of having floating (black-market) system and unsupported pegged system, the regime can also have local or nonconvertible Nakfa and convertible Nakfa. The convertible Nakfa can be controlled by granting import and export permits to the importers and exporters thereby allowing them to transaction their international trades legally. Such move is part of adjusting the existing black-market premium.

    The ongoing discussion also noted that the regime is hopelessly incompetent to be involved in the flight of the foreign currencies it earns from the tourists. It is also noted that the system uses ruthless control and destructive forces against those who use the black market in order to keep the Eritrean commodity market alive. Yes, the system is cruel and inherently incompetent in that it is only interested in catching the good people doing the right thing to solve the recurring failure of the system that led to the present situation: disappearance of the big banknotes and issuance of a new currency. In order to resolve the persistent failure of the pegged exchange rate system, the leadership of Isayas has to step down and handover authority to people with talent, care, responsibility and dedication to the system in place.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba T..T,

      Good summary on the ongoing discussion. Thank you for your input. While I give you thumbs up on the summary, I beg to differ on your conclusion. While you admit the cruelty and ruthlessness of opportunity of the system you want to leave in place. The system has to be removed and and we have to start with clean slate of new system.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • dawit

        Dear Amanuel,
        Do you mean a clean slate like Libya and Iraq! So we are back to weeding season!
        Regards’
        dawit

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear dawit,

          No ! those countries are your defence exemplary.
          By a clean slate, I mean like Tunisia and Burkina Faso. ( Saay close your eyes till then).

          Regards

      • T..T.

        Hi Amanuel Hidrat,

        The call for “dedication to the system in place” is in reference to the “pegged exchange rate system” and not to the ruling system or the dictatorship of Isayas.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear T..T,

          Thank you, I get it.

          Regards

    • saay7

      Selamat T.T.

      For your reading pleasure, here is a paper: “The Design and Effects of Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan African Countries”

      http://www.iie.com/publications/wp/wp10-11.pdf

      That takeaway is that credit (and we have reported that Eritrea is one of the lowest loan-deposit-ratio) is more directly related to GDP growth than whether a country maintains a fixed or floating exchange. However:

      In developing countries, monetary policy has become increasingly important in recent years, even
      though capital accounts have been progressively liberalized. The reason is that the large movements in
      global capital during the late 1990s forced many of these countries to abandon fixed or closely managed
      exchange rate regimes and implement monetary policies to control inflation. Such recent developments
      have brought to the forefront the now well-known fact in international monetary economics: namely that
      freely mobile capital, independent monetary policy, and fixed exchange rates form an “impossible trinity,” or “trilemma,” as it has come to be called. Specifically, it is possible to have any two of these policies, but
      not all three.

      So, suppose you are advising the government (or a future government) on what two policies it should adopt to avoid “trilemma”: would one of your two be a fixed exchange rate?

      saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Saay,

        Good reading . It a thorough researched paper and sure it goes with your argument.

        regards

      • Solomon Haile

        Heyyy saayyyyyy,

        The greater the credit the bigger the gdp… my brain always fails me when correlations are direct or inverse etc…. My brain is also going nutssssssssssssssss (yeah I know you will ask “what else is new?” its not like I haven’t) on significant figures. I think many are plain it safe. (especially with the Royals denying the Mets… then again the Giants denied the Royals last year. It is all about code Orange!) over the significant figures in terms of the impact of the magnitude on an individual for starters. Could be the rag-to-riches individual.

        We can take the discounting factors from the safer macroeconomic analysts. Who knows, in a vacuum or an absence of…, these macroeconomics analysts will gain with the courage to deposit into the bank of Hadas ErtraII and with the availability of sound currency in the bank credit will be be positively correlated in helping the GDP.

        Is the sixty four thousand Nakfa Hito this:
        Articl 3(1) of Legal Notice no 124/2015 from Article 5 and 52 of the Bank of Eritrea Proclamation No 93/1997
        “Solely in one bank and solely once… Nfa20,000 deposit the rest. ….

        …foreigners ….legitimacy ….of the mode of obataining the old Nakfa currency …”

        I think my investment adviser suckered me a few weeks ago when he said “buy buy buy” and I said “Buy what?” he replied “Nakfa” then I said “okay okay okay” then he said bye bye bye bye cioa cioa chaw chaw…

        Think Q Latifa in “Set It Off!!” TsaTse

      • T..T.

        Selamat saay,

        Defining a country’s currency exchange rate based on GDP depends on whether the country is going be a net exporter or a net importer. Thus, in a planned aggregated spending (consumer and investment), say a net importer, would mean a negative value, where imports exceeds exports, the country will favor overvalued currency. The imported goods will be cheaper and may drive out the locally manufactured goods from the market.

        In case of undervalued currency, the country will be a net exporter (value of exported goods higher than value of imported goods). However, the effects of undervalued Nakfa are felt much by the consumers because it makes the price of imported goods expensive. On the other hand, the undervalued Nakfa is good for the country’s exports. Therefore, to boost exports of the country, maintaining undervalue Nakfa would be good.

        Most countries, such as China, their currency’ exchange rate system depends on whether they want to boost exports. In case of becoming a net importer, the country will have a negative trade balance that will be subtracted from its GDP.

        If Eritrea has enough industries that can participate in its internal consumption and exports, it will be wise to promote protectionism by discouraging imports through higher tariffs and encouraging export by maintaining undervalued Nakfa.

  • Yoty Topy

    Dear Awate team,

    I am curious as to why the nation of ivory is classified as a ‘failing’ nation on the table.I thought it was rather doing well since the end of the conflict. I am certain I read somewhere that it is to show a robust GDP growth for the current year.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Awatawyan
    Paris, I’m mourning with you.
    This is dedicated to the brave people of Paris. You were assaulted and murdered while you were taking care of your daily chores, in your own land! Some of you were dining, some enjoying musical concerts, some attending a football match while others were minding their own business. You were living life as it should be lived. Alas, the terrorists abhor normal life. They denied it to the People of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan….all Muslim countries.This is a reminder that we the citizens of the world should rally together against terrorists who have no religion or the feeling to humanity. Remember, the murderers started the carnage in their own people. Stick together, that’s what beats terrorists.

    • dawit

      Dear Mahmud,
      I read that the French President is the newest recruit to change Eritrean government by force using ‘Maximum Pressure”. He was trying to change the agenda of EU-Africa leaders conference in Malta, as Eritrean bashing venue. Sadly a day after the conference his own country is in mess, while he dreamt to change Eritrea into Libya. God is Great He protect the weak!
      dawit

      • S.Tesfa

        Greeting,
        So you think what happened in Paris is the work of God “to protect the weak Eritrean Government” ?

        • dawit

          S. Tesfa,
          God works in a mysterious way! No one knows how he works, we can only guess, and your guess is as good as mine.

        • Semere Andom

          S.Tesfa:
          repalce God, by ISaias, dawit has no God, his god is Isaias

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear dawit
        This moment requires us to be extremely sensitive and stripped down to our human elements. Those innocent victims who were killed in Paris are as weak as the Eritrean you are alluding to defending. You need to separate things. The French president is safe surrounded by security army. It is the innocent who got killed.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Mahmudya: Thanks for your comments

          The French people are also mostly safe surounded by their military and their country, tragedies like this by thugs are anomaly, it is not the day to day thing the French suffer. But thugs are every where, from everywhere and from every religion and ethnicity. But our people that dawit is mocking by his unbridled support of their tormentors face such tragedies almost daily: Adi-Abeyto, Maihabar and many other, that is the legacy that dawit is putting his finger prints. So you are expecting too much from dawit about sensitivity and humanity

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Semere
            Dawit’s file has been moved up the chain of command to Ato SAAY7, the specialist in zaEgol and Maay chelot treatments for idiosyncratic problems.

        • dawit

          Dear Mahmud,
          Yes it is the poor who are being killed in Paris, Libya, Iraq or Syria. What I am protesting is the French President call for a violent change of government in Eritrea. The French changed the government in Libya, and who is suffering in Libya? He should mind his business in protecting the French people and leave Eritreans to sort out their problems. He was arrogant and racist to suggest ‘Maximum Pressure” to change the Eritrean government, and I don’t know why you tried to protect his action. Every Eritrean opposition or supporter of the government should condemn his speech of violent change in Eritrea.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            selam Cousin dawit

            Let me tell you that I am really mad at the allusion that France was attacked because “God is Great He protect the weak!”
            Your allusion: God was not with the French people, he was busy protecting Eritreans!
            Now, saying that those innocent victims in Paris are as weak and defenceless as the weak Eritreans is not defending the French President. I neither defended nor offended him. But to come to your repeated allegation that he called for overthrowing the Eritrean government, let’s be clear here. Calling a “maximum pressure” so that the Eritrean government could change its behavior does not mean calling for overthrowing it. In addition, he specifically said “political and diplomatic pressures” not a military pressure. But that’s a different topic. My concern was on your cavalier attitude towards the innocent victims and I called upon you to come to your humnanist elements. Dawit, every body in this forum knows I’m agaisnt foreign intervention. My original comment to which you replied was void of politics, it was a humanitarian gesture. Please, take it that way. We may debate the consequences of Western interventions in the region some other day.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Unscrupulous means someone devoid of basic moral principles. The Eritrean delegation, led by Osman Saleh, attending the Malta summit about EU immigration were told that in front of over 60 leaders by the French PM. Imagine the humiliation! If you are met with that kind of thorough insult, to your face, in day 1 of the conference, how would you get up from your hotel bed to attend day 2? Osman Saleh sat like a broken man with no dignity to even get up and walk out in protest. It was very unscrupulous of him to try to lecture the audience of leaders who had just insulted him. Even more unscrupulous was the fact that the regime websites (lead by non-other than Shabait) are trying to trumpet his experience of verbal abuse as some sort of important event. No wonder IA is pretending to be ill and gone on a sick leave 🙂

    • dawit

      Dear Hailat;

      The French President should have spoken praising Eritrea how the country had kept peace in the middle of violent neighborhoods in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. He should have kept his speech to the Agenda of the conference how to curb illegal economic migration from Africa. Osman Saleh was a decent person and he preferred to listen to the foolish president ranting nonsense and made foolish of himself. Walking out of the conference while the fool was ranting would have given him unnecessary attention and the world media would have declared him as the champion of Eritrean or African refugees.He should have kept the use ‘Maximum Pressure’ to prevent terrorists invading his country or hatching inside France. PIA is taking care of his country and people, it is time for the French president to learn how to take care of his country and people. I think PIA should send a condolence letter to the French people through the President and Osman Saleh also send to his French counterpart expressing the deep sorrow of the Eritrean government and people. My condolence to all French people who are kept hostages of terrorist gangs. It is sad when you are deprived your freedom to got to a restaurant have a dinner, attend a concert or watch a sport game in your neighborhoods.

      • haileTG

        Ha ha dawitom, you said “It is sad when you are deprived your freedom to got to a restaurant have a dinner, attend a concert or watch a sport game in your neighborhoods.” But the French people do that all the time. It is the Eritrean youth who are deprived of that and leaving in droves. Can you extend them similar considerations as you did to the French when they don’t need it?

        • dawit

          Hailat,
          You wrote how the French President lashed out Eritrea and why Osman Saleh sat in the conference without walking out in protest. The French President wanted the conference into Eritrean bashing session, but Osman deprived that stage. As mature head of the Eritrean delegation ignored the bashing and stayed to make his point to the conference. If Osman had reacted the way you suggested, Mr. Holland would have been considered a hero of the conference. a man who stood for the rights of African immigrants. The Eritrean youth can walk on the street of Asmara without fear not any more for Parisians. It is better the French President clean his street before he opens his filthy mouth meddling in Eritrea’s internal affairs. Don’t you advise the president use his “Maximum Pressure” against the terrorists that creating havocs in his country? .
          Regards.
          dawit

          • haileTG

            Hello dawita,

            It is the Eritreans who are camped in Calais and not the French in Kassala. It is The French who are asked to deal with Eritrean problems and not the Eritreans being asked to solve French problems. It is normal to be humiliated when you can’t solve your problems and become an encumbrance to others. Take it easy, the Eritrean leaders were publicly insulted because …hmmm I guess they deserve it 🙂

          • dawit

            Selam Hilat,
            Your logics are backward, It was the French government that set up Radio Stations bombarding Eritrean youth for 24/7/365 to leave Eritrea and promising free entry and settlement in Europe. When few Eritreans responded and trickled down to Europe, other Africans saw the trick and learned quickly to claim ‘Eritreans’ flooded Europe. Those at Calais the majority of them came from other Africans claiming Eritreans. Now the EU are begging African leaders through bribes to close the gate in their countries. So it is EU and French who have the problem and not Eritrea. But instead admitting their mistake they are blaming Eritrea. The number of Eritreans seeking asylum in Europe is miniscule compared to Senegalese, Nigerians, Ethiopian, Somalis etc. Whatever number they quote about Eritreans is a number manufactured by UNHCR and other UN agencies.

