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Witnessing the Starting of Economic Revolution in OromiaNational Regional State

Witnessing the Starting of Economic Revolution in Oromia

National Regional State

 

Dr. Teshome †06-22-17

 

1. Introduction

Few writers are frightening the assertion of economic revolution by OPDO (Oromo People

Democratic Organization) in particular and the Oromo people in general. I can categorize these

writers in to two groups: The first group includes those scholars who consider the economic

revolution in Oromia as an obstacle or threat to national unity or economic development in

Ethiopia. This individual desire is to realize economic development in Ethiopia without

empowering Oromo people. They do not recognize the current contribution of Oromia National

Regional State for the national economy in the country.

 

Currently above 60 percent of national coffee export comes from Oromia. In the same way

Oromia National Regional State takes more than 45 percent of national crop production. In terms

of population and land size the region covers around 36 percent and 34 percent of the national

population and land size respectively. Further most of the lands suitable for domestic and foreign

investment with required infrastructure are found in Oromia regional state. In addition to this

most of the saving financial resources are mobilized from this region.

 

The underutilization of natural resource and traditional economic situation in Oromia

significantly harm the national economic development endeavor. Modernizing the economic

activities in Oromia would be the get way for the structural transformation in the country. It is a

simple fantasy to expect economic development in Ethiopia without economic modernization in

Oromia region.

 

The other group is those writers who could not understand or not interested to recognize the

organizational values or principles of OPDO (Oromo People Democratic Organization). These

people think that there is only one Organization and idea that change the life of Oromo people

These group do not encourage and accepts any new and scientific idea against their opinions.

 

The political belief promoted by OPDO from its inception makes the organization one of the

dynamic and pragmatic organizations. It recognizes the international human value and economic

development that has changed during the last four decades in the world. Today OPDO is not

asking about the recognition of Oromo people rather it demand the political and economic

entitlement of Oromo people. The innovative and inclusive nature of the organization changed

the life of Oromo people in the last two decades. The infrastructural and social development in

the region is the fruit of OPDOís political ideology. But still, its structure and institutional

capacity hampered the full realization of the wide range vision and value of the organization.

Therefore joining OPDO2 or becoming the viable alternative to OPDO is the only option to

change the life of our people.

 



That is why these two intellectuals groups have failed to accept and recognize the economic

revolution announced by Oromia National Regional State. The Oromia region with the

leadership of OPDO promotes Oromo democratic nationalism which recognizes and advances

the economic and political freedom of Oromo people. Economic freedom provides the wide

range of social and economic choice. Such freedom empowers Oromo people by improving its

life quality. Nobody needs the political and economic freedom that cannot enhance the

capability and functionality of its own people. Today the government and Oromia people are

jointly working on infrastructure and social developments to improve the livelihood of their

people that will end or reduce absolute poverty in general in Ethiopia and in particular in Oromia.

These are the fundamental reasons for Oromia regional state to declare the economic revolution.

During the last few months various activities have been undertaken to start the economic

revolution. The detail analysis and interpretation of the economic revolution activities would

maximum the social and economic benefit. Therefore the purpose of this article is to witness the

starting of economic revolution in the region through logical and scientific presentation. There

are two parts in this brief article: Part I and II. Part I will discuss the favorable economic and

political conditions for the economic revolution. The second part will identify and explain the

major activities undertaken by the regional government as a foundation for the economic

revolution in the region. This part also uses empirical evidences to show the commitments of

regional administration in economic revolution in the region.

 

2. Favorable Economic Situation for Economic Revolution

Economic situation refers to the situation in which market and government support enhances the

business and investment environment in the particular economy. Ethiopia constitution gives the

economic empowerment of nation and nationality in the country. During the last two decades it

was hard to see the bold regional government decision in creating favorable environment for

economic revolution. Recently the region has done various activities that improve the economic

environment in the region.

 

In its development priority, the regional government selected more competitive and efficient

sector that accelerates the economic revolution in the region. For instances mining, irrigation,

cash crop production and agro-processing industry have been selected to solve the

unemployment problem in the region. The construction and other related mining activities were

given to the local cooperative with the objective of transforming the unemployed youth to capital

owner within 2-3 years. The lower initial investment cost, higher demand of the mining and the

higher profit margin of the sub sector would helps the local youth to mobilize sufficient

financial resources within short period as compared to other sector.

 

The second favorable economic situation was large and small scale irrigation development. The

region endowed with abundant surface and ground water that can be used for irrigation purpose.

The development of irrigation not only gives employment opportunity but it is also modernizes

and diversify the agricultural sector. The third favorable economic situation for economic

revolution was provision of large farm land for the local cooperative to involve in the large scale

commercial agricultural activities. The government provides the necessary agricultural input and

tractors to local youth in the region to produce high value cash crop. The development of

commercial farm not only solves unemployment problem but it also increases the productivity

and production of the agricultural sector.

 

Another favorable economic situation for economic revolution was the establishments of agro

processing industry. The necessary financial, human and natural resources was mobilized by

private sector for the establishments of large manufacturing and agro processing industry. In

order to promote mass participation in the region, the new manufacturing sectors were owned by

cooperative and individual living in the region. The process of selecting the types of

manufacturing sector was more inclusive, faire and viable to improve the livelihood of regional

people and at the same time to realize the sectoral transformation in the region.

 

The overall goal of creating favorable economic situation for economic revolution was to control

or prevent social exploitations by imperfect market and non market mechanisms. This can be

realized by encouraging the formal and legal business organization in the region with the active

ownership and participation of the local youth. The favorable economic situation created in the

region realizes social justice or distributive justice by strengthening economic rights of Oromo

people.

 

3. Favorable Political Situation for Economic Revolution

The political system is more dynamic and transparent since recent reform conducted in the

region. The economic revolution expected to bring economic prosperity in the region should be

supported by existed political situation. The state would play the pivotal role in creating

favorable political situation which enhance social justice. Since the recent reform the regional

government was willing and committed to exercise constitutional right of the region. The

leadership strongly recognized that the problem of Oromo people can be solved by pragmatic

thinkers who can address the development need of the people.

 

In this regards, the mobilizing of the natural and human resources in the region facilitate the

political transformation. The region resources should be transformed to social empowerment

through transparent political system. The government opens its political space by allowing the

intellectual and professional to involve in various administration activities to enhance public

participation. In addition to these the public mobilization and continuous consultation with the

society at large transformed the political situation in the region. The government properly

conducted its reform to enable or create favorable political environment.

 

Today the regional government has been raising all questions in democratic and parliamentary

manner to maintain the interest of Oromo people. The current political leadership is ready to

make the new history that can provide new opportunities to its people than paying attention to

the past history. Now what remain is up to the public and intellectual to use this opportunities to

speed up and widen the regional political transformation. The future is in our hand if we raise

any issues in constitutional, logical and scientific way that maintains the interest of our people.

 

Part II will come continue

 

God Bless Oromia and Ethiopia

 

1 The writer can be reached by email address:a.teshom@gmail.com

2 Not recognizing the contribution of OPDO in improving the life quality of Oromo people during the last two

decades does not indicate the quality or value of that person.

 


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