Economist attempts to end hunger in Ethiopia

Program: Wide Angle “The Market Maker”
Time: 9 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, July 22
Visit the Wide Angle episode web site at pbs.org

Eleni Gabre-Madhin is a woman with a dream. The charismatic Ethiopian economist wants to end hunger in her famine-plagued country. But rather than relying on foreign aid or new agricultural technology, hers is a truly radical plan: she designed the nation’s first commodities exchange, which she hopes will revolutionize an age-old market system whose inefficiencies have been partly responsible for the country’s persistent food shortages. In April 2008, after more than a decade of planning, the starting bell first rang on the trading floor. Gabre-Madhin has been running frantically ever since. Having established a system of trading sites in rural villages, she is trying to maintain the machinery that keeps her country fed while facing daunting obstacles ranging from leaky warehouses to powerful special interests to antiquated farming practices, poor infrastructure, and an unpredictable climate. And that’s not to mention a global economic crisis. Wide Angle travels to East Africa for this documentary, hosted by anchor Aaron Brown, to tell the dramatic, intimate story of a woman on a mission – and a world of trouble standing in her way.