          • haileTG

            hey dawit,

            ERiTV reported that “…Mr. Osman described in greater detail the external push factors that had fueled, in recent years the inordinate and illegal youth migration from Eritrea. This has harmed Eritrea as well as the destination countries, the Foreign Minister emphasized.” Are you saying that “…The number of Eritreans seeking asylum in Europe is miniscule.. ” and hence ERiTV and Osman are lying??

          • Solomon Haile

            Heyyyyyy D and H,

            Its all about outer space and Europa mannnnnnn.. If 2mBBBillion Euro’s are to be distributed to African countries and you are the top contributor from the continent of Africa of the problem in need of a solution utilizing the 2B Euro’s… well I can see why His Excelency Osamn is all smiles. Doing the math why walk out empty handed in he ceremony…. when in just a few days you will be saying bye bye with your left arm as your right arm is handcuffed to a brief case hold the Lion’s share of the two Billion.

            Now Europe ain’t stupid. Dawit knows that too. Europe is going to insist especially Germany that they control the new currency in Eritrea. Nearly all the two billion will be allocated to Eritrea the largest refugee producing nation from Africa– here hgdef should maximize by bloating and agreeing with the other’s data for maximization purposes. If they say 90 percent of African migrants are Eritreans PFDJ should say no you are wrong. Eritreans are always asymptotically close to perfection and that the true data states 99.8 of all refugees from Africa arriving in Europa are Eritrteans. Then claim the 2 Billion Euros minus 20 thousand Nakfa for the you know the .2 two percent.

            At the same time to make sure the small business, bank phobic Eritrean individual does not get his or her filthy hand on the new Euro, render their accumulated Nakfas under the mattress valueless– persona/soladi nan grata– with a gratis/tip of twenty thousand Nfa. Print the difference with the PIA’s image on the new Nakfa. Then it is a simple gains/losses conclusion of 64 Billion Nakfa for the new Eritrean order under the umbrella of the new world order.
            Only now the old Naka is dead and the New Nakfa has started a new precedence of Eritrean currency bearing images of “Dead Presidents”. But wait… how many dead presidents does Eritrea have in twenty five years?

            And that folks… is the sixty four billion Nakfa Hito of 2016. TsaTse

          • Ted

            Hi SH, now we are #1 again for the lion’s share of the 2B dough Ema Europa dispensing, it is also customary to contemplate how to stop it. Do you know what Ethiopians thinking? they are claiming back what is ours; the money makers- the one who crossed the desert to European shores as nothing but pure Eritreans as who endured slavery and persecution by tyrant. Like in China town movie, Eritrean opposition and Europeans slap them from both side for the palatable response ” I am Eritrean” no no no, let me think, the cheque written for IA not me?, then ” I am Ethiopian”, nooo Eritrean opposition screaming ” you are Eritrean” you deserve an asylum.

            Look the despicable human being in all its forms . minute 14;00

            https://www.rt.com/shows/in-the-now-summary/321224-russian-plane-crash-rapping/

          • Solomon Haile

            Selamat Ted,

            Yeah we Americans customarily see a picture of a lawyer when thinking “despicable human”. You set it up well enough… however, in another audio video (along with his style of presenting to benefactors) there is one statement of his no matter how many gallons of milk you present me with the cookie statement of his I doubt I can swallow a crumb of it even if a loaded gun is pointed on my temple. Unfortunately, I missed him by the Bay……

            Hey Ted: Where in the world is PIA? In Nickelodeon there was a popular geography children’s show with the seem song: “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” I believe PIA is WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE.
            TsaTse

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey dawit,

            You should replace Yemane Gebremeskel, the information minister of the despot. You are by far better than him, actually you have reached to the height of Muhammed Saeed Al-Sahhaf, the information minister of Saddam Hussien in disseminating the true information to then Eritrean public.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear AT
    Thank you for this informative editorial. No where in the rest of Eritrean media could you get such a concise, and, yet, a deep penetrating analysis. Your recommendations summarize what ought to be done.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear awate friends,have some fun time.

    Although Ethiopia is progressing and in better condition than Eritrea, But some Ethiopian don’t know the president of Ethiopia. so our president if famous.

    http://www.yehabesha.com/view/6673/Do-You-know-the-Full-Name-of-Ethiopian-President-How-about-the-Addis-Ababa-Mayor.html

    • Peace!

      Selamat KS,

      Something never changes, boy! Pull over and check your GPS, that 1981 exit is taking out of the country. Why don’t you just become a naturalized Ethiopian citizen and call it a luck. I am really concerned.

      Regards

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Peace,
        you are in trouble peace. stay calm and meditate. nations are artificial and god is great if we need to make one big nation that includes horn and meddle east we can do it. and those who can do are practical people,Lol.

    • Peace!

      Dear Moderator,

      You just deleted/removed my comment, why? Betrey habuni zehmoko aleni…. Really. I guess i have to be Ethiopian to say anything I want including I can even be racist toward Muslims And Arabs. Well please don’t bother this will be my last comment. Take my word.

    • Abi

      Hi Kokobe
      Embarrassing. I bet you these useless people we saw know every singer and soccer player in the world. Shame.
      ” Chatam Tiwlid” ale Tsegaye Gebremedhin.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Abiyachin & Kohkob,

        Ere Adibu enante sewoch,

        I actually liked that video, as it showed people care more for institutions more than personalities.

        Kohkob,
        Instead, I want you to watch a young Ethiopian, who is an asset of his generation, on his way to Ethiopia for an important World Cup qualifier match to be held tomorrow. Wish him like.. 🙂

        https://www.facebook.com/Walid.atta.fan/videos/vb.437872652921741/938789812830020/?type=2&theater

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Eyob,
          People are too busy trying to gain more knowledge and money now in Ethiopia. they are interested about their system rather than the human beings on top. The president of Ethiopia is not more than an employ who works for big organization. some even don’t care which country they belong but work while enjoying life as human beings like the one we saw from your attached video. Keep advancing!

          Eritrea? the man is dead today and alive tomorrow and even birds talk about him day and night. what a famous being!

        • አዲስ

          Hi Eyoba, Abi,

          I posted a youtube link that I thought you might like but the Moderator removed it. [To Moderator: Is it because video links are frowned upon somehow ? ]

          Anyway the link was of Dashen Beer’s new commercial featuring Arsenal players (Monreal, Mertesacker and Walcott). Look for it on YouTube or EthioTube,DireTube…

          Thanks,
          Addis

          • Eyob Medhane

            Addis,

            Yeah. I saw it…It’s beautiful. Arsenal beskista.. 🙂

        • Abi

          Eyobe
          Abidu Tirayilka?
          Abede yilegnal lemin alabd ene
          Tenzelazlo siqer kostaraw wegene.

          Bayqoch yangebegibal.

          Addise
          Zor bel kefitu Gesgiso simeTa
          Chila bileh elef andandun belTaTa

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ha,

            Abishu.. “Adib” አድብ” ነው ያልኩህ። ምን በወጣህ ታብዳለህ። ጠላትህ… 🙂

      • Ted

        Hi Abi, your disappointment is misguided. People don’t know the current trophy president because he is not a clown like the former president.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Abo,
        what if the question was, who is the president of Eritrea! well every body could answer it perfectly. my president is more famous than yours Abo! Lol,

        • Abi

          Hi Kokobe
          Those people who don’t know their busy president and mayor know the Vice President of eritrea.
          I think they live in an imaginary world. When I was 10 years old (5th grade) I knew all the names of the major rivers and mountains including their heights.
          Remember there is only one president in the country.

        • Abi

          Kokobe
          I bet you 100 old Nakfa these clowns know the Vice President of Eritrea. They are ahead of everyone.
          It is the chat thing.
          BeteWeTere gunchachew new yemiyasbut.

          • Amde
          • Eyob Medhane

            Amde,

            Ha..believe me. It is hilariously funny…. 🙂

          • Amde

            Eyob,

            I remember in the 90s when the South and North Yemen rejoined, someone made the point that Chat was the secret for the success of Yemeni politics. What better than to stretch out and abro memerqen, than go out into the hot day and fight?

            Ethiopia can make a positive contribution to the Yemeni issue now if it carpet bombed the front lines with the freshest greenest Chat bundles. Call it Mrqana Air Force.

            Amde

          • Abi

            Amdachin
            According to Cousin Hope Isaias Afewerki ( the wenbede) played a vital role in uniting the Yemenis. Now Isaias Afeworki ( the president) is also playing a vital role in finding the solution for the yemenis. Greatness is in his blood.
            Back to topic. You have any idea for chebsi? I say meloti beer from Asmara. They can use the fishing boats to deliver freshly brewed , crisp meloti faster than a plane. Call it chebsi navy . Fishy love is also an option.

          • Amde

            Hi Abinet,

            Wait wait… hold it right there…. I am going to correct you there It has just been proven by General DDS Nitric the dental general that a man’s vitality is denoted by his hair-cut. What is this blood nonsense you speak of?

          • Abi

            My appologies.
            That hair cut qualify him for under 21 soccer team.
            Do you know General Ditricc has 32 canines?
            One of the perks to be a DDS and a General.

          • Amde

            HaHa Abi,

            indeed.

            Trs-afqariw geta yegnaw Generalu
            menakes new inji malameT ayawqu
            indew yewahinet meslogn chigirachew
            yemenkesha mebzat new lekka gudachew.

          • Abi

            Amde,
            That is a good one.
            Nitricc wetaderu
            General girgiru
            Zemenawi wetader
            Mishigu computer
            Andun qonTiTo
            Lelawun gelamTo
            Megaz Tirsun agTo
            Shewrara aynun afTo
            Afun amoTmuTo
            Wedqo teferagTo
            Semay buwaTo
            Meret tezerfiTo
            Balegizew jegna
            Zeraf! Yilal kekuchina

          • Hope

            Selam Ato Abinet’
            -If Ato Amde is correct that the Yemeni Unity happened in1990s,my assertion that PIA has played a positive role sounds RIGHT and your argument in refuting my assertion that I was wrong since the Yemeni Unity happened before 1991!
            Moreover,the Historic Diplomatic Role of Eritrea in unifying the Yemenis sounds more acceptable than the role of CHAT!
            And of utmost importance,the recent role of Eritrea in forwarding Diplomatic Solutions to the Yemeni Crisis speaks VOLUMES!
            Just a common sense!

          • Abi

            Selamat Ya Habibi Cousin Hope
            I see you everywhere today.
            Merqinehal ende?
            Qech qech adrigeh yanin arenguwade
            Tornet amrohal mezehal gorade
            Wey gude ! Wey gude!
            Tazbohal Amde
            Ya degu zemede.
            Tew atasferaragn endaychekin hode.

      • ገስጋሲ

        እናንተ ጋር ምን ትውልድ አለ ሲጀመር ከላይ እስከታች? እሚላስ እሚቀመስ የላችሁም ፡ ለነገሩ ሻይ ቅጠል እንኳን እንደልብ አታገኙም ይቅርና ጫት ። ቆየት ስትሉ እኛም ነበርን አሁን ግን, …………..
        ሩባ ሰጊርና ንሱ ኮይኑ ውራይ
        ወፍሪ ኒ ኢትዬጵያ ይካአሎ ዋርሣይ

        • አዲስ

          Hi ገስጋሲ,

          I don’t think you are aware that Abi is a proud Ethiopian. Though your comment is unwarranted even if he’s not.

          Thanks,
          Addis

          • ገስጋሲ

            all of you are the same. the problem of Eritreans is always clear & easily perceived or understood. It’s ETHIOPIA !!
            guys don’t west your time for nothing you will end up DESTROYED just like ሳልሳይ ወራር ? ራብዓይ is on the way see you soon.

  • sara

    Dear awate,
    Paris is again under attack, and the French president is in hiding at the ministry of interior. I hope our folks there are safe
    Including the legendry tes.

  • tes

    Dear Awate Team and Readers,

    Let me say this first before dropping my comments on the current issue on table.

