Overcoming Ethiopia’s complex problems requires a profound insight

EDITORIAL

8 June 2019By Staff Reporter

Ethiopia has always been beset by complex and intractable problems. Overcoming these centuries-old problems requires knowledge, wisdom, and fairmindedness and a profound insight across a range of fields. The proliferation of inadvertent and emotion-driven actions being witnessed nowadays has no use except earn short-lived gains. Particularly in countries like Ethiopia which are undergoing wide-ranging reforms focusing on quick fixes while putting vital work on institution building and legal frameworks on the back burner is apt to be counterproductive. One of the foremost tasks awaiting the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) is to pave the way for the process of democratization by assuring peace and political stability. The key measures which must be taken in connection with this include an impartial enforcement of the law, enabling the unfettered enjoyment of human and democratic rights, safeguarding the independence of the judiciary, broadening the political space as well as guaranteeing that the upcoming general elections meet international standards.

The government owes Ethiopians the duty to ensure that thugs do not impede the full exercise of their right to liberty of movement, live, work and acquire property anywhere within the national territory. The right of citizen to the equal protection of the law without any discrimination needs to be demonstrably respected. Practices whereby some receive a favorable treatment than others have to be eliminated so that Ethiopia becomes a land of freedom, justice and equality. Needless to say this can succeed where citizens are clearly aware that freedom is not free, that all rights have corresponding obligations. If the thorny set of challenges confronting Ethiopia is to be surmounted it’s of the essence to work together with a sense of solidarity. Fomenting bloody intercommunal conflicts and spewing hateful rhetoric only serves to destabilize a country striving to extricate itself from the clutches of poverty and exact a heavy toll on its people. It’s imperative to wise up to this danger and do everything possible to avert it.

If Ethiopians do not worry about the fate of their country, who will? If Ethiopians do not respect each other, who is going to respect them? If they do not toil for the realization of their aspiration for democracy and prosperity how can they complain about the hardship they are living through. Inciting internecine strife by hyping up ideological divisions is a recipe for mutual destruction. Equally damaging is entreating foreign powers to act as intermediaries with one’s political adversaries. Such self-debasement, which eventually results in handing over the country’s secret on a platter, was so rife that the bill is bound to come due come sooner or later. Rather than turning to external forces as conciliators it’s more effective to use indigenous dispute resolution mechanisms to thwart the specter of a crisis. Becoming bedfellows with foreign actors instead of seeking the counsel of home-grown intellectuals and elders with invaluable insight is liable to be a source of anguish and sorrow. It’s important to have no illusions about the fact that Ethiopia’s multifaceted problems can be addressed through a civilized and peaceful dialogue. Anything else has been shown to be not only self-defeating, but also a recipe for interminable turmoil.

The elite have a duty to play an active role in promoting a culture of discourse free from irrationality and bigotry. It’s also incumbent on them to desist from utilizing social media for nefarious purposes and commit themselves to producing a generation of youth which are critical thinkers and possess a heightened sense of politically consciousness. No one should be allowed to exploit the youth’s inability to curb their emotions to perpetrate atrocities against fellow citizens and generally wreak havoc. As the youth mature and begin to understand their environment they will be able to go beyond asking questions and generate solutions for the problems they encounter. And as the lens through which they view the world broadens it will be easier to uphold the rule of law, move the process of democratization forward, ward off lawlessness and dictatorship, deepen the culture of tolerance, and build a nation where equality reigns.

The courteous and far-sighted people of Ethiopia have consistently demanded for good governance throughout history. Leaders have to have a profound insight into the needs of the public to solve the knotty problems tormenting Ethiopia in a manner ensuring the participation of each and every stakeholder. Intellectuals, religious leaders, elders, civil society organizations, educational institutions, the business community, the youth, women and other segments of society all can contribute a lot in terms of dealing with the nation’s testing challenges. If Ethiopians achieve modernity anchored in indigenous knowledge and values, Ethiopia’s prospects will be limitless. Naturally this potential can be fully realized insofar as politicians and activists distance themselves from any and all deplorable acts that in no way advance the public interest. Anyone caught up in such practices will in due course be exposed for who they are and meet an ignominious end. They are better advised to make a meaningful contribution transcending generations. That is why there can be no disputing the fact that overcoming Ethiopia’s complex problems requires a profound insight.

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