Author: M. ВARINОV



The revolution that broke out in Ethiopia in 1974 radically changed the life of this ancient African state. As it continued to develop, progressing step by step from an anti-feudal into a national democratic revolution, far-reaching economic changes, progressive in character and meeting the interests of the Ethiopian working people at large, were implemented in the country. These changes are an integral element of the process underway in many developing countries, whose essence, as noted at the 25th CPSU Congress, was "shifting of the centre of gravity in industrial development to the state sector, abolition of feudal landowner-ship, nationalisation of foreign enterprises to assure the young states' effective sovereignty over their natural resources, and formation of their own personnel".1

The implementation of the agrarian reform in 1975 which nationalised big landed estates provided the peasants with land allocations and paved the way for peasant associations as bodies of administrative and economic management in the rural areas, was highly significant for Ethiopia, a country with a low economic level and a chiefly peasant population.

A new labour law was adopted guaranteeing normal working conditions for workers for the first time. It envisages paid holidays, the right to pensions and the working people's participation in managing nationalised enterprises. With the restructuring of the trade unions along revolutionary lines and the formation of the All-Ethiopia Trade Union, the role of the working class in the country's life increased. The number of workers united into trade unions registered a more than five-fold increase between 1974 and 1979, topping 300,000, while the total number of industrial workers rose by more than 30 per cent.

In 1975 Ethiopia nationalised the banks and insurance companies and the key industrial facilities owned by local and foreign private capital, restricted the sphere of activities for private capital in trade and industry, and established state control over ...

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