    Since October, I am officially declaring that I have finished my courses here at Awate University. I am on a mission to disqualify the illegitimate flag of the tyranny that is imposed on Eritrean people in 1993.

    back to the currency issue: as everything PFDJ does is wrong, what he does now is also wrong and is in line to his acts. If PFDJ knew any values, he could have consulted the people during the design process of the currency. Instead PFDJ hired an individual expert and supervised and instructed closely by DIA. what we heard so far:

    1. The currency was designed to have the same colour and size. Reason: Eritrean people were smart to identiy what is what – an utter pride

    2. Coloured Nakfa was injected. reason given: the same colour was creating confusion – betrayal of original design concept.

    3. Then he published more currency without any notice and flashed the market. PFDJ engaged in money exchange through his agents. People started to recceive nakfa through banks in hundreds of thousands. People started to wonder.

    4. By the end of 2015, new Nakfa is going to be issued. Reason given: to change the old Nalfa (hmmm) and introduce check system. This is a joke.

    The fact about Eritrean people is that 80% are farmers who live far away from cities. Ok, PFDJ major step today is neither for those 80% nor for those 20%. It is for mainly targeting his own officers. Before there was G-15 case, then Forto case. Finally the money case which will target all generals and few allies who benefitted from the corrupted system they built.

    The good thing is Eritrean people are just observing while becoming the victims. The time for justice is not far.

    tes

  • AMAN

    Deleted for violating the salutation protocol//moderator

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Saay, Hailat, T.T. and others,

    I am happy to see the great Eritrean mind of business, to play the pivotal role in explaining and speculating the current financial crises of our nation. I feel as a student of your stewardship on the subject at hand in the current debate. The only time this forum I see completely focused on the subject at hand, and I hope it will continue like that. When we debate on the subject matter at hand as presented by writers, it always help us to digest issues appropriately and all of us will benefit out of it. Keep up the good job to penetrate into the economic mind of the regime and explore how to get an exit from this crises.

    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yes Teacher,
      I stop everything reading and rereading and also checking what is written here with other books. interesting!

  • Rule of Law

    Selam all
    The status quo is destined to reset back to square one no sooner than the old currency goes out of circulation probably in about three or four months time simply because the restriction imposed by the regime as to the amount business entities or individuals can withdraw is going to encourage people all the more to resorting to stash away their money where they can exercise the freedom to use it as they wish therefore the purpose of replacing the old currency after all, is going to run into a sinkhole hopefully leading to the downfall of the tyrannical regime. The regime must’ve run out of options to fix the problem of banks being depleted of the local currency since people stopped depositing for a reason that has something to do with the black market and other factors. Redemption of the old Naqfa however, could’ve been attained by creating an atmosphere of reform that would eventually lead to liberalizing the currency from fixed to market based exchange rate. But in a country whose leaders believe in lack-of-the-draw instead of making changes based on informed decision, it is no surprise that where we are witnessing financial events in which political decision overrides the principle of basic economics and unfortunately it’s hard to forecast a happy ending as far as this currency replacement goes — rather, the opposite is inevitable. Let’s just say the year 2016 has something great in store for the people of Eritrea. That is fait accompli indeed.

  • Nitricc

    Hi All; I read the Pencil report and I tried to understand what the bottom line is. I have no clue how the currency and its economic impact is, I don’t how it works but I can assume and put some logic to it
    So, I started working from bottom up. One of the main strategies of TPLF to bring down Eritrea was through economic meltdown. When the TPLF stopped using the port of Assab, stopped the flights and deported Eritreans out of Ethiopia; all that was part of the strategy to suffocate, overwhelm and kill Eritrea economically. The country was very young with none existence of economic infrastructure.
    Bottom line; what ever Eritrea was did or done, it worked and the Eritrean economy never crushed as the TPLF expected.
    When Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan formed alliance against Eritrea; that was meant to throttle Eritrea in every corner and put an exclamation point on Eritrea and her government.
    Bottom line; Eritream government and what ever Eritrea’s economic style is, prevailed.
    When the no war no peace strategy was implemented; the strategy was designed to
    A- force the youth to flee
    B- Kill the economy all together.
    C- Force the people to up-rising
    D- And ultimately bring down the Eritrean regime.
    Out of the above objectives of no peace no war; only one, A, succeeded obtaining its objectives. The only reason A was a success is due to participation of the westerners.
    The west sided with Ethiopia and declared all Eritreans are welcome and asylum was given no question asked. Even Ethiopians used this stupid policy of the west and started declaring as Eritreans. Just yesterday
    “We believe that among the thousands of Eritrean migrants in Europe, 30 – 40 percent are Ethiopians,” Austrian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Andreas Melan!
    Then when B,C,D failed to do the job, the illegal and unjust sanction was rendered against Eritrea. The sanction in its self failed to obtain its objectivity and Eritrea is alive and kicking. The point! How many countries would have withstood all the sabotage, conspiracy and out right evil deeds that was done to Eritrea?
    Whatever Eritrea’s economic model is, don’t you think the bottom line is, it worked?
    How do I know it worked? Well, Eritrean children are fed and Eritrea is fighting cheaters while the designers of no peace no war are begging for food and their children are dying of hunger. That how! Go watch the new BBC video about Ethiopian hungry children, if you have the stomach for it. sad!!!
    How about a little credit to Eritrean economic style, whatever it is!

    • AOsman

      Dear Nitricc,

      Have you considered an Eritrea with over 80 million population with PFDJ style of governance?

      I have not followed the famine in Ethiopia, but I can tell you it is apples and oranges that you are comparing.

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Nitricc

        Hi AOsman;
        First please don’t look at it from your political stand point; try to look at from being an honest broker. And I don’t have to imagine an Eritrea with 80 million populations. I see one called Ethiopia with worst governance than PFDJ. Do you know USAID alone gave 294 million dollars this year to Ethiopia? I don’t think you understand what I am saying and you just responded instantly in defense of TPLF out of hate to PFDJ.

        • AOsman

          Hi Nitricc,

          What’s political to say Ethiopia is more difficult to manage. Regardless of who governs the two nations, which one is easier? Then I leave you to list your own question why the easiest is failing.

          Man I don’t care about TPLF, funny that when challenged you throw the allegation of defending weyane. Really, I don’t give a hoot…..anyway I checked BBC news, they say the elnino effect that caused the drought was not preventable..

          Anyway, keep on fighting for the poor Ethiopian people, better you keep the woyane on their toe, than defending the tyrant at home. At least you are standing up for the weak.

          Regards
          AOsman

          • Nitricc

            Hi AOsman. Now population a curse? Egypt have the same population as of Ethiopia; why is it there is no picture of hungry Egyptian child?
            Nigeria have more people than Ethiopia; why is it there is no hungry Nigerian child shown on tv?
            Your point is point less. The real problem is the government and gaveriance. Number of population have nothing to with Ethiopian tragedy. Besides; isn’t the same Elinino affecting Eritrea too? Why is it there is no Eritrean hungry child?
            Like I have said; you just want to defend the lazy TPLF.
            I don’t know why?

          • AOsman

            Dear Nitricc,

            My bad :), I lost one tooth by your knock….you win this time…..we better call the Ethio awatista or weyanista to come and explain. The theme is hunger is not acceptable under any circumstance, especially for Ethiopia lemelemye.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ustaz A osman
            Hunger will continue to be part of life for the countries in Sub-Sahara Africa for decades to come. We should not think of it as if it is limited to Ethiopia. Of course, the Ethiopian government will be tested and we are watching.Ethiopians need to evaluate the performance of their government in the forecasting, preparation and managing the drought and its effects. But it is foolish to think this natural disaster is contained or sealed off in Ethiopia. There are corners of the region that you won’t hear from even if catastrophes hit them. I am sure there are Eritrean families who are hungry at this moment.

          • AOsman

            Dear Mahmud,

            Hopefully general Nitricc will read you and take a note that Eritrea is not free from the problem as his portrayal is that we do not have hunger (sukuf hizbi temye intezeybele, tzugub iyu yibehal allo).

            I had to give up, sometimes it is pointless arguing with Nitricc.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ya Abu Afaan
            Gen.Nit is going through that famous phase. I once was there too. Take the push-pull factor of the terrible history of this region out, and you will find him to be a real human being. I’m sure he understands that even if the hunger were to be limited to areas of Wolo, the people are still ours, they are our extensions as part of our neighborhood and humanity at large. Just yesterday, Peace announced he was going to a fundraising for affected Ethiopians. Nitrickay, watch out buddy. Your allegiance is to your people, not to the toothless government(s). Famine is a real and imminent threat in the region. I will follow up and explain what hunger means. I hope not to do it, but if it becomes news, I guess someone who knows hunger needs to explain it . I will take it upon myself. Governments will never tell us the real impacts, certainly not PFDJ. Take care.

          • AOsman

            Dear Mahmud,

            Over 12 years that I observed him Nitricc has been Nitricc, except few times that he gave you and Saay a glimpse of hope.

            By default of the position he has taken, he will defend our tyrant at the cost of the Eritrean people who suffer under his rule. When it comes to Ethiopia he will shed crocodile tear at every opportunity for the Ethiopian people to get at Weyane/TFLF..

            That’s his weak spot, it is not out of ignorance.

            He has seen the many clips posted of our refugees in East Sudan. Their condition is not even temporary famine, they lived in such condition for years. DIA was not responsible for blocking them return, not a slight blame……but like a lightening he is talking about Ethiopian government failure to prepare for a natural crisis.

            But Nitricc is the acid test, if you can convince him to change, you will have an easy job with the YPFDJ and any hardcore DIA supporter.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Abu Affan
            Haha..what’s today? Sunday? Gen.Nit is attending the curch praying for the health of our xxxx[ nation],once he returns from there, I will suggest to SAAY he immdiately send him off to Awatista School of Social Science (aka enda kaadr) for cources on sensitivity. Otherwise, he is just fine, a typical nucklehead Eritrean. The good thing about him is that he is predictable. He is also as informed as anybody. I have never heard him saying he is pleased with the situation at home (since the time I joined this forum which is really recently). But he has his own way of explaining things; his own way of calculus. I think the best course in such situations is to follow people you want to follow. I follow you because I gain from that. I dropped many because I gain nothing except headache….I understand many dropped me too. So, let us take it easy and call it “nKid Traay.”
            Abu Affan it’s weekend, and per our tradition no hardballs…haha..

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Nitrickay,

            Of course an explosion of population is always a concern, not only for Ethiopia but also for the entire world. As the natural resources are depleting, deforestation and draughts are looming, and general global climate change becomes worrisome, yes indeed population contribute to the destabilization of human being and the nature we adore and blessed with. This a common sense Nitrickay just observe the trend without politicizing the issue. By the way do you know the current population of the world and the projection in a decade?

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Nitricc

            Hey AMAN H; I think you are missing the point. It is true about the ever increasing population but if you look at the Weyane led Ethiopia; it is crime against humanity. A responsible government will prepare for “what if” and any eventuality. Specially the Ethiopians; they know better; it happens before. What bothers me is that the responsibility of feeding the people of Ethiopia is garnered to the international community. In the other words; begging is becoming the culture and tradition of Ethiopian rulers.
            And I opposed this culture with every molecule of my body. A government had a responsibility to feed its children. No buts no ifs. That all I am saying.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Nitrickay,

            Learn to talk the talk of gentlemen and watch your own words. Before you talk about the hunger of the Ethiopian people talk about the hunger of our own people who are in a dire situation. Go and read the advice given by Mahmuday to you. Draught and feminine is a nature driven calamity. If you don’t understand this, you have really a problem. But I will leave you with the following verse: “why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.”(Mathew 7:3).

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Dear Nitricc,

            As much as you and your group are concerned, if El Niño destroys 90% of the crops in Ethiopia, it is due to the incompetence of the government, and even that of the people. If a
            tsunami kills hundreds of thousands of people, it is the fault of their government. If a landslide kills dozens of people in china or a flood kills people somewhere in South America or Asia, floods and landslides should not happen, and it is the fault of a government. Your friend dawit was accusing the French government because some cowards who benefit from the French society, cowardly killed more than a hundred innocent citizens, and he was boasting that such things do not occur in Eritrea under DIA.

            You people are ready to use any erroneous argument and logic simply because it helps you accuse others. If El Niño affected Ethiopia and spared Eritrea, it is not because of your great dictator and his supporters, cleaver people like you, but mere luck, provided that you are not hiding it as usual. You and dawit are wishing the ten plagues of ancient Egypt for Ethiopia, because you cannot hurt her otherwise. What a shame.

