Abide by the Will of Citizens!
Dawit Atinafu (AAU) 10/17/12
Once, Ethiopia was a powerful nation with greater political and economic influences. However, this astounding position was drastically declined mostly due to internal political instability fashioned by the regimes that ruled the nation in different times. As a result of this the name, Ethiopia, until recently, becomes synonyms with famine, poverty and civil war.
There was a time when most Ethiopians wondered whether peace, national unity and development could be retained in their ancient civilized country. At some point in the beginning of 1990s and before that the situation was so hostile for a number of nations and nationalities of Ethiopia had engaged in military and other form of struggle in all directions of the country.
Many of these rebellions were representing a particular ethnic group and one of their objectives was self-determination. Ethiopians opted, this path because they had experienced a very long history of suppression by their subsequent rulers.
This was the period in which the country was to fall on the danger of disintegration. However, thanks to Ethiopians who fought for the free and democratic Ethiopia, the country was saved from this fear of disintegration and collapse.
In this regard the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took a very huge responsibility and sacrifices.
The constitutional federal system which was established some 20 years a go, through consultation with the various political groups and the general public gave solutions to the fundamental questions of Ethiopians by setting up a system that comprehend the objective realities of the country.
Most importantly, the system has guaranteed the rights of nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia which was the main source of political instability that dragged the country in to civil war, abject poverty and human agony for decades.
In order to effectively put into practice these rights the government has implemented several development policies and strategies based on the federal political arrangement and these policies and strategies are being registering marvelous results.
Ethiopians started to enjoy the rights of sharing the country’s resources as well as exercising the rights of self administration. The resources of the country are now being distributed to each and every autonomous regional administration with the intention of realizing an equity based development strategy.
As a result of this we have been able to see tremendous changes in the last two decades particularly in the rural parts of Ethiopia. Many Places where there were no a single formal school or health center and appropriate roads before 1991, now are able to have much more social services and basic infrastructures.
In order to expand health services with fair distribution throughout the country the government has built 15000 health posts and 3000 health centers, as well as trained and deployed more than 38,000 health extension workers.
And this helped the country to improve its health services. In recent years, Ethiopia has reduced its under-5 mortality rate from 123 per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 88 per 1,000 live births in 2010.
The federal system has also helped Ethiopians to have fair access to education. In the last two decades the government of Ethiopia has constructed thousands of primary and secondary schools in all parts of the country. And as a result Ethiopia’s primary education enrolment rate which was only 19 % before 20 years ago now exceeded 95 %. As now access for education in every parts of the country is easy, millions of children are able to attending their education.
Ethiopians have also been able to ensuring food security in the last two decades. Due to government’s great attention to this sector the nation’s agricultural productivity has drastically increased. For instance, the amount of production harvested in the year 2010/2011 was more than 180 million quintals and expects this production year to harvest more than 218 millions quintals of crops.
As a result of this achievement, the country has been strengthening its ability to building up its food self sufficiency and eradicate food shortages.
Many international organizations and other development partners applauded government’s efforts to significantly expand development particularly in the area of social services such as education, health and food security.
According to The Human Development Index (HDI), which is annually published by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to measure national development in each countries of the world, in its 2010 report Ethiopia’s HDI score improved from 0.250 to 0.328 between the years 2000-2010; that is a 2.73% average annual growth in HDI. As it is indicated in the report Ethiopia’s score is the third fastest average annual HDI growth rate in the world.
This report shows that Ethiopia is being registering encouraging achievements to improving human development in terms of life expectancy, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. Also the development strategies implemented in the last two decades have lifted millions of Ethiopians out of poverty and decreased the level of poverty in the country.
The expansion of infrastructures throughout the country is also well underway with fair distribution. The overall development activities have been attracting billions of dollars of local and foreign investments. In addition to job opportunities to millions of citizens, these investment undertakings have been helping the nation to alleviate poverty.
According to several reports issued by a number of international organizations in the last years, Ethiopia has continued to make significant progress towards economic growth, political liberalization and social transformation.
In my opinion these achievements made the entire Ethiopian to building a strong trust and optimism towards the federal system which has been playing a very fundamental role to creating a united Ethiopia with strong national sentiment that was totally battered before 1990.
The sense of national unity resulted from the federal system helped the country to building strong economic development in order to get rid of poverty and improve the lives of its citizens.
In my view, the social and economic development that Ethiopia has been registering over the last years is the result of strong unity and cooperation Ethiopians developed in the courses of exercising their rights based on the federal system. And this is very important to building a strong and a flourishing new Ethiopia.
Now the entire people of Ethiopia are showing the whole world, that they are the principal protector of this political arrangement, by which they have been provided with a glimmer of hope for a better and prosperous Ethiopia.
Such determinations of the nation are being demonstrated in various instances. One important recent incident in this regard could be the reaction of Ethiopians to the sudden death of their former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Unless we are unrealistic, the death of Meles and the subsequent genuine reaction of the nation could made us sense easily how Ethiopians have been building strong confidence towards the current political economy system and determined to sustain it for a better future.
The heartfelt mourn as well as the pledges to continue Meles’s development visions, demonstrated during Meles’s death; also indicates that Ethiopians are benefiting with great satisfaction from this political economic establishment and are ready to fight any attempts to reversing this reality.
Ethiopians are now very optimist about their future prosperity and committed to defend any attempts of hindrance for they have clearly understood that reversing the present system would lead to sever disintegration and human agony.
Oppositions should understand the fact that instigating anger and frustration among citizens, which so far have been in vain, has no place in this new Ethiopia.
And I suggest Ethiopian opposition political groups and the so called international human rights and democracy activists, who are engaged in a destructive campaign against this system, should bear in mind the objective realities and respect the aspirations and wills of Ethiopians.
Thus now is a golden opportunity more than ever to all opposition parties and the so called international human right activists to recognize and abide by the will of Ethiopians.
You should accept the fact that there are no other alternatives other than engaging in the existing positive nationwide efforts towards national unity and economic development which will further strengthen the bonds of citizenship, promote a mutual confidence and acts of toleration among the people of Ethiopia.