We Stop at Nothing
Amen Teferi 06-15-17
Over the past two years we have passed through monstrous events that require both the temperament and resilience of democratic citizens who are endowed with a cleaver insight of an intelligent politician. We managed to work unperturbed under the daunting influences of the changing circumstances that could even defy every intelligent the judgments of ours.
The ruling party has shown admirable sensibility and has also managed to display the composure of a seasoned political organization in handling the difficult matters that had pushed it into the tight-spots. Coping up with these soul-searching predicaments, it has tried to fully grasp the kernel of the matter that deeply concerns our nation and its people by way of scrutinizing its performances over the last 15 years and finally came-up with a suitable solution that would surly address the legitimate grievances of the public.
At any rate, we are still witnessing that Ethiopia is boldly journeying to democracy and prosperity and it has now reached at a place where it can see a bright light at the end of the tunnel - a tunnel dug by the iron fingers of poverty. This tunnel is blindingly dark and it can only be lighted with flames of an undefeatable spirit of a visionary leader who has the knack to dispel the intricacy of structurally embedded poverty that must again be combined with an indefatigable determination to tread on the arduous path of development.
And so far we have managed to register laudable economic success on continental and world scale. According to recently published 2017 United Nations World Investment Report, among African countries Ethiopia was by far the most dynamic and largest FDI recipient (accounting for almost half of the total inflows of LLDCs in Africa). This is an achievement mainly due to improvements in infrastructure and advances in industrialization sectors.
The same report has indicated that the FDI inflows rose for a fourth consecutive year in Ethiopia. The 2017 continued upward trend of FDI in has enabled it to stand among the top 5 recipient economies, which include Angola, Mozambique Bangladesh and Myanmar. Thanks to investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, Ethiopia again posted strong growth in FDI (up 46 per cent to $3 billion) and became the second largest LDC host economy, up from the fifth position in 2015.
Ethiopia attracted new FDI in manufacturing, which could create opportunities for local SMEs to link to global supply chains. Chinese investors have played a major role in other LDCs, such as Ethiopia, where they have focused on garment and leather production. Although China was one of the major sources of FDI, foreign investors from other economies have started investing more in Ethiopia’s agro-processing, hotels and resorts, as well as in its manufacturing activities.
In general, East Africa received $7.1 billion in FDI in 2016, 13 per cent more than in 2015. However, the aggregate increase masks divergent FDI performance within the sub-region. Flows to Ethiopia rose by 46 per cent to $3.2 billion, propelled by investments in infrastructure and manufacturing.
For instance, a $3.7 billion fertilizer plant project from Morocco signaled LDC’s, such as Ethiopia, potential to attract large-scale manufacturing projects in non-garment industries. Morocco’s Saham Finances for $375 million. Moroccan firms, the world’s largest phosphate exporter, signed at the end of 2016 a joint venture with Ethiopia to build a $3.7 billion fertilizer plant.
The government has also shown an unprecedented readiness to consolidate its democratic institutions. The government has vowed to support media practitioners and institutions operating without being defiant to professional ethics and compromising the rule of law. The media will be encouraged to seek, impart and disseminate information that would expose illicit actions and ensure accountability and good governance. The government has pledged to promote investigative journalism and guarantee the full implementation of the freedom of information Act.
Similarly, it has committed itself to dispel the preponderance of rent-seeking orientations and practices to ensure the supremacy of developmental political economy. The government also determined to dry-out the quagmire that would allow rent-seeking ideologies and tendencies to thrive. Redoubling effort in this regard would push aside the major obstacle in the journey to our renaissance.
Furthermore, the government resolved to strengthen the multi-party democracy. The ruling party has understood that excessive adversarial politics would tarnish and spoil the common mission of any political community. In fact, adversarial politics is said to create the right conditions for effective scrutiny of the government, and for genuine debate. However, when political adversaries are blindly engaged in an unbridled powers struggle driven by zero sum-game principle it would lead the democratic system to crisis. Thus, the party vowed to create platforms where it will have genuine consultation with opposition parties. Moreover, it also aimed to strengthen political participations citizens to promote deliberative democracy.
The government believes that the current rapid economic development will be sustained, accelerated and the inclusive double-digit growth is the fruit of the genuine democratic system put in place two decades ago. The need to deepen our democracy still exists and deepening our democracy is a serious matter that assumes a gravity of life and death. The government has committed itself to create a law abiding public service and officials who have the gut to uphold the public interest over and above their selfish agendas. The ruling party does not need spineless camp followers who would sell their political oath short.
Notwithstanding to the fact that we have cumbersome tasks to straighten the cultural setbacks and to unknot the meshes of backwardness, we have to take decisive steps in deepening our democracy and ensuring the sovereignty of our people through an ever increasing popular participation. We will continue to march on our developmental path and we will stop at nothing.