            You compare Ethiopia with Egypt and Nigeria. Do you know how much of their food they import? Egypt does not depend on rain-fed agriculture, but on irrigation farming. On top of this she imports the rest with the cash she gets from tourism, the export of oil and natural gas and the billions she gets from other oil rich Arab countries. As much as Nigeria is concerned, it is the sixth largest oil producing country and it imports most of the food it needs.

            Nitricc, when a large number of your people out of the 5m live outside their country in refugee camps, some weight is removed from the shoulder of the irresponsible government you have back home. (Sorry for forcing me to be mean like you). Remember, DIA at one point had said that the exodus improves the per capita income of Eritreans. While you are defending the worst dictator on earth day and night, you have the audacity to accuse others. You people can hate Ethiopia as much as you like, but know this, you will never be able to hurt her in the future. She is beyond your reach.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Horizon; I used to think you were from Wellega but since you are up in arms in the defense of the lazy, stupid and corrupted TPLF leadership; then I am forced to address your pointless-point.
            “As much as you and your group are concerned, if El Niño destroys 90% of the crops in Ethiopia, it is due to the incompetence of the government, and even that of the people”
            If you had a real and responsible government, then, there was unforgettable point of reference in your history the world known you for; the 1984 famine. Any responsible, with single thinking cell government will do what ever takes to safe gourd the people from such event to take over. We are living in amazing technology and Ei nino did not come as sudden as earthquake or tsunami.
            El nino, or no El Nino, drought no drought. The end of discussion! When it fits you, you lie how your economy is growing by 11 % every year; you barge how you are the first in Africa to have the toothless light train; you bully and harass to go to war with 20 times smaller nation than you while you are cowardly bending to your size, Egypt. The list goes on but how about doing the least a government can do for its people in general for the children in particular; FEED THE CHILD!!!!!!

            “If El Niño affected Ethiopia and spared Eritrea, it is not because of your great dictator and his supporters, cleaver people like you, but mere luck, provided that you are not hiding it as usual. You and dawit are wishing the ten plagues of ancient Egypt for Ethiopia, because you cannot hurt her otherwise. What a shame.”
            There is drought in Eritrea. Because the government priority is to feed its people and children; that is the reason Eritrea is not bagging nor showing skeleton children to get some aid. Again; get this to your head, a government can be repressive, can be abusing but must feed its children.

            “You compare Ethiopia with Egypt and Nigeria. Do you know how much of their food they import? Egypt does not depend on rain-fed agriculture, but on irrigation farming”

            Horizon; I am discombobulated to no end and I wonder where they get the water to do their irrigation? Can you please help me in solving the great riddle of mine?

            “Nitricc, when a large number of your people out of the 5m live outside their country in refugee camps, some weight is removed from the shoulder of the irresponsible government you have back home.”

            Horizon; you are corrupted to the core! How do you even compare the two? I rather leave my country because I resent my government and its system than dying of hunger in my own country due to my greedy and corrupted government.
            Again, I don’t care about the adults, if you have to line them up shoot them; but for a child to dye and suffer due starvation; NO!
            And the reason I am defending the worst dictator is because he feeds his children, the end of the story.
            If you have a shred of morality and humanity; stand up for the children; they have nothing to do with anything.

          • Dear Nitricc,
            As much as the TPLF leadership is concerned, I do not support them because I hate somebody else, nor do I hate them because I support somebody else. I do not care who rules Ethiopia. My feeling towards anybody who rules Ethiopia depends on their merits and their blunders. There are things they have done for which I congratulate them, and there are other things they have done for which I condemn them. I am not a blind supporter, nor a blind hater.

            As to the rest of your comment, I better not say much, because there is nothing new in it. It is the same old story you have been recycling for such a long time, that of denial and
            of life in a fantasy world where everything is perfect, meant to beautify the face of the worst dictatorship in Africa, and legitimize its gross failures and crimes, and at the same time, demonize everything Ethiopian. Keep it up; remember, you are giving the last fight for a lost cause (the so-called ኣልሞትኩም ባይ ታጋይ thing).

            Lastly, if I am in need of humanity and morality, be sure, you are the last person I would turn to.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Horizen I ley you read few sentences of your own country man has to say and i rest my case.

            “ድርቅ ድንበር አይልም፤የፖለቲካ ስርዐት አይልም፤ ደሃና ሀብታም አይለይም- አገር ከአገር ህዝብ ከህዝብ አይለይም። ድርቅ በዬትም አገር ዉስጥ በማንኛዉም ግዜ ሊከሰት የሚችል የተፈጥሮ
            ክስተት ነዉ። የሰዉ ልጅ ድርቅ ይዟቸዉ ሊመጣ የሚችለዉን አደጋዎች ነዉ መቆጣጠር
            የሚችለዉ እንጂ ድርቅን እራሱን መቆጣጠር አይችልም። ዝናብ በተከታታይ ከጠፋ ድርቅ
            መምጣቱ አይቀሬ ነዉ። በ2007 ዓም ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ የገባዉ ድርቅ ኤርትራ ዉስጥም ገብቷል።
            ሁለቱ አገሮች የዝናቡ እጥረት ወደ ድርቅ ከመለወጡ በፊትና በኋላ የወሰዷቸዉ እርምጃዎች ግን
            የሰማይና የምድርን ያክል የተራራቁ ናቸዉ። እነዚህ ሁለቱ አገሮች የወሰዷቸዉ የተለያዩ
            እርምጃዎች ናቸዉ ዛሬ ኢትዮጵያን የምግብ ለማኝ ኤርትራን ደግሞ በራሷ የምትተማመን አገር
            ያደረገዉ።
            የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ድርቅ እየመጣብህ ነዉ ተብሎ ማስጠንቀቂያ እየተሰጠዉ ትኩረት የሰጠዉ
            እየመጣ ላለዉ ረሃብ ሳይሆን ለ“እዩኝ እዩኝ” ፕሮጅክቶች ነዉ። ፕሮጀክቶች አያስፈልጉንም
            ማለቴ አይደለም። ያስፈልጉናል፤ ነገር ግን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በረሃብ እያለቀ ደርግ አዳራሽ
            ይሰራል ብሎ የወነጀለ አካል የሱም ትኩረት በመጀመሪያ የህዝብን የምግብ ፍላጎት መሟላት
            እንጂ ህዘብ በረሃብ እያለቀ ሌላ ሌላ ፕሮጀክት ላይ ማተኮር አልነበረበትም። የኤርትራ መንግስት
            የ2007 ዓም ዝናብ መጠን የእህል አምራች በሆኑ የአገሪቱ አካባቢዎች አስተማማኝ አለመሆኑን
            ሲረዳ ገና ከጧቱ ነበር ከተለያዩ ምንጮች የምግብ እህል በግዢ በማሰባሰብ የአገሪቱን የምግብ
            ፍላጎት ማሟላት የጀመረዉ። ዛሬ የኤርትራ ህዝብ ስሙ በረሃብ የማይነሳዉ ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ድርቅ
            ስላልገባ አይደለም። የኤርትራ መሪዎች ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ ከመለወጡ በፊት ቀድመዉ የወሰዱት
            እርምጃ አገራቸዉን ከረሃብ አደጋ ስላዳነዉ ነዉ። የኛ መንግስታት ግን ንጉሱም ሆኑ፤ ደርግ
            ወይም ወያኔ ድርቅ ወደ ረሃብ ተለዉጦ ህዝብን ሲጨርስ ምግብ መለመን ነዉ እንጂ ዛሬ ትንሿ
            አገር ኤርትራ እንዳደረገችዉ የድርቅን መምጣት አይተዉ ረሃብን ተከላክለዉ አያዉቁም። ለዚህ
            ነዉ መሰለኝ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ በድርቅና በረሃብ መካከል ልዩነት ያለም አይመስልም።”

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear AOsman,

        This smart kid of ours must get a room and a ladder of maturation to understand the sociopolitical and socioeconomic relations in order to compare and contrast the trajectory of development. So in a nutshell give him time, he is showing an observable progress.

        Regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

    • tes

      Dear Nitricc,

      On many aspects you have no clue and worse you try to defend the regime while you are clueless.

      tes

    • ገስጋሲ

      እኔ የሚገርመኝ የንዳንተ አይነቶች የበጣም ብዙዎች ጥገኛ አስተሳሰብ ነው ።
      አፍክን ሞልተህ ከኢትዮጵያ ሰለመባረር ስታወራ አታፍርም? ስድነታችሁን የሚሸከም መንግስት የለንም! እናንተ በወገን ላይ ያደረሳችሁት በደል በቀድሞ መንግስት ወታደሮች ላይ የፈፀማችሁት ግፍ አስከ አሁን ድረሰ ትግራዋይን አንደ ጎን ውጋት (ባይሳካላችሁም) ሰቅሳችሁ ለመያዝ የምታደርጉት የማያቋርጥ ጥረትስ ? እስከ መጨረሻው ልካችሁን የሚያሳውቃችሁ እርቃናችሁን አውላላ ሜዳ ላይ የሚገትራችሁ TPLF ነው። ንትግራዋይ ከይሃቆፍካ ንሽዋ ምጥማት ወይ ውን ንወያናይ ከየጥፋካ ንኢትዮጵያ ረሳኣያ። ብሱሩ’ኸ መን ቅርብ ከብለካ ኣታ ሳህሳህ

    • Hope

      Dear Gen Nittric:
      You made tons of sense!
      I took it for granted though that you admit that the PFDJ also messed up as well!
      Over all though,your argument is FACTIAL based on the facts on the ground!
      Ignore those,who are intoxicated with the PFDJ hatred!
      I drafted quite a similar argument/comment but it never showed up for some reason’!
      If they are truthful to themselves,AOsman and Tes should challenge your argument point by point,but you know that defensiveness is a sign of weakness !

  • Ayneta

    Good morning:
    While the currency issue has completely consumed our attention ( for good reason), IA ( Abu Chahma as we used to call him 🙂 ) may be fast decapitating for health reasons. I am convinced Abu Chahma has serious health problems and he may be dying fast. While his departure is a welcome gesture from the Creator, I am concerned the country may not be ready for life after his death. While the currency issue is rolling down, we may be surprised with another surprise: his death!

    • Semere Andom

      Dear Ayneta:
      Please touch the wood so IA does not die without due process:-)

    • Nitricc

      Hi Ayneta; it is evil to wish some to dye. If you were observant; PIA’s hair cut should have told you his health conditions. Dying or ill people don’t cut their hair.
      The man is well and kicking it. I feel sorry for you people who sit there and wish death to other people. That is simply evil.

      • አዲስ

        Hahaha Nitricc,

        ” If you were observant; PIA’s hair cut should have told you his health conditions. Dying or ill people don’t cut their hair. ”

        That’s a beautiful comment. One for the ages. Thanks for the laugh.

        Thanks,
        Addis

        • saay7

          kbur Addis:

          There is a reason why so many of us–me, SGJ, Mahmud–love this guy, Nitricc.

          He has a highly-attuned BS detector.

          What he is saying, in his own way, is that Isaias Afwerki is alive and kicking because if he wasn’t the two Yemanes, Hagos Kisha wouldn’t be the public faces of the government. What he is telling you is that Isaias Afwerki, who craves attention, is on some retreat, reading everything–including this post (Hi Isaias: release my family from jail, Goddamn you)–so he can make a victorious comeback. If you can’t be a hero by defeating an enemy in a war theatre, you have to create him. And our oppo media is creating it for him.

          That is what I heard Nitricc saying, using his own unique analytical skills. He didn’t say it, but that’s what I heard him saying because he writes in a peculiar language called Eritreanese.

          saay

          • አዲስ

            haha Saay,

            He is a gem indeed.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Semere Andom

            Saay:
            There is no language called “Eritreanese”, what is it, a combination of the 9 langauges?
            There are 11 languages that is including Jebertite and LTeges

          • saay7

            Oh, come on Mahmuday:

            This is a set up, right? You told Cousin Sem about the video–that video which uses multiple languages–and now he is asking “what is it, a combination of the 9 languages?” Fess up Mahmuday. ShiTaraken feliTnayo alena:)

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan abusalah
            No…no. The honor of presenting that video to cousin Semere is reserved for you. Semere is busy counting the Nakfa he seized in the Eritrean consulate in Toronto when he marched into the city, liberating it from PFDJ. No body knows how that money had made it to Toronto. The great Ted, any info?

