Ethiopia: The mirror and the reality

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Let’s look into the mirror and reflect on the reality on the ground

What is i rrefutable is the existence of a consensual agreement among Ethiopia watchers that Ethiopia’s economy is on the right track to ensure its rapid transition from an agricultural-led economy to manufacturing. So too is the acknowledgement by the World Bank and the IMF that Ethiopia’s economy is still on an upward trajectory with an average growth rate of 10.9% growth rate. In order to maintain the growth momentum, the Government had undertaken massive and ambitious investments in infrastructure, in tandem with a renewal programme to stamp out root and branch rent-seeking practices and corruption as well as misuse and abuse of power.

However, the burning question of the time which is in everyone’s lips now, is «have the dividends of growth and transformation trickled down to the ordinary man in the street?». As an ardent, but neutral, observer of Ethiopia’s socio-political scene, I cannot fathom why my own compatriots, both at home and abroad, fail to acknowledge Ethiopia’s great strides in education, in health and agriculture: more primary and secondary schools than ever before, from 8 universities in 1974 to 60 universities in 2019, small holder is producing more per hectare in their life-time. We all need not lose sight of the fact that it is not easy to create and sustain economic activity in an ancient and diverse country like ours.

It is my personal belief that if we want to achieve the deepest satisfaction, we can do it by deciding what more we expect from life, what are our highest values, and then commit ourselves to our cherished vision. Mind our determination makes the difference. The many problems that we face in our country, such as the phenomenon of drought and the many other natural magnets, youth unemployment can only be overcome by hard and committed population determined to live up to the expectation of a people whose country is undergoing a Renaissance.

The State, on the other hand, must be seen to be a “listening Government” by intensifying its no-nonsense crusade against corruption, nepotism, old-school network and toadyism for they, by extension, are the very factors which have an adverse impact on Ethiopia’s much vaunted Growth and Transformation Plan. Yes, we also need to deal with some of our neighbours who harbour ill-will against the democratically elected state and are hell-bent on derailing our all-out growth and transformation, by dispatching anti-peace Ethiopian quislings to mug the constitutional order and seek in to power through the back door.

It is therefore our duty to protect the people’s peace for the sake not only the unity of Ethiopia, but for the sake of the livelihood of millions of workers who would lose their jobs because of the absence of durable peace. Ethiopia need to woo direct foreign investors who insist that for them to invest their hard-won money in a foreign country, peace and stability of their chosen country are of paramount importance. Ethiopia’s economy without foreign direct investment will turn into stagnation. I welcome the Federal Government’s recent resolve, then, that it will henceforth pay priority attention not only to the quantity of goods produced by the manufacturing sector, but also on the quantity of goods they export.

Our country has been able to visibly build added value in the fields of industry (with textiles and footwear) and agriculture (with coffee and many others products). We must realize and see that our country is visibly growing economically as well as to see our role in the economic growth of this nation. The only chains and handcuffs that can prevent an individual from realizing the dreams and goals of their life are the ones that we blind ourselves with, through the flames of doubt and by the hammer striking the anvil without faith in what we say or do. It is so very important that we become aware of activities which we are engaged on a daily basis, by ensuring that we live and act in above­board manner.

In this regard paying our taxes must be seen as a national obligation which we all must execute with pride. My fraternal advice to my compatriots, therefore, is never to lose hope on the Motherland. Here, I am reminded by that age-old axiom: «to have a purpose is the most important thing for a human being … but it is much more important to real ize it!». We all have dreams that are enclosed in our hearts. We also have a particular gift which allows us to communicate our vision of a better tomorrow with others in a special way so that we can all contribute to the active improvement of our world today and tomorrow. These actions are not pursued “occasionally”, but these are our constant actions. So we must steer our actions in the right direction, through the decisions we make.

These are our free and independent decisions and they determine our destiny. Thus, this discipline of continuous and steady improvement achieves the only real certainty in life which comes from knowing that every day we are doing something to improve ourselves and our nation. Today, nothing can prevent the peace of our country and our continent. However, everyone is called upon to convey health, joy and hope to everybody (today) as well as to those of the next generation. These goals are a function of the economy and we must look at the positive side in everything and be optimistic in life.

Transforming the economy of a large country like ours is certainly not a simple task as there is no immediate path to follow, but it is important that we are aware of the choices we must make and that our decisions are weighted in everybody’s interests. To better understand what this step entails, in the social context, the commitment to be set is high. So it takes time for us to understand what we really want and what choices we must make to achieve the best strategies. But this ensures quicker and more secure steps towards the realization of our dreams.

I firmly believe that a People without memory is a People without a future: What can be more depressing than a people that denies its own history. We cannot stand by and watch the destruction of our history. All Ethiopians have a moral obligation to defend the country from these illiterates. Our ancestors shed their blood to keep this nation together under a single flag, achieving awareness of our nation. We need the will to reassess the past, which does not intend to stop at the feeling of nostalgia but on the contrary aims to identify clues to face the near future.

Within the space of coexistence with respect for those who have defended our country with his blood. If we stop to guess what makes sense or what is wrong the earth would stop to turn and life would lose its purpose. In Ethiopia today, the risk of dictatorship does not come from the executive power: it comes from the individual parties that frame the people for their personal interests. As we have understood, some young people from Oromia have reached unacceptable attitudes and political vandalism. The majority of the people of Ethiopia will never allow these political jackals to manipulating the Law with interpretations of partisan that is dictated by their political militancy and their personal antipathy

What is ultimately obtainable is invaluable: In summary, it is necessary to overcome the immobility of a stagnant society and to embrace the culture of “economic growth”. This goal of economic growth serves a set of values that are based on a meritocracy that respects the rules of the nation: these values are not only morally right but, above all, they are the most appropriate values for everyone. The values that we can achieve through the goal of economic growth brings the full mastery of our life, with the pleasure of feeling it as authentic and fi rm in our hands, ready to be directed to what we want: This brings the full benefit for all.

God Bless Ethiopia and the peoples of Ethiop.

Signed as H.I.H. Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Selassie

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