Open Letter to Prof. Joseph Stiglitz

Dear Professor Stiglitz,

First, we Ethiopian economists and scholars express our sincere admiration for and recognition of your distinguished work in advancing the frontiers of economic thinking and your world renowned contributions  to the theory of information which earned you and your colleague (Professor Grossman) the highest esteem, the award of the Nobel Prize in economics.

In light of your stature, it will not come as a surprise to you that those of us who hail from developing countries follow what you say very closely. In this regard, we kept a keen eye and learned a great deal of   your interest and involvement in matters of development in the Third World over the past few years. You will agree with us that all people—irrespective of race, religion, age or other attribute– aspire to be free of oppression, poverty and corruption. The monumental changes that are taking place in Tunisia and Egypt which are now raging in the rest of North Africa and the Middle East are illustrative of the human passion for freedom and dignity. Given this emerging trend, we were astonished by your recent interview with Bloomberg (2. February 2011, “Real Risk of Spillover from Egypt Unrest”), in which you discussed the situation in Egypt.[1] When the journalist asked what advice you would provide to the Egyptian Government you said that, “at this point they have to open up and democratize; I think there’s just no choice; I think they’ve been very slow at doing this […] they ought to follow what’s going on in Tunisia”. We would like to inform you how elated we were to hear your unconditional support of the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.  The first important step toward democratization took place on February 11 when a peoples’ led popular revolution forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down from power after ruling Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years.



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