          • Ted

            Hi the Greatest, It is the money that fell off from ዓዴታት መንዲል when he was chasing them. Eritrean there used to save their money in Nakfa than canadian dollar before Semere squealed to authorities to shut the consulate. How is your 12 step program working on him?

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmuday:
            First I do not know what video you guys talking about, I would like to see it.
            Second, there is no Consulate in Toronto, so I cannot seize money. “Aye neber mukkan khasim, or ,kana fiEL maddi la mehalla lehu;;” you can complete the verse:-)

            About the salutation in Tigrayit, I can but ask AT in increase the limit of articles, 1200 is not enough
            That reminds me of aTigrayit speaker who flagged Asmara bound bus, let call him Idrissai, the driver ignored him but the passengers said, “biter eglu, sella ala-nebi, so he stopped.
            Idrissai ascended the buts, supported one leg by his big stick and asked the driver, “Aqqurdat zalmet ta, did it rain in Aqqurdat, to which the driver angrily replied, Aqqurdat neddid hlet, Aqqurdat is burning and drove away living the Idrissai to fall. This is best demonstrated in person with a saffa, that was how I was told about it the first time
            Is SGJ listening his beloved Tigayit is being mutilated:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Wed Abuye Andom marHaba Beka
            Anyway, SAAY has got a precious gift, as you know, we say (Qol) in Tigre, so I gave him my word that I would not devour the whole good stuff before he comes out from the bunker where he has been hunkered for the night. He will send the video to you, it’s hilarious and you will love it. May be it will trigger another article on names and meshing of languages.
            You know, I better not talk about Toronto. The whole thing was brought by the great Ted, and he was generous to tell us as to how you might have gotten the poor Nakfas.
            Hey, Ted, we are somewhere mid way in our 12 step. ምስ ሰመረ ታተ እናበልካ እዩ። እንሓንሳብ ኣዝዩ ንድሕሪት የንሸታትሕ’ሞ ናብቲ ዝነበሮ ክምለስ ግዜ ይወስደሉ እዩ። እቲ ጽቡቑ፡ ፊን ክብሎ እንከሎ ገዲፉዎም ስለዝዕዘር፡ ደሓን እዩ። ሕሳቡ የደቓቕሶ እዩ። ደሓር ከኣ፡ ኣብ ሰመረ ወድ ዓንዶም መጺእካ ንድሕሪት ምባል የለን። ኤእ ብጻይካ ገዲፍካ ኣይክየድን። “ኣይግድን” በሉ ዓበይቲ።

          • saay7

            Hahaha Cousin iSem:

            As Jon Stewart used to say, “meet me at Camera 2”, in this case Jebena, where I will share this unique video that has hybrid Tigrayit, Tigrinya, Arabic, English lyrics and it all flows seamlessly. And even more cheerfully, it has Eritrea’s endangered species: youth!

            saay

          • saay7

            iSem:

            It’s Saturday…The much-advertised song/video, performed by Mahmudays nephew, is here:

            http://awate.com/jebena-jerusalem-the-flower-of-the-cities/#comment-2359894012

            See you there!

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Saay:
            I know you will think I am difficult but my close frines BY, GH and M,Salehe AA Younis will tell you I am easy going.:-)
            So this song is not sang in Eritreaness, it is sang in the default languages , in the three cousins: Tigrayit and Tigriniya and Arabic. When a Christian gets drank he speaks in ENglish or Italian, when a Muslim gets drank he recites poems from the Arabic dark ages and this song is like that
            There are 8 languages missing to qualify for Eritreaness.
            I do not speak Canadian but English I do not live in igloos and I do not know Joe and Lucy a Canadian beer ad:-)

          • saay7

            Hi iSem:

            Seriously?! Ok let’s see what u have to say about this: Ethiopia’s Jano Band reinventing Tekle Tesfazghis “Fikrey telemeni.” If u don’t like this, I am checking my family tree to check if u r my cousin. I was hoping for the cute Amaric accent when singing Tigrinya but u won’t find it here. Extra bonus: Abi will hate it because he hates everything

            http://youtu.be/AD1wUx_RtQM

            Saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal
            Aman baman cousiney:-)
            It is excellent. The Setel and Abdalla was excellent to, it was not n Eritreaness.The first thing I noticed was the name “Kurebel”:-)
            ALso this reminded me an issue you and I discussed long time ago: why sudanese male singers sing “ya habibi”,every Eritrea have asked this question, no one got an answer as long I was there and that is over one score years:-)
            But the singer switched to the right gender

          • Abi

            Ayeeeeeee Saay
            This thing proved two things
            1- Tekle is still in Ethiopian hearts
            2 – how charismatic he was.
            Thanks for the clip. It makes me love him and miss him even more. He was special and remains special.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abiye,

            Do you remember this song of Getachew Kassa? It used to remaind me my early highschool years. I am sure it was the same for you, too. Now, thanks to these ” Jano Band ” people, they ruined my memory. Please watch and weep.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxRj_-ll6Pw

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            Yasqeyemkuh neger ale? BesmeAb! I watched only 20 seconds .
            I am thinking of ” leEnbaye boy lisra ” by the all time great Tilahun. If you want to apologize bring that one ASAP.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abishu,

            I actually have a complaint to file against a certain moderator to his bosses. He is shamelessly calling, Tilahun Gessese a drama queen and plugging this Jano band people, even, when they ruin one of the best songs of Tilahun, “Fikrish nw yegodagn”… Feredegn…. 🙂

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            ” getawan yetemamenech beg latwan edej sasadralech.”
            Wey Tigab!
            I think his boss is music challenged.

          • Haile WM

            ahahah saay,

            “Isaias Afwerki, who craves attention, is on some retreat, reading
            everything–including this post (Hi Isaias: release my family from jail,
            Goddamn you)–”

            this made my day thanks for the laugh.

  • haileTG

    Hello awatista,

    Few days ago, I predicted that the planned currency conversion arrangement will run into problems. Today, the first indications of such a poor planning and ultimate fiasco has unraveled. The ERiTV news announced at the head of the news bulletin that the bank of Eritrea had issued “ADDITIONAL” guidelines. Of course, they were not “Additional” guidelines, they were rather “amendment” of the earlier proclamation. The arrogance of the regime means that it can continue to assume the people are a given up lot and it can march them anyhow and wherever it pleases.

    Today, the bank said that the actual expiration date for the nakfa is Dec. 26 and not 30 as it stated on the proclamation (it calls this additional information not amending the proclamation). It also said businesses can make two redemption of old currency, i.e. one before the 26 Dec. expiration date and one on the 28th of December after the expiration. Now, look at the stupid planning set out in the proclamation. It initially said that the nakfa will expire on the 30th of Dec. That means any shop that receives the old nakfa in or around the 30th of Dec. when it is still valid will not be able to redeem it on the 31 of Dec. because the old nakfa would expire by then!!! Oh boy, they didn’t think of that, God save the country from such idiots.

    Now, after identifying where they messed up, they could have postponed the whole issue to plan better, but instead fell flat on the face again by staggering the redemption for businesses into one during and one after the expiration of the old nakfa. That means a business entity will have new nakfa that it can withdraw at 20000 a time till the 26th of Dec. It can sell all its merchandises to individuals for old nakfa and would redeem it for them after the expiration time and get back his/her merchandise. So, those with excess nakfa can simply get flat screen TV, electronics, clothing, jewelry… and to hold on to and then give it back for their money or small cut. The business would also get legit receipts to prove income when redeeming because it is closing a sale when passing those items. So, this has opened a way for the people to safely exchange any quantity of currency.

    The regime can’t get out of this fix because its current plan is very feeble. There are sure many other structural faultiness especially with its forms that are needed to be filled (made available from 16th Nov.). So, for now…hade beluley 🙂

    • PTS

      Hailat,
      Additional information lol
      Can people purchase expensive items like on black Friday and go for refund after the dust settles i.e. to get refund in new naqfas?

      • haileTG

        Hi PTS,

        The place being in Africa, Eritrea, the concept of refund isn’t really there yet (Erbun is usually used as a stick to discourage it:). But the normal behavior is that you would strike a deal specifically tailored to benefit you and the other party privately. And based on that deal you can go ahead, get the stuff as collateral and return it later. Again, being Africa, the margin to such deals turning pear shape is always there. In which case, you have to go and sell the items yourself if the other party bolts and refuses to give you back your money. 🙂

    • Saleh Johar

      HaileTG,
      Listen to this: the price of cattle is up immediately after people discovered a well connected guy bought hundreds of livestock and gave them to a man who was not known to own even two cows, for safekeeping– they are used for storing Nakfa. Then the curious people started to ask, “Ezen begayt de’a beyen weriden?” Now at the cattle raising localities they were told to report any transaction of cattle if more than two heads. Do you happen to own cows by any chance? They are hot 🙂

      • Semere Andom

        HTG and SGJ:
        All these Nakfa change is a harbinger for a new government, when the government changes or coup is conducted they change currency so IA is dead, assenna just not confident to report it this time.Once the old Nakfa is burned or buried Ethiopia TV will announce IA has passed away:-)

        • V.F.

          Semere, please refrain from such ill conceived comments. Thank you.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi V.F:
            It was a joke to get into Abi’s nervs to make him say some nice, Come on:-)

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            Abi smells a lousy humor from a distance. Try again.
            BTW, who told you ETV is yeEdir Turunba nefi?
            Tu Tu Tu Tu… Wedi Afom motewalina qebir diresu. Bemayqebrut lay meqecha ale ! Tu Tu Tu …(Eri Tv, always announcing the truth!)

          • Semere Andom

            Good morning Abi and V.
            First, my mistake, I was responding to V.F about the Amharic being international language, I thought he was refering to that. But where ever he was he diluted his humor
            About the Ethiop TV announcing the perishing of IA, is a sound theory proved by Dr, prof, brither ,friend. Saleh AA Younis

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            You know the major similarity between Atse Isaias and Atse Menelik?
            People thought Menelik was alive while he was long dead. Similarly people think Isayas is dead while he is alive.

          • Dear Abi.
            It was the same with Brezhnev. He was long dead before people were told about his death. There are many examples in history. The life and death of authoritarian rulers is full of secrecy. DIA is declared dead so many times only to come to life some weeks later. It will be interesting to know what the outcome will be this time. He deserves to be in the Guiness book of world records.

          • Abi

            Selam Horizon
            I got a lousy joke for you.
            When Brezhnev died Fiqresilassie Wegderes went to USSR for the funeral. At the funeral he saw Yuri Andropov crying. Fiqresilassie couldn’t hold it and start Abesha style crying. Atasgomjegn, Atasgomjegn, ….of course he was loud.

            Kokobe
            You see I don’t have to tell to people like those in your link who were Brezhnev and Andropov. They already knew them. Now, I need your help to tell people like Gesgasi and the sophisticated ethiopians who was Fiqresilassie Wogderes.
            Thanks.
            BTW, Fiqresilassie endegomeje qere. Miskin.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Ab0,

            wish his excellency is alive. የእረኛውና የነብሩ ታሪክ ትዝ ኣለኝ :: if so happen he die natural death, he must be very lucky one. but please pray with me, I want him to stay at least 25 years and the best revenge is to see him in peace but regretting of his bad actions.

      • haileTG

        Haha SGJ, that is smarter than the bank manager to say transaction. Because, if it was only selling to be reported then you can buy 2 cows each from 50 people at 25000 NKF each and stash away 2.5 million NKF safely 🙂

        • saay7

          Hey Haile TG:

          This reminds me of a childhood joke. Man is trying to sell his cow, goat and chicken in Asmara.

          Customer: How much for the cow
          Seller: $1 Qirshi (Ethiopian dollar/birr)
          Customer: I will take it!
          Seller: You have to buy all three at the same time.
          Customer: How much for the goat?
          Seller: $50
          Customer: What?? How about the chicken?
          Seller: $100.

          I have a bet with SGJ for 20 nakfa that the GoE will announce an extension on December 25. How can they possibly exchange 64 billion nakfa in six weeks when people will probably wait until the last minute to do it. What they should have done is:

          Week 1: 100 old Nakfa is 105 New Nakfa
          Week 2: 100 old Nakfa is 104 New Nakfa
          Week 3: 100 old Nakfa is 103 New Nakfa

          etc

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear saay,

            Can you elaborate with reason as to why you suggested different rate of change in the three weeks at the end of you comment?

            regards

          • Ted

            Hi AH, you are overthinking it if you assume it is one of his jokes you seem never to get . Most of the time Saay gets down to human level to communicate. He just saying those who come first get more money for their old nakfa so as to encourage them to come early than late in the days.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            SaleH (salutation follows below)
            ሰኒ ትነብር? እኩብ ወ ስሉም? ባስጥ ወ ርዩሕ? ኣንፎታትካ ቅዱይ? ማልካ ወ ዕያልካ በኪት ቱ ማሚ?፡ ሚ ትመስል? ኣድሁይ በኪት ቱ? ምድር ዛልምቱ ማሚ? ኣሃ፡ ከፎ ሃሌካ? xxxxሰኒ ሀለው ማሚ? (repeat above and more…), Tigre style salutation…
            So,what guarantee does SGJ has if your new Nakfa will not be changed by the end of the exchange period? What if the GOE changes mind by the end of the 6 weeks period (the introduction of the new currency)? I think your bet should be dancing with the sword, or, braving the sword. Semere add some more into my Tigrayt greeting sentences.

          • saay7

            Hala Mahmuday:

            Well, you may say that it is included in “Malka” but I didn’t hear you ask about my goats–my Atal! My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!–so it is an incomplete salutation. Nefs Tsrit? Degdg?

            WHEREAS, swords are an anamoly from the 19th century;
            WHEREAS, dancing with them is dangerous and can poke somebody’s eyes;
            WHEREAS, when I last went to Midieval Times in Buena Park, California all the jousting was done using fake swords

            I hereby pass a decree, published in Gazette of Eritrean laws (why not) that no Eritrean artist will use real swords. Come on already.

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan saay
            The goats would follow SGJ story of the guys who purchased a lot of cows to spare himself from the interrogations as to how he had accumulated all that Nakfas ( ናይ ኣጽነሓለይ ከብቲ…haha…); now, the joke is that all Begayt cows are done with and they are down to goats. So, you may find your goats some where in another guy’s kelieb (zeribet)!

          • haileTG

            Haha, saay, yes that was a funny joke I remember from the old times (actually with a little twist based on a ploy to get out of mebxa’a made at church:) I think Aman hasn’t got the incentives you made for the public to come by early. You are right to change the incentive to stick from carrot, in keeping with PFDJ hasad too 🙂

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!
            You knew we hate to lose more than we love to gain.
            Thank you Sir for the good laugh. It is not only what you say, it is also how you say it that is beautiful.

          • haileTG

            Hello saay,

            Now to the serious side of your comment above:) Yes, how can the count that much money in just over 5 weeks (remember that there had been an “additional” information that shortened the dead line by 4 days:)? In reality, they only have 40hrs to process collection of the money! Add to that they have now included a form that needs to be correctly completed for the service of exchanging money to be rendered. The entire country will have to fill in this forms, in a limited language facility, and submit is within a window of 40 hours. So, each teller will have to check form, receive and count money, count and dispense money for each visitor. I can safely bet that the extension you alluded to will be granted. But extending it will simply defeat the stated purpose and they may end up running out of the new currency because it it has gotten hoarded too:) That will be a real funny Christmas comedy for a treat 😉

          • saay7

            Hey HTG:

            Does the form ask for blood type? I hear the new forms to get the National ID card ask for that:)

            And let’s not forget, for people who can’t fill out the form (illiteracy) it had to be notarized? And, this one I am particularly certain of: the bank would then have to check with all the shmagles to determine that whatever “national obligation” were ordered by fiat will have to be deducted from the deposit.

            SGJ mentioned atomic weights…but that assumes that the different denominations have different weight. It also assumes that everybody accurately placed the right denomination in the right sack.

            It looks like this is going to be like the commercial for some insecticide: roach motel; they check in, but they never check out. Your currency, it will check in but it may never check out. At least not all of it. Seeing all the money (in the billions) at one time will trigger every erroneous zone of the PFDJ.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            I think the 62 billion is all of M2. I would think the currency bills in circulation cannot be more than the GDP. If we had 62 billion cash in circulation, $1 will probably be 10000 Nakfa. Besides, they will not possibly count the money, I think they will weigh it with sensitive “atom” digital scales. If they get crazy, they can pile it and measure its height and estimate the amount–that last method is what Nitricc told me about 🙂

      • AOsman
  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Mr. Guest,

    Milton Friedman is an economist who won a noble prize in economics. Below is a link that might help you to understand the man and his career.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

    Regards

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Awate Team

    Great Analysis – deep into the heart of the Eritrean financial crises.

  • Hhouse of Stark

    Hi Guest
    And, what is his origin of country?.

  • Tesfa Mehari

    I welcome such input from [Awate Team] as it enable our people to gage the real issues from all angles.

    • The theoretical arguments presented would not be an issue as any undergraduate economics student can handle the merits of Fixed/Floating exchange rate.

    • There is also a broad consensus on the merits of independent central banking, run by competent professionals with clear statutory mandate to use monetary policy instruments without any political interference.

    • The critiques to Friedman’s views on money supply, inflation, and growth is also well documented and understandable by an average student.

    • There is also no dispute that the growth of black market in foreign currency, credit, and trade is a sign of a failing economy. It frustrates the effectiveness of monetary policy, fiscal policy, and damages private investment by crowding it out of vital bank credit. It forces private companies to downsize or engage in “illegal”, expensive and high risk financing at home and abroad.

    What is in dispute is the real intention of the Eritrean Government.
    1. Are they doing it to tighten state control of the economy to favour the companies owned by the state and ruling party?
    2. Or, to integrate the huge informal economy into a modern trading and payment system where the private sector will be supported by effective macroeconomic policy to deliver stable prices, growth and employment?

    Awate’s conclusion is clear, and the public will make up their mind. The solution to this trust-deficit between the government and the people is immediate implementation of the 1997 constitution.

    http://awate.com/eritreas-new-capital-and-social-control…/

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Tesfa,

      1-Do you really think the “current Eritrean problem” is only limited to trust-deficit between the government and the Eritrean people? There is no more to it?

      2-Since you are in dispute to AT’s conclusion, what is the real intention of the Eritrean government as oppose to the assessment of AT?
      3- You have said “Awate’s conclusion is clear, and the public will make up their mind”. Wouldn’t it be fair to share your assessment on the issue at hand as you are part of the public?

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Tesfa Mehari

        Dear Amanuel,

        Thank you for your input.

        1. The current Eritrean problem is primarily the absence Democracy and the Rule of Law. The solution is immediate implementation of the 1997 Constitution. IPA and those in power have no incentive to implement the constitution and would like it dead and forgotten because it limits their power. It is the people of Eritrea that need the implementation of the 1997 constitution and they are crying for credible leaders to rally them towards achieving this objective. The opposition has made monumental mistake by not embracing the constitution. It makes no sense to accept all the EPLF-led milestones, including the independence 1991, referendum 1993; and then fail to accept the 1997 constitution as the logical continuation. So we are in a strange alliance where the opposition are cheering PIA for declaring the death of the constitution. To answer your question: Yes trust-deficit between the government and the Eritrean people our biggest problem and the solution is establishment of a legitimate government accountable to parliament, democratically elected parliament accountable to the people, and independent judiciary upholding the rule of law in accordance to the 1997 constitution.
        2 & 3 are the same as they deal with the real intention of the government in changing the currency. My answer is I do not know. As an Eritrean Citizen, I have the right to know but I have no democratic channel of forcing the government to tell me anything.

        • haileTG

          Dear Tesfa,

          Please take this question to be unassuming (which is really what it is). Do you see the current status, set up and reality of Eritrea to be fertile ground to restore the constitution, re-instate rule of law and pick up from where it left off to simply become the best expectations we hold? Is the current regime capable, equipped and secure enough to deliver? Or, in order to get where you seem to propose, there will be a price to be paid? And what would that price be?

          Regards

          • Tesfa Mehari

            Dear Haile,
            Thank you for your input. As I indicated in my replay to Amanuel, may I kindly ask we focus on the currency exchange and we debate the constitution under its own topic to give it the focus it deserves.
            Kind regards
            Tesfa

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Tesfu,

          I am pressed with time. I will get back to you this evening. For now this is my take: The constitution is the worst polarizing document after nehnan elamanan . Count my words.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Tesfa Mehari

            Dear Amanuel,
            Thank you for the promise to comeback on this. However, May I kindly ask us to postpone this discussion on the 1997 constitution so that all can focus on the task at hand; i.e., the process currency exchange and its impact.

            The constitution 1997 is a very big topic issue and deserves to be discussed under its own topic rather than as a side issue. Dr Bereket should help us kick-start the debate by explaining if PIA has the legal right to declare death of the constitution by a simple interview. In my view the commission was established by legal proclamation, the draft was debated by the public at home and diaspora and the final document was ratified in 1997 by the national assembly which is the highest legal authority of the state. Mahmud Sherifo clearly asserted the supremacy of the national assembly above the president during the drafting of the regulations for national election and party formation. Dr Bereket can now help us explain who owns the constitution and how can it be implemented.

            So let us now focus on the currency exchange. … this my last input until
            Kind regards
            Tesfa

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Tesfu,

            At the risk of criticism I was to do it, but as you have said I will leave it for other time, in order to stay on the subject at hand. Let me leave me with the following in mind when you debate on the constitution (a) the constitution is a political document or in other word it is a political contract between the people and the political organizations on one hand and between all the political organizations that exist during the drafting process (b) The 1997 constitutional document is a hybrid constitution and be ready what you will have a say about a hybrid constitution when we raise it in the future. Have a good one till then.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Tesfa,
            We have been discussing the constitution for almost two decades. We might as well discuss if it was the egg or the chicken that came first. Culturally, it is not acceptable to exhume a dead body for no reason, let Isaias’ constitution Rest In Peace 🙂

  • Saleh Johar

    VF,

    When did I block you? Why are you all picking on me? There are several moderators and when it is my turn, if you violate the guidelines, I will do what a moderator does.

    • Abi

      Selam Ato Saleh ebakwo yastemrut
      Ej yemaynesawun ej nestew asayut.
      Yan qoraTa ejun medebeq kasegnew
      Gonbess keAngetu denbu endeza new.

      • V.F.

        Hi abi, can you state that in English. I suspect you just said very good things about me. The respect is mutual.

        • Abi

          Hi VF
          Long time no talk.
          It was a lame gold and wax.
          Ej mensat= to cut off a hand ( gold)
          Ej mensat= to bow down (wax).
          So I was advising /encouraging Kibur Zebegna to cut off ( delete) any comentor who doesn’t start by salutations. (bow down)
          VF, I always say good things about you.
          Very funny!

        • Semere Andom

          Hi V.F
          Welcome back!
          How dare you, you cannot understand the international language, every Eritrean even those born after independence “amharic qortemtem yblu,ybla”,:-)
          And as my friend Ted would say, you better learn it, it may as well be the trade trade language in the horn

    • Nitricc

      Dear SJ: how dare you sir? How could you block VF? I am logging in my protest to AT for blocking VF for his earth shattering concept; that Eritrea should intigrate with Ethiopia; hahaha a 60
      Years old idea. The saddest part is, VF thinks he is presenting a fresh and brand idea and he is proud of it. It gets worst; he thinks AT banned him becouse of his Earth shattering and out of the box idea.

  • Samson Zere

    Eritreans have been fooled by pfdj and the so called opposition are all working to destroying Eritrea and it’s people and that is the thuth.good day

  • Samson Zere

    Merhaba saleh al salam wu alekum. hello everyone. shalom every one. hola every one. should i keep going saleh. i don’t think my greeting is a problem to you sir, it’s my true opinion that you can’t stand.

    • V.F.

      Deleted for violation of salutation protocol//moderator

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Saleh Johar,

    The socioeconomic problems in Eritrea is created by isaias afewerki with malicious intent. It is his willful profuct , of which the rampant corruption, the pervasive maladministration and injustice, the raging black market, human trafficking and human organs trade , the massive inflation, Eritrean mass flight from their country and economic melt down etc. are all part and parcel of the evil design as a means to empty Eritrea of its people.

    The rational he had professed when he seized complete power was to protect the Sovereignty of the country and develop its economy anf manpower. Under that theme, he incarcerated senior EPLF officials branding them sellouts and defeatists; abolished the Constitution and Baito, muzzled freedom of expression etc.

    His bravado was 14 years ago. However, today, the situation of the country and its people are far worse off than they had ever been at any time in the past. But he has never been apologetic of his failure. To the contrary, he paints the sad situation of the people with rosy colors and brags Eritrea is the envy of Africa.

    To the mass fleeing of the Eritrean people, he characterizes as either invention of the alleged enemies, such as UNHCR , or as other Africans migrants disguised as Eritreans. He forbids the people to grieve of the death of their fleeing kids.

    Eritrea has been a UN member sovereign state since 1993. By now it’s economy should have been integrated with outside world and Asmera should have been a vibrant cosmopolitan city. But none of it is the case. His rational: Eritreans should not be exploited by foreign corporations.

    But then he is exporting Eritrean women, including former tegafelti, to Arab countries to be house servants from whom he swells his coffers in secret bank at different foreign countries. Add to that the foreign gold mining corporations who have been using Eritreans as slaves. Every four years, he gets over billion dollars from the sale of gold , every penny of which has been going to his secret foreign accounts.

    His rationals and his deeds as manifest on the ground are all paradoxical, and not by accident but by design. And to cover up what really manifest on the ground, he creates scapegoats: the USA, Woyane, the UN, UNSC and calls upon the people for perseverance and endurance.

    Some people compare him to Mao of China. Probably, they are influenced by history. But Mao, unlike isaias afewerki, never took care of his family members any better than other Chinese. He sent his son to North Korea like any other Chinese during the Korean War. When his son died, he was buried in North Korea like any other dead Chinese.

    Did isaias afewerki send his son to the called Ethiopian-Eritrean war of 1998? Never. He sent him to China to become an Air Force Officer.

    Did isaias afewerki named any of his children after the rivers, mountains , valleys of Eritrea like many other EPLFs? Never. He named his first son after his grand father. He tries to hide behind Abraha Tewelde, whom he reportedly poisoned to death.

    Isaias afewerki is the enemy of Eritrea. No one should address him as president. He is a fifth columinst.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    The purpose of pegging (fixing) a currency to another currency is to get a monetary stability, i.e. to avoid currency exchange risks involved in dealing with the international trade (import/export) or inward/outward investments. In the case of the pegged Nakfa to the US dollar, when the US dollar weakens against all other currencies, the Eritrean exports are boosted meaning that Eritrea has enough foreign (hard) currencies to cover its imports. And, when the US dollar exchange rate strengthens (goes higher), the Eritrean exports decline resulting in a declined reserves to cover its imports, in which case Isayas resorts to plowing the Sudan and other neighboring countries through contraband trades. Be it this or that way, Isayas is always dependent on the neighboring countries reserves vide his illegal imports.

    If Nakfa’s pegged exchange rate is backed by the government of Isayas, not only importers and exporters but also Eritrean Diaspora (the Isayasists) can invest in Nakfa to make profits from the differences in interest rate or differences in exchange rates with other currencies. But this people (the Isayasists) do not trust Isayas nor have any confidence in Nakfa. Instead, the Western Union, the American foreign currency exchanger or financial corporation, appears to more supportive of Isayas than the Isayasists. The reason could be that the Arab Gulf countries may have given their guarantee for the losses involved in buying and selling the most untrusted currency in the world and yet the Western Union has covered its risk with a margin of 16.7% only.

    For quick comparison of the risk involved, here’s a calculation of the margin between buying and selling on the following currencies – based on yesterday’s exchange rate to US dollar:

    Eritrean Nakfa: 0.06 vs 0.07, i.e. 16.666 vs 14.285, a margin of 2.38 or 16.66%

    Indian Rupees: 0.014 vs 0.016, i.e. 71.43 vs 62.50, a margin of 8.93 or 14.29%

    Canadia dollar: 0.737 vs 0.775, i.e. 1.36 vs 1.29, a margin of 0.07 or 5.16%

    Outcome: the Nakfa vs Indian Rupees, the difference in the risk involved for buying and selling is only and only 2%. Well, that is good for Nakfa, which is a fiat money to the Eritrean generals and contrabandists.

    Leaving aside the regime’s policy of freeing/fixing or lowering/increasing interest rates, if the exchange rate of Nakfa is not backed by the regime, then Nakfa currency falls within the definition of a fiat currency. In this regard, the generals and contrabandists are right. But, if they don’t support their currency who is going to do so? The generals and the contrabandists appear not to know that due their actions, the Nakfa is highly fluctuating causing the consumers a huge financial damage and forcing them to absorb the losses due to Nakfa’s adverse movements in the market.

    • saay7

      Hey T.T.

      Let me take this opportunity to say that I always appreciate your input. With regard to the decision on whether to peg local currency to a dollar or let it floor, this piece had always an impression on me, and I wonder what your input is on it:

      The choice between fixed and flexible exchange rates has long been one of the most fundamental issues in international finance…For most countries today, however, the choice between fixed and flexible exchange rates is increasingly becoming moot. Aside from a few minor tourist economies, oil shiekdoms and heavily dependent principalities, only a very small number of fixed exchange rates have survived the past several years intact.

      Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 9, Number 4, Fall 1995.

      In our piece, we listed the African states still using fixed (pegged) exchange rates. They include: Cape Verde, Comoros, Lesotho, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Swaziland. These, to me, fit tourist economies and principalities.

      Eritrea is neither a tourist economy, nor a Sheikdom, nor a heavily dependent principality. Thus, economically, it has no reason to peg its Nakfa to its dollar—other than for the reasons we stated.

      saay

      PS: The Awate Team, really is a team who don’t necessarily agree on everything. It is made up of, for example, Friedman admirers (me) and Friedman detractors (those other guys:). I regret that his inclusion in the editorial was offensive to some of our readers.

      • T..T.

        Hi saay,

        Although fixed exchange rate system in some third countries is ineffective, and, therefore, questionable, the involved party enters a binding contract to honor international claims drawn on its pegged currency. For example, a US exporter may sell computers to an Eritrean importing company in Nakfa. The US exporter is not expected to spend all the export proceeds in Eritrea. The US exporter will instruct the Eritrean importer’s bank to transfer the proceeds in US dollars to his bank account with a USA bank. Thus, there is undertaking linked to the pegged currency to be transacted at the pegged exchange rate. The evidence below explains the impact on pegged currency.

        According to author of International business: Text and cases (5th ed.). Cherunilam, F. (2010) “Countries following the fixed exchange rate (also known as stable exchange rate and pegged exchange rate) system agree to keep their currencies at a fixed, pegged rate and to change their value only at fairly infrequent intervals, when the economic situation forces them to so” (p. 249). The author also suggested that the system has to (1) keep the currency stable as pegged to avoid flight of capital, and (2) in case of a persistent balance of payment deficits, has also to keep the pegged currency stable in order to prevent imposed depreciation of the currency.

        Of course, without accountability and transparency Isayas is assumed not to comply with the above requirements. Unless there is a third party that guarantees his pegged currency, the Western Union won’t transact Nakfa in its forex.

        • AOsman

          Dear T.T,

          Wasn’t the main reason that a number of international airliners could not do business in Eritrea for the fact all the collected Nacfa they could not convert to hard currency? What was interesting, buying a return ticket from Eritrea (ie Dubai) would have been very cheap as the airliner would charge based on official conversion, while you could buy Nacfa at 4 times the value, in effect the ticket would be a quarter of the actual value. The only way around it was for the airliners to charge non residents using foreign currency. Basically, Nacfa was not fit for use in its country….that’s what pegging does when you have nothing to export.

          Don’t expect the government to honor anything, the only time they do is when they are arm twisted as was the case with the oil supply by a company from Kuwait who were paid only when they went to an international tribunal.

          Regards
          AOsman

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear AOsman,

            I wonder how the private traders in Eritrea (if there were any of them) were conducting their imports. Could they buy hard currency from the Eritrean banks at the oficial rate of 15nkf for $1.00, or were they forced over to the black market rate? Also I wonder how the cross border trade with Sudan was conducted; was it through hard currency or through direct exchange of nakfa against the sudanse currency? If so how much was the rate of exchange between the two currencies, and how willing were the Sudanse traders to accept the nakfa currency? Anyone who have an idea of these issues?

          • AOsman

            Dear Abraham,

            I asked similar question in 2003 when I saw a government exchange shop showing the exchange rates for buying and selling pounds very close (I can’t remember the numbers) and noting the difference with the black market, I told my brother one can become a millionaire by buying $ from the government and selling on the black market…I was naive and he did laugh at me, as I did not get shitara played by HGDEF….the shops only bought hard currency. A first time visitor or a foreign tourist may fall for it thinking considering the selling rate was close to the buying rate..beside any developmental aid funding that had to be exchanged at those rates. Haile TG mentioned that you could take to Eritrea up to $10,000 without registering, (bokhri izney iya nera) it was not the case for very long time, so visitors would transfer their money in advance through the black market.

            As for those involved in import export, they just buy it from the black market. The pay their Nacfa in Asmara and probably collect their hard currency in Dubai. That way those who are dealing with transferring remittance, had hard currency from around the world and then would buy Nacfa bought from the traders to pay the receiver at their destination (ie ..Dubai). Some traders were buying gold to sell it in Dubai to get the hard currency needed for their import (that is a desperate move). I am sure there many other ways too, but am not into that business to know all the means used. The simple math is that remittance is what allows the import business to function.

            The draconian measures taken against import was to control the problem, but it shifted the business to Sudan…..those connected were in the game. But trade through Sudan is a bigger fish, the government was involved in buying fuel (after Gadafi) and other commodities, at one point Sudan had to intervene as it was impacting its economy (not sure, I think Gedab reported on that). Also add to it human trafficking business run by some high ranking officers from the army and others that has been sucking money out of the Diaspora community.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Selam AOsman,

            Thanks for the info; from what you said I understand that the official exchange rate is ONLY applicable when the regime sells to the people the Nakfa, that it is impossible to get dollars at that official rate; for this, one has to use the illegal parallel market which, by itself we hear is run and controlled by the regime. All the restrictions and monopolization of power by the regime is to secure absolute control over everyone and everything. But, fortunately, at least in the economic area; Eritreans have overcome and finally frustrated this stranglehold by the regime, forcing it to take the drastic measure we are witnessing right now. I think this money change process would erode the last drop of trust towards the regime from the people, and it would ultimately lead to its demise.
            I had also wondered about the trade with the Sudan, is it carried out through hard currency? Any info?

          • AOsman

            Selamat Abraham,

            Banlongay wediE :)….I don’t know much about the Sudan business.

            From day one, PFDJ like a mafia through its Red Sea corporation tried to monopolise all trades, it was heavy price to pay for the business men who had to compete with the ruling regime that paid no tax. If you wanted to establish a new business, they would tell you to present your business plan for approval…the would carry out their own feasibility study, then while it is “pending” for approval, before you know the were running the business themselves. I know of a case where a person gave them full detail and they went behind his back and ordered from his supplier. The next thing was he was contacted by the supplier who sought the order was his. Many have put much of their savings to establish factories, well maybe waiting like those who lost their money trying to buy land. Add to this what they were doing in Ethiopia and beyond….

            So people learned the hard way, stopped investing, stopped paying the 2%, stopped transferring remittance money through official transaction., a parallel market was created, the regime was part of the game, but slowly a democratic financial coup…ala SAAY way is in order.

            What we see is an unfortunate state of affair that will complicate running the state even post PFDJ. Whoever takes over, will have a daunting task, rebuilding from scratch, but it not hopeless case.
            With reversal of much of the restrictive policies to give a semblance of normalcy, giving space for private businesses to function, opening up to allow investment from Eritrean living abroad (even giving incentive for job creation), tourism and use of the ports…still we can move forward.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear AOsman,

            Thanks again for your rich comment. Regarding the trade with Sudan, may be someday someone informed would share their info with us, hopefully. And, yes, indeed, our people is law abiding, hard working and disciplined people. What we are missing, sadly, is a responsible and legal government that abides and leads by the rules. Our stumbling blocks are Isayas and his regime; once we do away wth them our future is bright.

            Regards

          • AOsman
          • T..T.

            Dear AOsman,

            A system with a central bank should keep its pegged currency stable to continue trading with its trading partners. Otherwise, the trading partners will be victims of the pegged currency mess. Some countries, to avoid international payment problems, would like to have two types of currencies: one local currency and another good for international trades, i.e., a convertible currency. The convertible currency is controlled by the central bank.

            In cases of imports and exports, the account of the central bank is controlled by adjusting its balance between exports and imports. The central bank functions by granting permits for exports and imports. If the central bank grants an import permit to an importer for a stated amount of foreign currency, the central bank should have an equal amount in foreign currency when the foreign exporter’s bank claims for a reimbursement of payment made to the exporter.

            Should Isayas fail to reimburse the foreign bank, we have a case of unsettled international trade claim. Therefore, we can say, central banks cannot take bites off than the size of their mouth. If the central bank does not have sufficient reserves in foreign currency(ies), the country cannot transact in international trades.

        • saay7

          Hi T.T:

          One of the “blessings in disguise” about Eritrean independence coming three decades after African independence was that we were supposed to learn from our African neighbors about socio-politico-economic lessons and, it appears, like teenagers, we are very eager to individualize our own mistakes. One of these is the decision on whether to float or fix currency exchange.

          And it is not just Africa, you can go to the Far East. The ONLY reason that they had fixed/pegged currency exchange was that they were engaged in massive trade with industrialized nations. If that is the case (and it is NOT the case in Eritrea), then, yes, there is a benefit to pegging local currency to a dollar. But that requires having massive hard currency reserves (to buy up all the local currency), as Japan and China had to do. At some point, that becomes unsustainable and the country, as China recently did, floats the exchange.

          My point remains what was made in the article: if you look at African countries that are still pegging their local currency to the dollar, they are very few, and they are mostly tiny tourist destinations. In 1981, I was in Cairo and you had to go to “Persian rug stores” to exchange your currency at parallel-market rates. I went in 2008 and the persian rug stores are gone…and you can go to any exchange center and get the exact amount of local currency that you would get from the black market.

          saay

          • T..T.

            Hi saay,

            No doubt, situations of ineffective “pegged” exchange rate system are existent here and there. However, if a system with a central bank is committed to its pegged exchange rate, it always defends its pegged currency. A system that does not defend its “pegged” or “floating” system is not a system. As you indicated, the Egyptian government had to adjust its currency shocks caused by the black market by declaring that it was ready to cover the black-market premium (the difference between the black-market price and the actual market price) by paying what the black market was paying until the market price adjusted to the pegged exchange rate.

            Well, the Isayas system as a system should have an effective central bank to run its “floating” or “pegged” system. BTW, Ethiopia of Haile Selassie used to allow private accounts in foreign currencies to be applied towards specific personal international payments. For usually international businesses, the central bank used to grant permits for exports and imports.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Saay,

        It doesn ‘t matter as far as it fits our argument and mode of our struggle as to whether it irritate or not to Friedman ‘s detractors. The argument made by AT is sensible and gives sense regarding the economic fiasco of PFDJ.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

  • haileTG

    Selamat AT and awatista,

    You’ve presented us with a rich analysis regarding the current currency change plans in such a way that helps our perspective of the bigger picture. Only the AT can do that and thank you for doing so. I will try to include some issues raised by Mahmuday yesterday (regarding the short term impact on the normal functioning of the domestic market) and an interesting point you made about floating the currency as an alternative.

    Before all that; it is important to mention that it is not the currency that is changing. Actually, it is the design of the existing currency that is being publicly announced to be changed. Such undertaking is usually handled by an accelerated money removal measures and not a full fledged fanfare of completely revoking the value of the old design carrying notes. Such only happens if the change in design is being implemented in response to a major potential breach. For example, Ethiopia changed the design of the Birr at the height of major economic disagreement with Eritrea. Otherwise, in normal circumstances, both designs will circulate side by side, while the bank systematically accelerating the removal of the older design and replacement by the new. Hence, the way the issue is being handled in Asmara tells us that it is being done in response to a major potential breach that only the regime is aware of.

    Now to come to Mahmuday’s question, we need to understand the nature of the black market economy in Eritrea. We need to note the problem of the black market economy in Eritrea is not one that is related to currency per se. It is a problem related to the economy as a whole, hence any currency change is unlikely to resolve it. For example, the black market doesn’t deal in forged notes. The notes it uses for transaction are authentic. I have not heard of any person complaining that they sent money to Eritrea in the black market and the recipient was given a forged notes. Not at all. Again, if you purchase a commodity in the black market, you don’t get a fake or substandard product for the money you pay. No, you get the real product as per market availability. If you buy fuel in the black market, then you will get the standard fuel that you are able to use. And the currency used in that transaction is also authentic as far as the notes are concerned. What this shows you is that the black market is essentially taking over economic control from the banking and other economic institutions. They are not stealing FROM the banks but they have stolen the bank ITSELF!.

    The above theory demonstrates that the bank doesn’t have the power to wrestle back the control it has lost in the economic affairs of the domestic market. Even if the bank changes the notes, it has no means to stop the black market from receiving and controlling the new notes with no difficulties at all. Suppose that the nakfa will be no more in its current design come December 31, 2015. Incomes will still be the same as before, prices will still be the same as before and the supply and demand networks will still be the same as before. In other words, the new currency will be channeled from the banks to the public and over to the underground banking facilities of the black market. The black market bankers will still be in charge of the circulation of the new notes as before and not the square guys at the high street banks.

    Therefore, to answer Mahmuday’s question directly, I don’t think any serious threat is posed to the black market establishments by this action alone. Hence, they will be able to cushion the bumps and they will still be firmly in control.

    Now, if we move on to the alternative action that could have been taken, i.e. floating the nakfa, what would be the impact on the black market. Well, simply floating the nakfa would send consumer prices sky rocketing and the black market would be dealing more on shifting commodity than currency instead. The govt will either have to subsidize heavily or create a major economic turmoil by sending the market into total chaos because incomes are too weak to handle the inflationary pressure. But higher subsidy means running deficit, which will mean higher domestic credit that will keep public sector income low. Hence, floating the currency under the current climate isn’t in the cards as far as I think.

    The sad twist in all this is that the black market needs a weak central government to thrive. And hence all the “political” and “diplomatic” pressure to be applied on Eritrean leaders that the French PM called for is really nothing but a good news to the fat cats in the Eritrean black market circles.

    Regards

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam HTG
      Thanks Haylat, that’s really helpful, it distills the essentials of the comments made in the past days in regard to this point.

  • Samson Zere

    As usual the fake opposition and the fake pfdj that is killing Eritrea and it’s people and their west and african and arab masters are still working to kill the Great-Eritrean people once again . HISTORY REPEATS IT’SSELF.

  • Samson Zere

    hey saleh, stop deleting my comments

  • L.T

    To Salih Jahor Saay 7
    You want to stop me to write my proposal and the idea here and you threatened me for you to ipe out my comment on this Enda’awate.I’m not a guest here ,think carefully can man be a quest in his home?”Aidiea gedifa’s Hatinaea tinfiek”(she love here mother’s sister than her mother:-)I know you both since 1998 before Weyane arrived.
    And to my dear and close friend Semere Andom and Nitricc,I am very grateful that you want me to stay here,there will always be an us and them,maybe we should find a solution that works for everyone in the set or have a little more understanding of why some are the certain way…
    I love Osman Abdelrihim song,I methim recently in Stockholm and small talk.When I was little we had disco at home with Tigringa LP and one of them was “Ayfelkin Grhinetey”(I’m so tired of you all)
    “Abzi higi eawn-Arki bisay endatebhale.
    kiHmeka yewel mistrka andementele
    tegemtilu Yihmemeka kulu ms tewahlele”
    (in this time not believe anyone
    everyone is bluffing and false)
    “Xbhi Tsom” was his song and this song he was writing like this to Ethiopia
    “My Ertra
    You are so beautiful
    but they said you are ugly
    why do they want
    in that case
    if you are so damn?
    You are the best ..Eritrea
    ranked higest.
    dare to say no to them
    you will win
    do not care about them
    they are just shit.

    And his last album(1989)
    All problems can fixed
    it can organized itself
    Just take peace..

    • Saleh Johar

      L. T.
      Who is threatening you? Anyone who does that is my enemy. You are not only welcome, this is your home. But some humor is always good and you have been a good spirited member. Stay good dear L.T.

    • Semere Andom

      እይትስ ኣን L.T!!

      ነቲ ቲግርኛ ተዋስቦ ምስ እግሊጅ

      ነቲ ብሂል ትትርግሞ ናብ እንግሊጅ

      ካብ ጸብሒ ጾም ይኽውን ለዚዝ

  • Saleh Johar

    Dear Towle,
    Don’t bet on this, you will lose the bet before you even start it. I suggest you walk to any bank and ask the teller “what happens to old bills?” I would have suggested to you to look the topic up on google, or a library, but I changed my mind. Just ask a teller.

    • Semere Andom

      I Saleh:
      I disagree that PFDJ will burn the old currency, they will bury it in the “cemetery for heroes”. They cremate heroes but will bury the Nakfa:-)

      • sara

        Dear Sir,
        Please respect the sentiments of our heroes families.

        • Ted

          Hi sara, Eritrea does not have oppositions but Semere Andoms( Plural). I hope that help explain your bewilderment.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ted:
            These days your becoming more cryptic, even more so than Tsatse
            So unbecoming of you, “Eritrawi, quulqul zaffa ey zzareb atta”
            So explains sir by Eritrea does not have oppostions

          • Ted

            Hi, Semere, AyetisAn doesnt suit my man LT but you. We only have one kind of “cemetery of heroes” just you know. If you consider yourself an opposition with this kind of viewpoint, you got your explanation. You are like ጨጓራ, ጸሪዕዃ አይትጸርይን;-( I don’t see how the Greatest can exorcise weyane out of you. I feel for him.

          • Semere Andom

            Ted Selamat
            Every one has some Woyane in them but If we go DNA by DNA atom by atom you have more , way more woyane in you than in me for many reasons but that is different story feet for movies, books 🙂
            But my comment was that PFDJ will have more respect and willl pay moving tribute to tth Nakfa by conducting a burial ceremony for it rathern than to a real hero
            Do you disagreee with that comment

          • Ted

            Hi semere, i wouldn’t doubt you have the character fit for a movie or Ripley’s Believe It or Not ;-)Speaking of Weyane DNA, Variation is essential to species survival and adaptation during evolution. Fly or weyane has conserved genes similar to all but the difference is the expressibility of those genes which make us who we are. You my friend are an anomaly (mutant) tend to express Weyane’s gene readily for our comfort. Gene therapy any one?
            I agree with you that it is sad to see a few get to decide who is hero or not but i still have serious problem what you consider Eritrean hero. From drug addict Mayor to cool young PM is a big jump for Canadian if Niticc is right about your perception of yourself.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted, I used to think Semere was ex-ELF then once I learn his Stay in Sudan then o know he wasn’t Ex ELF. Then he started bending to everything TPLF. So much so he started posting their awful songs and quoting Melles Zenawi; here and there and I never understood what his beef is. One thing for sure about Semere is that he is a foot soldier of the forever disgraceful YG. One thing sure about Semere is he thinks he is Canadian. Lol

  • Saleh Johar

    Yonas,
    No, they don’t need my help because they didn’t need anyone’s help when they urnex the Eritrean economy and dreams. Burning paper is much easier, and they are experts and very efficient in burning anything.

  • Saleh Johar

    Dear Towle,
    No, cursing doesn’t mean burning, check the dictionary. Besides, they will burn the old bills–why are you so sentimental about bills that are destined to be burn anyway? I ask you again, what do think they will do with it!

  • Samson Zere

    I believe the so called Eritrean opposition and the fake un-elected pfdj (tigrean family) and their masters the west and arabs are working hard to destroy the real and true Eritreans (by Mebokol) history and identity. And if you realize they all use the real and true Eritrean heros names if you get what i mean (shabait or Awate) stop it please the (GIG IS UP) ERITREANS HAVE AWAKENED.

  • Towle

    Dear Awetistas, how cursed and disgraced are you to show that a 100 Naqfa note burning.

    • Sembel

      Selam Towle PFDJ will do same , burn the 60B old nakfa:)

    • Abi

      Hi Towle
      It is not AT that burns the Nakfa note. It is the fire breathing IA.
      Take it easy.

    • Saleh Johar

      Towle,
      Please don’t curse som more. What do you think the PFDJ will de with the old Nakfa bills, display it in a museum? It will shred and incinerate billions of it. You can hold a funeral service, “kalaay qebri”, if that will make you feel better. TsnAat yehabka 🙂

  • Semere Andom

    HI AT:
    Nice analysis
    I this intentional to mean the PFDJ unofficial exchange office is located at the back of the commercial bank or is it a minor typo?

    “……a fraction of the back market rate.”